13 awesome things to do in Paternoster, South Africa

by | Apr 21, 2024 | Africa, South Africa | 0 comments

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

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White-washed fishing cottages with bright blue shutters and turquoise water lapping onto pristine beaches… Sounds like a postcard from Greece, right?

But did you know that you can find the same beauty in South Africa?

Paternoster is a charming fishing village on South Africa’s West Coast, just two hours north of Cape Town. It’s a wonderful destination you should consider adding to your South Africa itinerary for a few relaxing days by the coast while savouring delicious seafood.

Although it’s not as bustling as the more popular coastal towns along the Garden Route, there is still plenty to do. I’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Paternoster, to help you plan your perfect coastal escape.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

How to get to Paternoster

Driving is the easiest and best way to get to Paternoster. The coastal village is less than two hours from Cape Town, where the closest airport to Paternoster is situated.

You can find the perfect rental car for your trip on Rentalcars.com!

We rented a small Suzuki Jimny for our trip to Paternoster. It was the perfect car for our weekend getaway, fitting everything we needed and the 4×4 made zipping around the sandy roads at Cape Columbine Nature Reserve much easier.

The drive from Cape Town is straightforward, as it’s just a straight route up north on the R27. The road takes you alongside the Langebaan Lagoon in the West Coast National Park, and if you have some extra time, I recommend stopping there.

The best things to do in Paternoster

Hit the beaches

South Africa’s coastline boasts some of the world’s most stunning beaches, and Paternoster is no exception. The area is home to several beautiful beaches that offer an idyllic seaside escape.

Paternoster’s main beach, running from the Waterfront to Mosselbank, is the most popular. This is where you can buy freshly caught crayfish and indulge in delicious seafood at the beachfront restaurants.

Langstrand is another beautiful beach that runs from the northern end of Mosselbank towards the Groot Paternoster Nature Reserve. A beach walk along Langstrand is one of the best things to do in Paternoster, and you might even spot some dolphins along the way.

For a more secluded experience, head towards Bekbaai Beach, West Coast Peninsula Beach, or Tietisbaai. Lining the coast south of Paternoster, these beaches offer a peaceful retreat away from the crowds.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

Take a stroll around Mosselbank

When visiting Paternoster, take the time to explore the village and admire its beautiful houses. Paternoster is famous for its white-washed fishing cottages, looking like a Greek village.

Some houses have traditional thatched roofs, while others are surrounded by charming gardens or decorated with paintings and sea shells. You’ll even find some houses with colourful fishing boats out front!

Make sure you bring your camera and head to the Mosselbank neighbourhood. It’s home to some of the prettiest houses in Paternoster, and you’ll want to capture some stunning shots.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

Taste some local Paternoster Beer

Paternoster Brewery & Restaurant is an independent family business located in Paternoster. They offer a wide range of beers, from classic styles to bold new flavours, and from crisp, refreshing Pilsners to bold and complex IPAs, they’ve got it all.

The beers are exclusive to Paternoster, so sipping some Paternoster beer is really one of the super unique things to do in Paternoster. They also serve superb food, including beer-braised mussels, West Coast oysters, truffle fries, wraps and more.

Whenever I travel abroad, I always use Airalo to get an eSim with local data. It’s the easiest way to stay connected abroad!

Enjoy a fine-dining experience at Wolfgat

Dining at Wolfgat is one of the best things to do in Paternoster for foodies. It is located in a charming, refurbished fisherman’s cottage and was voted one of the best restaurants in the world at the World Restaurant Awards in 2019.

The restaurant’s 7-course tasting menu is inspired by the weather and surrounding landscape, showcasing the best of the local fish and shellfish, along with wild herbs, seaweeds, and succulents unique to the region.

I’d recommend booking well in advance if you’d like to snag a table at Wolfgat.

watch the sunset

Paternoster’s beaches all offer a perfect vantage point to watch the sunset. The best spot in my opinion is this rock at the southwestern end of the Main Beach. From this spot, you can witness the sun setting over the ocean and enjoy a panoramic view of the entire village and beach.

Keep in mind that drinking alcohol isn’t allowed in public places like beaches in South Africa. If you’d like to enjoy a few sundowners while watching the sunset, head to one of the restaurants on the beach instead.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

Explore Cape Columbine & the Lighthouse

Cape Columbine, a short drive from Paternoster, is a breathtaking nature reserve famed for its rugged coastline, stunning beaches, and iconic lighthouse.

The lighthouse was built in 1936 and named after a ship that ran aground on the rocky shoreline in 1829. Climbing to the top of the 15-meter high lighthouse is one of the best things to do in Paternoster if you love an epic viewpoint.

Unfortunately, we visited Cape Columbine on a day where the fog clung to the coast stubbornly for most of the day. But on any other day, I would have loved spending a few hours on one of the hidden beaches.

