Paternoster is an idyllic beach holiday getaway, perfect for plenty of eating, reading, snoozing or doing nothing at all. Numerous inlets offer hideaways where you can work on your suntan, watch whales and dolphins or catch a fish. During August and September the spring wildflowers transform the landscape into a vivid carpet of daisies.
Beer monkeys and rugby fans usually head over to the ‘Panty Bar’ at the Paternoster Hotel, aptly nicknamed for the frilly canopy of lacy undies. Here you can get cheap beer and locally made pub grub – evil looking rollmops, sundried snoek biltong, pickled mussels or the West Coast delicacy, salty bokkoms. It's essential to try bokkoms at least once.
You can purchase flapping fresh fish from the beach when the brightly painted little fishing boats come ashore. Snoek, geelbek, harder and hottentot are the usual catches – perfect for sizzling over the coals. There’s also a fish market right next to the beach. And then there’s kreef, red gold of the West Coast. The crayfish season usually begins in November and runs until April. Don’t forget to pack your diving gear and permit.
The atmospheric village shop, Die Winkel, is a Paternoster institution. Heap your basket with snoeksout, West Coast and Swartland wines, Ou Kaapse blatjang, cupcakes and other freshly baked goodies. It’s worth setting some time aside for a leisurely lunch in the garden.
Itchy feet? Grab a bike and cycle 4 km to the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and Tietiesbaai. Here you’ll be able to summit one of the last manned lighthouses in South Africa and explore the sandveld-fynbos clad dunes. Tietiesbaai has some lovely picnic spots and basic overnight campsites hiding between large granite boulders. For an adventurous ‘roughing it’ experience, stay at the Beach Camp and go on a sea-kayaking trip.
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