The past and the present meet in Paternoster, the oldest fishing village on the West Coast.

 

Life in Paternoster is closely connected to the sea, with fishermen heading out in colourful, small wooden boats (bakkies) to catch harders in winter and crayfish in summer. Visitors can buy fish fresh, including Geelbek, Harder and Hottentot off the boats as they come in to shore.

 

Paternoster means ‘Our Father’, taking its name from the heartfelt prayers of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors. The Columbine Nature Reserve with the well-known Tietiesbaai lies just south of the town. Here you can see South Africa’s last manned lighthouse, built in 1936.

 

In August and September the spring flowers make their appearance, changing the whole landscape into a breathtaking carpet of flowers.

 

Do not leave Paternoster without having tasted salty bokkoms (dried harder), sun dried snoek biltong or the variety of pickled mussels and roll mops.

 

Paternoster offers many activities such as sea kayaking, whale, dolphin, seal and penguin watching, walks along the beaches or among the boulders, or simply admiring the work of local potters and painters.

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