Go on a Fat E-Bike Tour

Wow eBikes runs guided fat e-bike tours along the coastline and to Cape Columbine Nature Reserve. Some tours include a stop at an oyster hatchery, and you can even pre-order some oysters and bubbly to enjoy during your fat bike adventure!

Fat biking is one of the things I wish we could have done in Paternoster. We decided against it because of the fog, but it looks like one of the most fun things to do in paternoster!

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

Visit Die Winkel Op Paternoster

Your trip to Paternoster wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Die Winkel Op Paternoster, the most well-known and charming cottage in the village. The cottage is a bakery, small shop and gourmet bistro all in one.

You can stop by to enjoy some sweet and savoury baked goods or stock up on some South African treats, homemade jams and West Coast Wines.

Furthermore, you can enjoy a distinctive 4-course menu that showcases the Strandveld food style pioneered by Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat in the informal garden bistro Oep ve Koep (meaning open for business in Afrikaans).

Go on a kayaking trip

If you want to get out on the water and experience the West Coast’s marine life up close, going on a kayaking adventure is one of the most awesome things to do in Paternoster. The best time to go is early in the morning when the bay is bustling with birds.

Kayak Paternoster offers guided kayaking trips, departing right in front of the Paternoster Waterfront. Launching from Paternoster main beach, you can watch fishermen in the distance, pulling their colorful boats up to the sandy shore.

Out on the water, you might spot a variety of marine life, including dolphins, whales, and even a small colony of penguins on the outer rocks, only accessible by boat.

Bookings are essential. You can contact Kayak Paternoster via email at kayakpaternoster@gmail.com or give them a call: +27 82 898 3028.

Keep an eye out for whales

Paternoster offers some of the best whale-watching experiences in the area. The ideal time to witness these gentle giants is between July and October when you can even spot whales directly from the sandy beaches of Paternoster Bay, including Voorstrand and Mosselbank beach.

Alternatively, you can head to Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, where the rocky formations provide great vantage points for whale watching, or experiencing these magnificent creatures up close on an unforgettable kayaking trip with Kayak Paternoster.

2-week Namibia itinerary
Restaurant in a traditional thatched building in Paternoster

Go for a brunch

Starting your day with a good brunch is always a great idea and Paternoster is just the place to find it.

Mondvol Koffiewinkel, located outside Paternoster, serves one of the best breakfasts in town. Their menu includes a variety of dishes ranging from eggs Benedict and omelettes to yoghurt bowls and flapjacks. My personal favourite was the French toast with crispy bacon, brie, and almond flakes. 

Cathy’s Kitchen, on the other hand, is an amazing breakfast spot located in the centre of Paternoster, just a few minutes away from the beach. Though the menu is small, it’s packed with delicious options including cold and warm breakfasts, quiches, and savoury pancakes.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

Browse the Art Shed at the waterfront

The Art Shed at the Waterfront holds a variety of art studios and galleries, serving as a platform for local artists selling paintings, jewellery, pottery, and clothing. My favourite shop to browse at the Art Shed is “A Load of Bollox”, a thrift store selling all sorts of knick-knacks and trinkets.

Eat some seafood

If you love a good seafood dish, eating your way through the restaurants in town is one of the best things to do in Paternoster. Many of the local restaurants specialize in seafood, offering plump oysters, West Coast mussels, sushi with a creative twist, and classics like fish & chips.

  • If you’re looking for a variety of oysters, whole fish, seafood laksa, and fish croquettes, head to the unique and quirky Noisy Oyster. Bookings are essential, so be sure to call 022 752 2196 ahead of time.
  • For sushi with a West Coast twist, snoek samosas, Cape Malay Curry, and all kinds of seafood, De See Kat is a must-try.
  • For a classic fish and chips experience with a stunning beach view and the sounds of waves crashing onto the shore, visit the historic Voorstrand Restaurant – a Paternoster landmark.
  • If you’re looking for fresh fish and seafood with a blend of local West Coast and international flavors, set in a former fishing cottage just steps away from the beach, Gaaitjie Restaurant is the place to go. 
  • And if you’re having lunch at the Paternoster Brewery, don’t forget to pair your Paternoster beer with the beer-braised West Coast mussels.
2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

Where to stay in Paternoster

There are numerous places to stay in Paternoster, from guesthouses and boutique hotels to whole holiday homes on the beach. I’d recommend looking for a place in Mosselbank, the most picturesque neighborhood in Paternoster.

I always love using Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals for my trips!
Pin this post on Pinterest to save this list of things to do in Paternoster for a future trip!
2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

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Hi, I’m Sara, a twenty-something Swiss on a mission to become a full-time travel writer and digital nomad.