10 Reasons Why a Visit to Paternoster is the Answer to Your Prayers
Paternoster, meaning “Our Father”, is a little gem on the West Coast that exudes a fishing village charm of yesteryear. Fast becoming known as the St Tropez of South Africa, Paternoster is a place where white beach sands to merge with fynbos and the ocean, smiling fishermen dipping their fishing rods into the freezing ocean, and sunsets that will make even the hardest of hearts melt. We asked our accommodation owners for some advice on what to do in Paternoster…
WHAT TO DO
1. Long walks on the beach
With 8km of unspoilt sand, you can enjoy solitary walks to gather your thoughts and contemplate in peace. There’s nothing quite like digging your toes into the sand as the sky turns from pink to gold as the setting sun marks an end to the day.
2. Explore the arts
Paternoster abounds with art studios and galleries that will spark your creativity. We love Stone Fish Studio, located next door to ‘Die Ou Stoor’ with a wide selection of contemporary and local ceramics and art on display. Workshops are also held here.
3. Go fishing
Fishing is the perfect activity for reflection. With the crashing waves and scent of the ocean, you’ll surely feel relaxed after a day at sea. In Paternoster, you can go deep sea ski boat fishing, arrange crayfishing trips, or go diving.
4. Horse riding
Drikus Horse Trails was voted one of the Top 6 Beach Horse Trails in South Africa by Rooms for Africa, and is fantastic whether you’re a beginner or experienced rider. Daily beach, sunset, and moonlight rides are available. Pre-booking is essential. +27 (0)82 748 5596.
5. Visit the West Coast Fossil Park
Just 30km from Paternoster, The West Coast Fossil Park intrigues visitors with its collection of mega-tooth shark, sabre-tooth cat, giant ostrich, African bear, and elephant fossils. Browse the coffee and gift shop, picnic in the garden, ride the mountain bike trails, do a fossil tour, and let your kids loose in the playground. +27 (0)22 766 1606.
6. Explore the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve
Join the Cape Columbine lighthouse keepers, Japie and Wayne, for a tour of the last manned lighthouse in South Africa, built on Castle Rock in 1936. Alternatively, picnic at Tietiesbaai and admire the multitude of spring wildflowers abounding in the 263 hectare reserve between July and October. +27 (0)22 752 2705.
7. Take to the sea on a kayak
Paternoster is rated as one of the finest sea kayaking spots in South Africa for its dramatic scenery and rich variety of marine life, including seals, dolphins, whales, and birds. The 75 minute outing with Dianne Heesom Green takes visitors on a quiet paddle between the interesting rock formations that are home to a penguin colony. No experience is necessary and all equipment is provided. Booking is essential. +27 (0)82 824 8917.
Birders will surely jump at the chance to view over 200 species in the area, including African penguins, egrets, Cape cormorants, Arctic terns, and endangered black oystercatchers.
9. Browse the bric a brac stores for souvenir
Die Winkel op Paternoster is known for its West Coast designer chic and tasty treats, such as West Coast salt, regional wines and bric a brac. It’s also known for its bakery and bistro specialising in Weskus kontrei kos (West Coast country food) like jams and preserves, artisan farm breads, and air cured sardines. Don’t miss the Jewels of the Sea Shell Shop at Paternoster Hotel where you’ll find wind chimes, shell curtains, rare shells, and sea stars!
10. Beach buggy trips
There’s nothing more freeing than flying down the sand dunes in a beach buggy with the wind in your hair and your worries far behind you. This 2 hour journey meanders through the dunes between Paternoster and St Helena Bay. Contact Deon van Schalkwyk on +27 (0)72 402 1829.
WHERE TO EAT
- The Noisy Oyster
A sign that declares it sells “West Coast Viagra” is the first indication that the Noisy Oyster is like no other restaurant. Dishes on the menu are listed under headings like “Foreplay” and “Intercourse” and offer all sorts of seafood temptations. Please note it is closed from the end of May to the end of July. +27 (0)22 752 2196.
- Reuben’s at Abalone House
Reuben’s is a highly-acclaimed restaurant offering an ever changing menu and unique signature dishes, from double-baked snoek soufflé with salted apricots, to roasted pork belly with chilli-lime and ginger caramel. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner in the restaurant, bar, or on the deck offering glorious sea views 365 days a year. +27 (0)22 752 2044.
- The Panty Bar
You’ll find The Panty Bar at Paternoster Hotel; a famous pub that once served as a jail. Check out the growing collection of underwear left behind by honeymoon couples over the years…
- Blikkie Pizzeria
Blikkie is a pizzeria housed in a traditional fisherman’s cottage said to be over 110 years old. This place is loved by locals for its original pizzas that follow an age-old Sicilian family recipe. There are fantastic views of Paternoster Bay!+27 (0)22 752 2246.
- Skatkis Restaurant
Skatkis Restaurant at Paternoster Lodge offers typical West Coast dishes, a wonderful kids menu, and uninterrupted views onto the bay. Their cocktails are not to be missed! +27 (0)22 752 2023.
WHERE TO STAY
- Farr Out
Farr Out is a lovely guest house on the outskirts of Paternoster, encompassed by fynbos and wildlife next to the Columbine Nature Reserve. Nothing beats a soak in their outdoor wood-fired hot tub!
- Abalone House Boutique Guest House
Abalone House blends an old world charm with a laidback seaside atmosphere. Relax in the Jacuzzi on the rooftop deck with its uninterrupted beach view or indulge at the Healing Earth Spa.
- Paternoster Dunes Boutique Guest House
Paternoster Dunes offers 5 individually decorated bedrooms, 3 of which offer direct beach access. The guest house also has a lounge, cocktail bar, eclectic library, spa, and solar heated swimming pool for ultimate relaxation.
- Paternoster Manor
Paternoster Manor offers 4 stylish bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and private patios, just 50m from the beach. Golf and beach horse rides can be arranged.
Paternoster is a place where all of your prayers will be answered…a place where you can focus on a weekend of fun, leisure, and adventure. Those road tripping up should stop and explore Darling, relax in Yzerfontein, and Meet the Slow Five in Langebaan. Let us know any other West Coast activities you’d recommend in the comments below.
Main image by Paternoster Manor (TG)