Colourful boats at Paternoster Crayfish Wharf

Paternoster: a blissful family getaway

A family getaway to laze on the sun-kissed and endless sandy beaches of quaint Paternoster has been high on my wish list for a long time. Like a really long time. When some December holiday plans fell through, I decided to try squeeze in a last-minute booking but this seaside village is super popular and it was full. Plan B was implemented and I booked a family getaway for the weekend after school returned.

Kids having boogie board fun on Paternoster beach

Did the family getaway to Paternoster live up to expectation? I could keep suspense hanging a little but I’m a “wear my heart on my sleeve” kinda gal so I’ll just declare that we unanimously loved it.  

Where is Paternoster

Paternoster is just under a 2 hour drive from Cape Town up the West Coast along the R27. Soak in country landscape and take the Vredenburg turn off which is a little past Langebaan.  Paternoster is a perfect distance to drive on a Friday arvie but also far enough to feel like an escape.

I had the kids’ civvies clothes laid out on their beds to quickly change into and the car all packed so we could race off straight after school with lunch snacks dished out in the car.

View of Paternoster

About Paternoster

I’d describe Paternoster as a bigger version of the whitewashed seaside village of Arniston fused with a little Route 62 vibe due to its arty offbeat shops and restaurants.

Area history is captured succinctly on photographic boards when you visit Paternoster’s Crayfish Wharf. Ancestors date back to the Strandlopers. Later the area became St Martin’s Bay and then finally Paternoster which means “Our Father”. Wildlife roamed freely in years gone by and the village became known for its fishing industry. The presence of wooden boats “parked” randomly everywhere on street corners and the beach seems almost like a visual ode to the Paternoster’s fish trade.


Where to stay in Paternoster

Our family getaways are generally self-catering affairs as it’s often easier and more affordable. Especially seeing as we’re not the cookie-cutter family of 4. Having followed the inspiring Stay in Paternoster page on social media for ages, they were my “go-to” choice for accommodation research. They’re area specialists offering a wide home rental portfolio. My booking experience was efficient, prices competitive and I loved the useful information and map they provided.

Outside view of Kapokbossie house in Paternoster

Prices after school holidays drop by a whopping 50% so I secured a magnificent house called Kapokbossie for the 5 of us. This house comes with a bit of a sea view, it’s fabulously furnished and spacious. The icing on the cake is that it’s a stone’s throw 50m walk to the beach and Voorstrandt Restaurant with its unique red roof.

View from Kapokbossie patio, Paternoster

If self-catering is not your thing there are some B&Bs and a few hotels.

What to do in Paternoster

A family getaway in Paternoster is mostly about R&R. Chillaxing or strolling on the beach. The beach is long and flat making it perfect for kids to happily play on. Horse riding along Langstrand can be booked.

Kids playing on Paternoster beach

There are many restaurants to choose from ranging from the famous and award-winning Wolfgat to options like Blikkie Pizzeria, the delicious Waffle Wharf or take away fish and chips. For a coffee fix you don’t want to miss Junk & Disorderly and for a cool Insta moment, pop into the Panty Bar. Yes, those, kind of panties!

Some shops around Paternoster

Other options include kayaking, visiting the nearby Cape Columbine Lighthouse & Nature Reserve or visiting the shell shop or art shops. A fantastic source of information and inspiration is The Ultimate Paternoster Bucket List.

Our family getaway highlights

We loved our family getaway to Paternoster. Seeing as it was our first visit we opted to take it easy. One highlight is that I was very chuffed with the house I chose. Kapokbossie offers an upstairs and downstairs patio with a bit of sea view guaranteed to spark vacay vibes!

A 2nd highlight was being located a hop, skip and a jump away from the beach. The new Christmas boogie boards were brought along and my kids gave the beach dogs a serious run for their money with some hectic sand digging which resulted in various castles with moats.

View from Voorstrandt Restaurant in Paternoster

A top recommendation is a visit to Voorstrandt Restaurant. We walked down and I had booked a table on the deck for our Friday dinner after the drive up. What a special evening enjoying craft beer, bubbles and great food whilst the kids frolicked on the beach and made friends with Voorstrandt’s resident doggie.

Sunset vibes by Voorstrandt Restaurant in Paternoster

Sometimes you visit a place and it becomes a tick on a list but Paternoster is a place where we will definitely return for another family getaway. Let me know if you’ve been in the comments below.

If you love family getaway weekends find inspo. for a farm-style option at Gloria Farm.

One Stop Wanderlust showcases family travel and family-friendly outings in South Africa. Grab a coffee and stay on the blog to find more exciting wanderlust worthy ideas and tips.

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