Absorb the history of the fisherfolk in Paternoster

Paternoster Map

Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa.

Situated 145 km from Cape Town at Cape Columbine, the coastal enclave of Paternoster is known for its rows of traditional white-washed fishermen’s cottages overlooking the Atlantic, its rugged natural beauty and a proliferation of crayfish. Picturesque, painted fishing boats pulled up on the white beaches complete the nostalgic picture.   

But Paternoster is not just a step back in history; modern fun-seeking visitors can enjoy the natural splendor in a number of ways from buggy rides, cycling, beach hikes, kayaking, beach trails on horseback and sailing. For those less athletic, bird watching, whale spotting and breathtaking sunsets satisfy the senses, while mouthwatering cuisine served overlooking the sea at the internationally recognized Wolfgat restaurant, one of Paternoster’s many excellent eateries, will tantalize the taste buds.  

A stay at Paternoster must include a look in at the Paternoster Art Route, a tour of the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and a visit to the famous Cape Columbine Lighthouse. Here is your opportunity to stroll along vast stretches of white beaches, taste the traditional “bokkoms” (dried fish) beloved of the locals or, between  August and October, kick off a flower safari of the West Coast Flower hotspots including nearby Velddrif, Hopefield, Jacobsbaai, Langebaan and the West Coast National Park. 

Accommodation in Paternoster includes an array of seaside campsites, self-catering beach villas, quaint bed and breakfast establishments and excellent hotels. Building regulations in the area ensure that most of the village buildings are low and whitewashed with blue accents, imbuing the area with a charming West Coast seaside flavor. 

Best Time to Visit Paternoster

The months of January, March, April, May, October, November and December present lovely weather with temperatures averaging between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. The flowering season runs from July to October, but the actual appearance of the flower carpets is dependent on the level of Winter rain, so keep an eye on what the locals are predicting if you want to catch the “West Coast Snow”. 


Visit ‘Oep vir Koep’ shop, a well-known landmark in this area selling traditional fig preserve, snoek & bokkoms.

Sample delicious fish and chips right on the beach next to the fish market. You can’t get fresher than this.

Visit the Cape Columbine lighthouse on the Castle Rock outcrop, which was built back in 1936.

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