Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast. Its name, meaning “Our Father”, is Latin and derived from the prayers of ship-wrecked Portuguese sailors. A popular getaway destination for Capetonian city dwellers and travellers of Southern Africa alike, located just a 90minutes drive from Cape Town.
A quaint and picturesque seaside village, Paternoster is an all year round fishing destination with pristine white beaches. It is famous for its traditional fisherman lifestyle and architecture. Fisherman still go out to catch snoek during winter and crayfish during summer in the characteristic colourful wooden boats, dubbed “bakkies” by locals. Both locals and visitors can buy freshly caught fish every day on the shores.
Paternoster is not only known for its quirky characteristics, but also for the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve where an unorthodox lighthouse towers over the rocky coastline that covers an area of 263ha. The reserve is a popular beach camping site with many inlets and coves offering a variety of activities ranging from hiking, angling, bird-watching, diving and kayaking. The West Coast Fossil Park, another fantastic attraction, lies just outside of Paternoster where fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and many other extinct exotic animals can be found.
Travellers visiting Paternoster can delight in whale and dolphin watching almost all year round. These majestic marine mammals can be spotted playing along the coastline 10months of the year. Seal and Penguin watching and diving are also popular pastimes. After the first spring rains, the landscape blossoms with thousands of indigenous fauna that carpet the area with colour and attracts over 250 species of birds.
Spectacular sunsets, long walks on the white sandy shores and evening seafood braais are just a few enticing expectation of Paternoster. Accommodation in Paternoster reflects that of an authentic and traditional West Coast lifestyle where locals are well loved for their humour, generosity and their outstanding hospitality. Guest-houses, bed and breakfasts and self-catering accommodation in Paternoster are plentiful, of high standards and are suitable to travellers from all walks of life.