Parys is a small Free State town, famous for being the world’s oldest and largest impact site for a giant meteorite. “Parys” is the Afrikaans word for “Paris”. The town was so called because it resembles Paris’ positioning on the Seine River, it itself being perched on the banks of the mighty Vaal River. Although a small town with a population of fewer than 50 000 people, Parys remains a charming retreat with a warm ambience and a beautiful setting.
Being situated within very close proximity to the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site (the actual site of the meteor’s impact) as well as on the Vaal River, this area is especially popular for its exquisite landscapes. Farming is the major industry in Parys, testifying to the lush fertility of the area. The natural abundance has also earned Parys a reputable name for adventurists that seek a holiday (or honeymoon) destination in which they can get their adrenalin pumping.
In addition, Parys is less than an hour’s drive from the commercial epicentre and international airport of Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. This means that, for brides- and grooms-to-be that want to have their wedding and reception in Parys, guests are assured of accessibility and convenience, even if they have had to travel from abroad.
The picturesque scenery and the prime positioning makes Parys a perfect wedding and honeymoon destination for South African couples. Some of the activities and attractions of this town include:
- Hiking, walking and 4 x 4 trails
- Water sports on the Vaal River (water skiing, windsurfing and boating)
- Playing a round of golf at the 9-hole Golf Island Country Club
- River rafting
- Exploring the impressive geological wonders of the Vredefort Dome (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Visiting the many galleries and shops along the town roads of Parys
- Relaxing at a coffee shop and catching up with the local news while perusing a newspaper in peace
- Fly fishing at Carryblaire
- Visiting the Carryblaire bird sanctuary at the River Retreat
Photo Credit: www.santabanta.com