Best of Paternoster, Western Cape

Home / Travel Ideas / Best of Paternoster, Western Cape

Paternoster is a charming West Coast fishing village located in South Africa, approximately 145 km (90 miles) north of Cape Town. It is a popular destination for tourists seeking a tranquil coastal getaway. This quaint village is best known for its picturesque beauty, white-washed fishermen’s cottages and lobster. For decades, the Cape Bokkoms (dried fish), has been a popular delicacy in Paternoster and a cost-effective protein source in the area.


Best Features of Paternoster

This charming West Coast fishing village is characterized by its stunning coastline, with white-washed cottages, traditional fisherman’s architecture, pristine beaches, and rugged cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It offers breathtaking views, especially during sunrise and sunset. Paternoster has a rich cultural history, with some buildings dating back to the 19th century. The town’s name, which means “Our Father” in Latin, is said to have originated from prayers offered by shipwrecked Portuguese sailors. It has been a fishing village for generations, and the local economy still relies significantly on fishing. You can witness fishermen launching their colorful boats into the ocean and bringing in the day’s catch. Seafood is a highlight of Paternoster, and visitors can indulge in freshly caught fish, crayfish (rock lobsters), mussels, and other seafood delicacies at the local restaurants and eateries.

The charming fishing village offers a range of accommodation options, including guesthouses, B&Bs, self-catering cottages, and boutique hotels, allowing visitors to experience the charm of the village up close. Apart from enjoying the scenic beauty and local cuisine, you can partake in various activities such as beachcombing, whale watching (during the whale season), birdwatching, kayaking, and exploring the nearby Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.

Paternoster offers a variety of adventure and family-friendly attractions and activities. Yet it maintains a laid-back, carefree vibe that makes it the perfect getaway for anybody looking to escape the bustle of city life. Travellers exploring the west coast of South Africa will find Paternoster to be a unique location because of its combination of natural beauty, cultural legacy, and emphasis on the fishing sector.

Paternoster Attractions

Visit the 1936-constructed and last manned Cape Columbine Lighthouse – automated lighthouses was built after 1936. Situated in the Columbine Nature Reserve, it is located on a windswept shoreline around 5 kilometres (3 miles) south of Paternoster. Self catering cottages near the lighthouse are available for guests to stay in, after being renovated from the residences of the former lightkeepers. Within the reserve are a few campsites as well. The spiral stairway of the lighthouse rises visitors to a level where they may enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic and Britannia Reef.

Paternoster is a well-known location for Whale Watching, and from August to the end of December is the ideal time. It is best to view them straight from the sandy beaches, as Paternoster lacks a jetty. St. Martins Bay is the ideal environment for females to give birth to their calves, and large pods are frequently visible from Bek Bay and the main Paternoster Beach.

Explore the surrounding area with informative, scenic and thrilling Beach Buggy Rides & Tours with a qualified local tour guide. Experience a different side of the area, with Beach Buggy Adventures – tailor-made rides, dune rides, fynbos safaris, more! Travel over the area on an e-bike tour with WOW e-bikes, and enjoy an unforgettable feeling of freedom while riding effortlessly through the beautiful Paternoster landscape. There are child seats and “lift” options available.

Paddle with Kayak Paternoster, where you depart from the Paternoster Crayfish Wharf, going out between the rocks to see seabirds and penguins, and view Paternoster from a different angle. Beach Horseriding along the beautiful Langstrand Beach with West Coast Beach Rides must also be on your bucket list. Visit the Art Shed and meet the creative artists at work, and maybe buy a little something to take home. The Paternoster Trading Post is a general dealer where you can buy clothing, flip flops, fishing gear, hardware, gas, antiques and more. Visit the legendary Panty Bar at the Paternoster Hotel where you can meet the locals and look at the interesting displays. Also partake in Deep-Sea Fishing, Birding & Photography Trips, make a memorable piece of Jewellery at Fleur Delyse Glass Studio Bead-making Classes – to mention but a few of the activities and attractions in and around Paternoster!

Booking Restaurants & Experiences in advance is essential to avoid disappointment.
Some restaurants are seasonal and CLOSED during winter months.
During excursions, take along some warm clothing (jacket), because the coastal weather can change all the time, and we may experience four seasons in one day.

Places to Visit Near Paternoster

Columbine Lighthouse & Nature Reserve – 6km (hiking in spring, Aug & Sept, during the spectacular West Coast Flower Season).
Vredenburg / Saldanha Golf Course – 17km (9 hole golf course with 18 different teeing areas).
Bird Island Nature Reserve in the mouth of Saldanha Bay (Cape Nature) – 28km (home to large African penguin colony).
West Coast Fossil Park – 29km (near Langebaan, with well-preserved remains of fossil fauna that date to around 5.2 million years ago).
Bokkom Industry in Velddrift – 35km (vibrant bokkom or dried fish industry).
Berg River Estuary – 37km (an important birding area supporting 210 species of bird, and used by up to 80% of the fish as a nursery).
Thali-Thali Game Lodge – 39km (Cape West Coast game and fynbos reserve bordering the West Coast National Park).
West Coast National Park – 49km (beautiful Langebaan lagoon, white dunes, rare fynbos, green wetlands – a paradise for hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, birders, and nature lovers).
Rocherpan Nature Reserve – 62km (incredible bird life, and whale spotting).


Africa Golf Safari
Hosted Golf Tours

Hosted Golf Tours

Hosted golf tours are excellently orchestrated adventures, tailored for those who seek not just to...