1657 Abraham Gabbema and his party were camped in a beautiful, fertile valley.
It had rained during the night and as the sun rose, the huge granite rocks high above them glistened in the sunlight like two huge pearls. He named the area "Peerlbergh" (Pearl Mountain).
Welcome to Paarl (Pearl), a bustling town cradled in the picturesque Berg River Valley between the second largest granite outcrop in the world and the towering Du Toit's Kloof Mountains. Mountains, rivers, rich flora, magnificent panoramic views and a rich cultural and architectural heritage, contribute to making Paarl a unique tourist destination.
With wonderful warm summers and cool, mild winters that contribute to the production of internationally-renowned wines, export fruit and fresh produce, Paarl offers a unique "tasting experience" in every sense of the word.
Should you wish to sip a glass of fine wine as the sun turns the mountains into a soft purple, sample fresh farm produce at one of the many farm stalls, enjoy a light meal under the leafy oaks, indulge in traditional Cape cuisine or dine at a superb a la carte restaurant – Paarl offers it all, wrapped in its own unique brand of Cape hospitality.
Though country in every way, Paarl is a mere 30-minute drive to Cape Town, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront, and within easy reach of all the other major attractions that this, the "Fairest Cape in All the World", has to offer.
The history and prosperity of the town is depicted in the many examples of fine architecture in the town and surrounding region.
Paarl is the largest municipality outside the Cape Metropole, and houses the headquarters of a number of large agricultural, manufacturing and financial institutions. Paarl is also home to some of the oldest schools in the Cape and to Boland Cricket Park, which hosts international events.
Paarl made headlines when President Mandela was released from the Victor Verster (now Drakenstein) Prison, on the outskirts of the town, to freedom and to the start of the new South Africa.
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