The oldest fishing village on the West Coast, past and present meet in Paternoster. Life here is closely connected to the sea, with fishermen heading out in colourful traditional wooden boats (bakkies) to catch snoek in winter and crayfish in summer. Visitors can buy their fish fresh off the boats as they come in to shore.
Meaning ‘our father’ in Latin, Paternoster is watched over by the stoic Cape Columbine lighthouse - the only manned lighthouse on the South African coast. It stands tall and white in the nature reserve with the same name, and which extends all the way along the rocky coastline to include quirkily named Tietiesbaai. The reserve is a favourite camping ground for summer holiday makers who want to be close to nature and the water’s edge.
About 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, Paternoster epitomizes an authentic and traditional West Coast lifestyle, and local people are well loved for their humour, generosity and hospitality. Surrounded by fynbos, wheat fields in winter, and wild flowers in spring, Paternoster is also a favourite amongst snorkelers, experienced divers, kite surfers and flyers, hikers, bikers and kayakers. Virtually all year there are whales and dolphins to watch, and birding is excellent for endangered black oystercatchers and over 200 other species.
Talented local artists live and work here too, their painting, sculpture, pottery and photography on exhibition at various galleries and shops in the village. Foodies will also be spoilt for choice with renowned chefs presiding over excellent restaurants, some right on the beach.
Sunsets over the sea, long walks on the 8km long, white, sandy beach of Langstrand, seal and penguin watching, evening fires and seafood braais are just a few of Paternoster’s enticing attractions. Or climb the lighthouse for a panoramic view over the village and beyond.
Accommodation in Paternoster is plentiful and of high standard, then so is the cuisine, natural beauty and hospitality.