Paternoster, West Coast © Marzannej
Paternoster is a quaint fishing village outside Cape Town. Its name comes from the prayers of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors who fell afoul of its rugged coastline. These days, many consider it the ideal West Coast beach-holiday destination. The first thing visitors will notice are the rows and rows of white-washed fisherman houses: a lovely, and incredibly photogenic, architectural quirk that will linger long in the memory. A holiday in Paternoster is probably best taken at a snail's pace. That is, visitors will enjoy taking long walks on the fine sandy beaches and observing the region's bird life. For active types, hiking trails, mountain biking, sea kayaking, diving, and spear-fishing excursions are available. The West Coast gets extremely hot but the freezing sea water will certainly cool visitors down. Finally, one of Paternoster's most abiding attractions is the quality and availability of fresh fish and seafood, especially crayfish.