Less than an hour from Cape Town lies Paarl, the pearl of the Western Cape.
An area steeped in the country’s history, Paarl is the third oldest settlement in South Africa and has a rich cultural heritage. The town has many examples of Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Cape Dutch buildings along Main Street as well as a number of restaurants and coffee shops.
The Paarl Wine Route, meanwhile, is criminally overlooked with a number of fine estates in the region.
For something different and for breath-taking views of the luscious winelands and an awe-inspiring sunrise, you have to try the hot air balloon ride over the Berg River Valley. A gentle yet pleasant ride, you’ll be able to see the mountains, vineyards and more that seems to stretch out for forever. With a starting call at the crack of dawn, a hearty breakfast and the ride of lifetime, the Winelands Ballooning is definitely worth a try.
You can also do your bit to reduce the carbon footprint by travelling by goat to the gorgeous Fairview wine estate in Paarl. Hitch a ride on the goat wagon at the Paarl Station and get an unusual view of the winelands.