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Approximately 50 km northeast of Cape Town is Paarl that, even though the city is relatively large, has a rural feel as vineyards grow in between residential areas. The city got its name from a massive granite formation that seems to shine like a pearl when the sun shines on it from a certain angle.

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The area is known for its delicious red wines of world class and Paarl Wine Route is therefore also called the "Red Route". Over thirty wine cellars are found in the area, among others Backsberg Estate, KWV, Nederburg, Nelsons Creek, Simonsvlei and Avondale. Most offer wine tastings and cellar tours and some of them also have amazing restaurants.

A unique attraction near Paarl is "Afrikaanse Taalmonument" which symbolises the development of the Afrikaans language. Here's also Drakenstein Correctional Centre, formerly Victor Verster Prison, whereto Nelson Mandela was moved in 1988 and then released from in February 1990.
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