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In France they call them Les Plus Beaux Villages – the most beautiful villages – and the tiny fishing village of Paternoster on the west coast of South Africa fits quite comfortably into this category. Once a tiny enclave bypassed by travellers heading north from Cape Town, Paternoster is today a thriving seaside destination.
Paternoster’s wide, open beach is dotted with brightly-coloured fishing boats and the old white-washed fisherman cottages have been upgraded and are mostly used as holiday homes. On weekends, visitors arrive to dine on fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants overlooking the beach.
The Cape Columbine Nature Reserve is located at the southern end of Paternoster where a popular camping resort and the Columbine lighthouse is situated.
Top 6 reasons to visit Paternoster
1. Rise early to get to the beach and watch the fishermen return with their haul. Buy choice fish direct from the boats then arrange to have it descaled at the fish market on the beach. Enjoy a brisk swim or surf the waves while there.
2. Walk the town to appreciate the restored fishing cottages, the few original cottages that still remain, the art galleries, quaint craft shops and the hotel, which is a national monument where farmers once stored their corn.
3. Spend time beachcombing to discover the many seashells strewn on the beach and the vast sea organisms that thrive in the rock pools. Look out for the sparkling white ovulate shell, commonly known as baby’s toes.
4. Paternoster becomes a sea of colour during the wild flower season, be sure to visit in early spring to experience the beauty brought on by this wild flower spectacle.
5. Check out the marine birdlife at Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and climb the 15m lighthouse built on Castle Rock, an 80m-high stone outcrop, for stunning views of the horizon and... Show more
Luxurious and large, Villas are ideal for those wanting to self-cater with all the comforts and amenities of high-end accommodation. These usually include several bedrooms, with at least the master ensuite. The kitchen and living areas are fully equipped with top-of-the-range facilities; making it easy to whip-up quick holiday meals or go full gourmet should you choose to. The lounge will have a full entertainment system, including Dstv, and wifi can be expected. Due to the general size of the Villas, they are best suited to families, with older children, or small to medium groups of friends.