Escape to the Peaceful Village of Paternoster
There are few destinations around the world that remain completely untouched by modernization and technology. To find a village that looks and feels the way it did when it was first established is rare, and in South Africa one of those idyllic destinations is Paternoster. A mere hundred and fifty kilometers outside of the bustle of Cape Town lies the small fishing village of Paternoster. Its magnificent beaches, tranquility and beautiful landscapes transport visitors to another world.
The village is located along the west coast of South Africa and borders on the splendor of the Columbine Nature Reserve. In 1829, a ship named the Columbine sank just off the coast of Paternoster and many survivors made it to shore. It is said that the sailors showed their gratitude by saying the “Our Father” prayer and that the name Paternoster, which means Our Father, was given to the village.
There are approximately a thousand five hundred locals living in Paternoster at present and, as in the past, their trade is fishing. Every morning, just as the sun starts to glisten on the ocean waters, fishing boats can be seen dotting the horizon as fishermen set out for their daily catch. And in the late afternoon, as dusk begins to creep in, the boats return with their fresh catches of crayfish and snoek. For most of the year, visitors will also be able to see many dolphins and whales playing in the waves in an area where they are safe to live and their presence is respected.
In the months of late July and September, when spring starts to bring new life to the South African landscape, indigenous flowers in various colors, sizes and species blanket the Paternoster fields and hills in vibrant beauty and life. And these millions of flowers are just one of the attractions that the village has to offer. Hiking, mountain biking, spear fishing, fishing, diving, ocean kayaking and boat trips are amongst the popular activities in Paternoster, while visits to the West Coast Fossil Park, Pottery Studio and the Cape Columbine Lighthouse (built in 1936) are amongst the attractions.
With fresh fish being brought into the village every day, visitors will be able to enjoy some of the most scrumptious seafood meals made by. The Paternoster Hotel has been in existence for over a hundred years, and fishermen often stop by to share a few drinks and tales of their ocean adventures. The white sandy beaches, which are home to more than two hundred bird species, offer a peaceful existence to birds such as the sacred ibis, oystercatchers, seagulls, cormorants, as well as the weary traveler who seeks peace and relaxation.