Only a few minutes from Palmiet Valley Estate you will find Franschhoek. This fertile ground is where the French first made wine in South Africa 300 years ago. Today, the members of the “Vignerons de Franschhoek” carry that noble tradition forward. Twenty-one wine farms, including some of South Africa’s most respected names, produce many of South Africa’s top wines. All the noble cultivars and classic styles are on show there. From superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc to the rich reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Not to mention the valley’s renowned Methode Cap Classique Sparkling wines and Ports. And you’ll be happy to know, most farms readily welcome visitors for tastings. Additionally you will find in Franschhoek the Huguenot Monument, which was erected in 1938 to commemorate the French Huguenots who arrived in South Africa in 1688. The museum next to the monument depicts the rich heritage and history as well as the development of the Franschhoek Valley, including its fynbos, fauna and early inhabitants.
Only two hours away from Palmiet Valley Estate you will reach Hermanus. The beautiful coastal town is built along the shores of Walker Bay near the Southern most tip of Africa. Magnificent mountains watch over the town which is home of the Southern Right Whale. Nature lovers from all over the world visit Hermanus to view these magnificent creatures from the best land based whale-watching destination in the world. Mating season is between June and November.
Along the Mossel’s River you will find the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. It offers magnificent walks through its Fynbos kingdom.
This monument was erected in 1975 to honour the Afrikaans language. It reminds people if the official status oft he Afrikaans language. This monument was built out of grained granite, which was then made into concrete. The small columns remind us of the Dutch, English and several African languages are the source for the Afrikaans language, Try shouting in the biggest horn to hear your voice carried out over the area. The Afrikaans Taal Monument is open daily from 9:00am to 17:00pm.
A veritable treasure of architecture is to be found along a 2 km stretch of Main Street, starting at the Strooidak Kerk (Thatched Roof Church), the oldest Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. Picturesque Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings surround Zeederberg Square. Paarl boasts one of only three examples of Egyptian architecture in South Africa! The walk ends at the two museums. More information can be found at the Paarl Tourism office and a guided tour can be arranged.
Enjoy the picturesque landscape of Fynbos vegetation dominated by massive rounded granite rock formations set among wild olives, rock candlewoods and wagon trees. Take a vigorous hike, or climb Bretagne Rock, follow one of the many hiking trails, visit Millwater Wild Flower Garden where 15 species of Protea may be viewed. Hiking maps of Paarl Mountain can be found at the Afrikaans Language Monument or the Cape Nature Reserve for R20.
Situated in the Oude Pastorie the Paarl Museum offers you a superb collection of Cape Antiques, artefacts, documents and photographs that portray the collective heritage and development of Paarl. Visiting Hours: Weekdays: 09:00 – 17:00 Saturdays: 09:00 – 13:00, closed on Sundays.
Paarl Vintners invite you to explore the world’s first “Red Route”. As the Paarl region’s umbrella association of wine producers, Vintners has embraced Paarl’s territorial heritage as one of the most globally prolific sources of fine red wine and has charted a route through which explorers may discover both the delicate secrets and bold celebrities of these historic winelands. It is true that great “Red Route” legends such as Roodeberg, stalwart Cabernet Sauvignon, port and a determined focus on Shiraz have long established Paarl’s place on the global wine map. Even more exciting is the fact that the Paarl region has again captured the international spotlight with the crowning of both a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Shiraz as the World’s Best wines. Perfect micro-climates, ideal soils and a firm red tradition – a medley of blessing, bounty and bold commitment – these are the essential and unique ingredients that have afforded the Paarl region the inalienable and singular claim to being the birthplace of the world’s very first “Red Route”.
Must see Wineries in the area include;
Vrede n Lust
Stellenbosch is situated only a 30 minutes drive from Palmiet Valley Estate. It is the commercial center of South Africa’s main winemaking region. Wine has been produced in the area for more than 300 years, and the local wines have gained an international reputation. Wine Route. The surrounding agricultural area is also noted for its fruit orchards. Stellenbosch contains restored Cape Dutch architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. A center of Afrikaans culture and learning, the town is the seat of the University of Stellenbosch, founded in 1918, and has five museums. The Libertas House contains a collection of the paintings of the 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt. Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape Colony, established Stellenbosch in 1679, making it the second oldest white settlement in South Africa, after Cape Town.
The Rhenish Complex is one of the most excellent restoration projects ever undertaken in South Africa. The group of buildings reflect the architectural history of Stellenbosch – Cape Dutch (the old Rhenish parsonage gable dated 1815 although parts of the house are older). This building now houses the toy and miniature museum. The mixture of Cape Dutch and English style and the typical English double-story are also proof of this project. The simple Cape houses in Market Street complement the complex. The village museum represents the major stylistic periods of the previous three centuries. The thatched Schreuderhuis is one of the very first of 12 simple dwellings that formed the pioneer settlement. Gabled Blettermanhuis reflects the elegant lifestyle on the eve of the French revolution in 1789. Grosvenor House is a more restrained neoclassical double-storey dating from around 1800. Berghuis shows the amazing clutter of a typical Victorian residence of later that century. If you’re interested in things of a military nature, don’t miss the museum in the VOC Kruithuis, a powder magazine built by the Dutch East India Company in 1777. The enchanting Toy and Miniature Museum in the old Rhenish Parsonage of 1815 is also well worth a visit.
If you enjoy driving, there is the Bain’s Kloof Pass, one of the most scenic drives in the country. This 30 km pass was built by Andrew Geddes Bain and yields panoramic views across Wellington, Paarl and the Swartland. Not far from Palmiet Valley Estate at the foot of the Bain`s Kloof you will find Wellington. The historic town lies in a picturesque valley on the banks of the Kromme River with the majestic Hawequa Mountains standing guard on its eastern border. Wellington, in the heart of the Boland and rich in cultural, religious and educational history, is an unsurpassed area to enjoy the Winelands and scenery of the Western Cape in South Africa.
Situated about 2h30min drive from Palmiet Valley, in the shadow of the majestic Langeberg Mountains with the Breede River as its lifeblood, Robertson is the western gateway to The Heart of Route 62. With 150 years of history, Robertson has grown into a very attractive Cape Wineland town, with Victorian buildings, jacaranda-lined streets and beautiful gardens.