Paternoster

Photo of Paternoster

About Paternoster

Set on a pink shoreline littered with granite boulders and multicoloured dinghies stands Paternoster, one of the oldest settlements on the Western Coast. Meaning “Our Father”, the story goes that Paternoster derived its name from the prayers of a crew of Catholic Portuguese sailors who found themselves shipwrecked nearby. Today, it still retains its sleepy feel and slow-paced style of living, but its coastal charm and arcane white-washed fisherman's cottages, have drawn in a cluster of city-slickers looking to 'get away from it all'. Deserted beaches, shell-strewn sands, blue skies, and calm, if not a little chilly, waters - it's clear to see where to attraction lies. Drawn by its charms, this influx of Capetonians have brought with them the best in urban influences: namely artisanal coffee, and a collection of great places to eat and sleep. Our collection of the best places to stay in Paternoster offer a little bit of luxury to ensure a truly relaxing break in this sleepy fisherman's town.

An area of extraordinary and unrefined natural beauty, the town is a haven for nature lovers. The Cape Colombian Nature Reserve is just a five-minute drive away, with the gorgeous Bay of Tietiesbaai a perfect place to go kayaking or surfing (it also boasts the last manned lighthouse in South Africa). The area is home to 250 species of bird, with seabirds like seagulls, oystercatchers and sacred ibis using the wide white sand beaches as their breeding ground.

If you are in Paternoster between July and September, you will be lucky enough to witness its annual transformation. After the first spring rain, the land undergoes a metamorphosis as bright and colourful flowers bloom and burst through the soil and sand. It is easy to see why artists find so much inspiration in this far-flung fishing village and these artworks can be viewed at the several galleries scattered around the town.

What not to miss

  • The Cape Colombian Nature Reserve is only five minutes away by car. At the Beach Camp, you can go kayaking or surfing in the Bay of Tietiesbaai. There are also some great hiking spots in this reserve too.
  • Or why not take a stroll up to Cape Columbine lighthouse.
  • Holidaymakers flock to Paternoster in droves to see the dolphins and whales swimming from the shoreline. It is a truly magnificent sight to see, and you can also hire out a boat and tour the waves in search of a closer inspection.
  • With over 250 species of birds in the area, the town is beloved by birdwatchers, particularly during the breeding season, when fleets of oystercatchers and seagulls descend upon the white sand beaches.
  • With a choice of superb restaurants, whether you're looking for a hearty fish and chips or local favourite, angelfish bobotie. Or for something a little more refined, try The Noisy Oyster.
  • The West Coast Fossil Park is a must-see. Great for kids and adults, they offer guided tours of the dig sites. A fun and informative day out.
  • Windsurfing, walking, or just sitting and watch the world go by: all are possible on Paternoster's pristine beach.
  • Pick up some snacks at Oep vir Koep, a well-known landmark in the area. Here you can buy local delicacies such as fig preserve, snoek, bokkoms, and koeksusters (a sweet pastry).
  • Explore Paternoster's long expanse of beach with Drikus Horse Riding.

Owing to its proximity to Cape Town the best places to stay in Paternoster do tend to get booked up fast so we advise you do your planning well in advance.

The best places to stay in Paternoster

For a great value stay

  • Excellent value, Smugglers' Cottage provides a cosy and quirky nautical themed stay.
  • Housed in a former fisherman's cottage, Hoekie B&B is excellent value. Outdoor massages, serenaded by the sound of the ocean are a particular highlight!

For a coastal stay

For a boutique stay

  • Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel is nestled by the sea with 14 secluded whitewashed designer suites. This is a beautiful little hotel with a fabulous restaurant. Adult-only, it is ideal for couples looking for a romantic escape.
  • Intimate, beautifully decorated, Linhof Boutique Guest House is a design lover's dream.

For a spa break

  • Abalone House & Spa is a fabulous 5* property with a sumptuous restaurant, spoiling spa, rooftop jacuzzi and 10 boutique suites. An incredibly relaxing, tranquil atmosphere.

Travel information

  • The best time to go is between November and January, when the temperature averages at about 19 degrees. If you want to go when the flowers are blooming then plan your trip in July.
  • Ninety miles from Cape Town, travellers can fly to Cape Town International Airport, from where taxis are easily booked.
  • Alternatively, if you want to rent a car we recommend you contact our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

  • Expand your search to include the best places to stay in the Western Cape.
  • Or contact one of our Gurus for advice.

