Duration: 13 days
From: £ 3,686pp (excluding flights)
A morceau de French countryside can be found in Cape Town in a little town known as Franschhoek. They say the sun sets a little differently over this valley, one of the top places to visit in South Africa, because the rich red grapes pick up the last rays of the sun and reflect across the mountain range that towers over this gorgeous land.
The area boasts an incredibly strong French Huguenot heritage- something that is celebrated on Bastille Day once a year when the streets and its townsfolk are adorned in red, white and blue. Of course, what would a French celebration be without wine. Franschhoek boasts over 53 wine farms with a few of these making up its renowned Cap Classique Route – South Africa's take on Champagne, Prosecco & Cava - and a must for sparkling wine lovers.
Apart from these many wine farms which humbly hold more than a wine barrel of awards each, Franschhoek also plays host to a number of the top restaurants in South Africa and has affectionately become known as the gourmet capital of South Africa. This combination is a testament that this valley really does prosper off of and celebrate its land. From lavender fields to verdant hills, the natural splendor here really is something to behold and there are a number of ways to do so.
The wine tram is particularly popular and is essentially a tram that moves through all the wine farms enabling those on the tour to get off at wine farms of their choosing and sample all the valley’s wine.
Why not enjoy a picnic on one of the wine farms before heading back to one of the many luxury hotels in the area and enjoy a bottle or three of wine– once you’ve had a taste, you won’t be able to leave those corks in for long. For those more active, there are plenty of walkways, hiking passes and horse riding opportunities to enjoy when you’ve had your fill of cheese and wine.
Approximately 45 minutes from the airport, Franschhoek can be found in the Cape Winelands in the South Eastern part of Cape Town. The R45 passes through Franschhoek. The R45 is accessible from Paarl or alternatively you can travel along the R310 from Stellenbosch.
Best time to visit
Spring and summer (September to February) are the best times to visit the Franschhoek valley as the days are longer and the late setting sun means you can dine al fresco under the stars. Wintertime brings cooler weather over the valley which makes log fires and red wine all the more appealing.
Eat Drink & Be Merry
Franschhoek is home to one of the top restaurants in South Africa, The Tasting Rooms at Le Quartier Francais as well as hundreds of beautiful dining locations with great food and sensational views. Try Roca, the restaurant at Dieu Donne Vineyards which offers panoramic views of the valley with both indoor and outdoor tables kept for each booking. Book an table early evening and enjoy the sunset.
An afternoon spent at Boschendal Farm either for their Sunday afternoon live music or their Le Pique Nique is highly recommended. Picnic baskets are overflowing with local produce, cheese, breads, charcuterie and all beautifully presented. The Tasting Centre at Rupert & Rothschild has just won the Cederberg Rising Star award. For more information on restaurants and eating out, visit our Food & Cocktails page.
One of the most established wine estates in the area, Boschendal Farm offers delightful accommodation set in large grounds with onsite restaurant, wine tasting, deli, vegetable gardens and breathtaking views of the mountains.
High up on the crest of one of the areas most beautiful mountain passes, Delaire Graff offers exceptional accommodation, Spa, views, art, architecture, interior design, food and wine.
The impeccably appointed villas offer unparalleled views of the Franschhoek mountains and within a five minute walk of the cafes, galleries and restaurants of the town centre.
9 unique suites set in a beautiful fruit farm with rolling lawns, swimming pools, a lovely french cafe on-site and only a mile from Franschhoek.
High above the Franschhoek Valley, this stunning hide-away commands sensational views across the valley.
Nestled in the heart of a private 30-acre estate and surrounded by vineyards, orchards and mountains, this is a truly spectacular place to enjoy the delights of the winelands.
Situated in fairytale style next to a large Provençal-style lavender plantation just outside Franschhoek town, its 14 rooms and suites are distinctly sensual.
Located in the heart of Franschhoek town centre with stunning views of the mountains, this small luxury boutique hotel is home to one of South Africa's top restaurants.
Just outside Franschhoek village and set in 68 hillside hectares with vines, oaks, olive trees, sculpture-dotted gardens, deer herds, pomegranate orchards and fabulous vistas of the river valley and faraway peaks.
Intimate 12 bedroom hotel with secluded gardens, swimming pool and outstanding eateries, right in the heart of Franschhoek village.
This intimate ten roomed property promises intimacy, immaculate service, utter tranquillity and a tasteful dose of contemporary Provençal style.
An award winning wine farm with stunning accommodation and on-site Bistro, overlooking lush vineyards.
The Best of South Africa Travel map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.
Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.
When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.
How to make the most of every moment?
Local knowledge makes a huge difference! When I asked Ash at Best of South Africa to give me some guidance on how to make the most of our trip to Cape Town and Franschhoek wine valley, I felt sure she would be able to send me in the right direction. It never occurred to me that she would organise our ...