Visit Paternoster

Paternoster means ‘our father’ in Latin. The village is said to be named for the grateful prayers of Portuguese shipwreck survivors, but this is mere speculation.

Visit Paternoster

Cape Columbine lighthouse, near Paternoster, was the last manned lighthouse to be built along the South African coastline – in 1936. The light can be seen for 50km and one keeper still mans the lighthouse.

Visit Paternoster

People born and bred in Paternoster are known as ‘mosselvreters’ or mussel eaters.

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There’s a special place along the Cape West Coast of South Africa, where life is still lived according to tides and seasons. Here, traditional fishermen launch their colourful wooden boats from the beach to fish for sustenance, just as they always have. It’s a life of simplicity and authenticity, watching wind and waves. This place is Paternoster – a little village with a big heart.

Rugged in beauty, refined in offerings, Paternoster is uniquely enchanting. It’s not on your way anywhere, so everyone who visits wants to be there. The village attracts travellers from around the globe, who come to experience its unfettered beauty and warm hospitality. There’s a thread of serenity running through it all, and you’ll feel it deeply while watching dolphins frolicking in the waves or whales splashing off-shore in winter. Over 200 bird species live here too, some are endemic – like kelp gulls – and all are indigenous.

Natural beauty is everywhere. Paternoster also borders onto the majestic Columbine Nature Reserve with stoic Cape Columbine lighthouse standing tall on Castle Rock in the middle of it. The lighthouse casts its long beams over Paternoster each night, and the lilting foghorn warns village fishermen of changes in weather. But in Spring the reserve has a different personality and transforms into a floral fantasy world. White daisies carpet the hills like floral snow, and brightly coloured wild flowers punctuate the white. If you want to see the West Coast don her rainbow fancy dress, visit in August and September.

Paternoster is a year-round destination, though. Winters are cool and calm, summers hot and breezy – each season has unique attractions. But all year round you can walk the long, white sandy beach and reconnect with the earth – or do it on horseback. Ride a stand-up electric bike to slowly savour the natural surrounds of the village, go ocean kayaking to commune with seals and other marine life, hike, mountain bike, bird watch, or kick back and rejuvenate body and soul.

There’s a myriad accommodations to choose from too, from camping and glamping to self-catering and luxury, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Dining options are diverse, with over 15 quaint restaurants with tastes for every palette. Or you can prepare a seafood feast, bought fresh from the ocean. Walk the main street and browse the quaint village shops for keepsakes, because almost everything on sale is unique and charming.

Just 150km or a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, Paternoster is a world apart. A place that’s a little piece of heaven on earth, where you can put your feet up and let your hair down. Visit Paternoster, you’ll be enchanted.