Best Hotels in Paternoster

  • Hoekie B&B Paternoster 4 rooms from £56

    Housed in a former fisherman's cottage, this intimate four-bedroom B&B is designed to be a coastal haven in which to relax and unwind. Sumptuous suites boast sea views, and you're but a few steps from the beach. Relax to the sound of the ocean with an outdoor massage. Adults only. Total relaxation.

    Beach Life  -  Stay in a traditional fisherman's cottage, right on the coast
    Great walks  -  Right on your front door, take a stroll along Paternoster beach
    Surfing  -  Bekbaai Beach is great for surfing and watersports
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only
    Check Availability
  • Smugglers' Cottage Paternoster 3 rooms from £59

    An idiosyncratic guesthouse offering antique filled, gently nautical themed accommodation, right on the Atlantic coastline. Guests are well looked after by caring owners and with just three rooms its an intimate stay. There's an outdoor pool, honesty bar, and a hearty breakfast served each morning.

    Beach Life  -  A great family stay, right on the beach, with nautical rooms and plenty of watersports on offer
    Sights nearby  -  A little further along Paternoster Main Beach is lined with bars and eateries
    Surfing  -  A popular surfing spot, the nearby Bekbaai Beach
    Great walks  -  Along Bekbaai Beach
    Check Availability
  • Paternoster Dunes Boutique Guest House Paternoster 7 rooms from £100

    Sleek stay with unrivalled sea views, right on Paternoster's main beach. Nautical chic cottages provide homely accommodation with a hearty breakfast and sumptuous afternoon tea. You're walking distance from the Western Coast's rugged coastline and this sleepy fishing town's attractions.

    Beach Life  -  The ultimate traditional stay, in this quiet fishing village
    Sights nearby  -  You're walking distance from Paternoster's quaint bars and restuarants
    Great walks  -  Columbine Nature Reserve is just 3 km away
    Restrictions on children  -  Children above the age of 12 are welcome
    Check Availability
  • Oystercatcher’s Haven Paternoster 4 rooms from £115

    Delightful, intimate, and family run guest house, within a stone's throw of the main Paternoster Beach. Outdoor activities and watersports abound and you're walking distance from the town's bars and restaurants. Quaint and quirky rooms are filled with antiques and curious and boast sea views.

    Beach Life  -  Quaint, nautical inspired stay, moments from Paternoster beach
    Great walks  -  Columbine Nature Reserve is just 2.5 km away
    Surfing  -  Paternoster is known for its surfing spots
    Restrictions on children  -  Children above the age of 12 are welcome
    Check Availability
  • Linhof Boutique Guest House Paternoster 6 rooms from £117

    Smart, modern, guesthouse with airy suites boasting sea views. Rooms are decorated in charcoal greys, sumptuous throws, and contemporary art. A hearty breakfast is served each morning, and you're moments from the beach and just a short walk from the restaurants of Paternoster.

    Beach Life  -  A very chic guest house situated right along the beach
    Sights nearby  -  Paternoster Main Beach, and its bars and restaurants is a short stroll away
    Surfing  -  Bekbaai Beach is a great spot for watersports and surfing
    Great walks  -  Sunset strolls on Bekbaai Beach
    Check Availability
  • Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel Paternoster 14 rooms from £145

    A coastal hotel comprising of just 14 secluded suites all boasting spectacular sea views. Design has been kept simple with white washed walls, cleanly designed furniture and luxurious bathrooms. Staff are ever helpful, the cuisine delicious and wine collection excellent. A chic escape.

    Total relaxation  -  A coastal property designed for simply unwinding.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the miles of stunning beaches.
    Kayaking  -  Take out a kayak and visit the penguin colony.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.
    Check Availability
  • Abalone House & Spa Paternoster (Bek Bay) 10 rooms from £370

    Abalone House & Spa is located in the coastal village of Paternoster, Western Cape. This 5* property offers ten boutique suites with some boasting splendid sea views. Enjoy scrumptious meals at the Reuben restaurant or a bottle of champagne in the rooftop jacuzzi! Wonderfully romantic.

    Romantic Break  -  Abalone House & Spa offers luxurious accommodation, gorgeous sea views and a quiet atmosphere-ideal for a romantic getaway
    Total relaxation  -  Take advantage of their extensive spa treatments and bask in the fresh sea air
    Great walks  -  Wander along Paternoster beach at sunset and take in the incredible views
    Birdwatching  -  There are over 200 species of birds in Abalone House's surounding area!
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check Availability