All you need to know about Paarl
There are many fascinating aspects about Paarl that make it worth a visit. For one, it’s the third oldest town in South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch), and the largest town in the Cape Winelands. It’s renowned for its viticulture and fruit growing heritage, and is home to the second oldest wine route in the country.
Paarl is the birthplace of the world’s youngest language, Afrikaans. Interestingly, while the spelling of the name remains the same in Afrikaans and English, it’s pronounced differently by Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking South Africans. In addition, Paarl Mountain is made up of three 500-million-year old rounded outcrops – namely Paarl Rock, Bretagne Rock and Gordon Rock and is often compared to the Uluru in Australia.
Another noteworthy element is that it was in Paarl that Nelson Mandela walked to freedom on 11 February 1990 – from the then Victor Verster Correction Centre (today known as Drakenstein Correctional Centre), where he spent three of his 27 years in prison.
Last but not least, this lovely town has the longest main road in South Africa: it stretches over 12kms and is lined by many historical Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Cape Dutch Buildings.