Popular tours and itineraries including Franschhoek

Franschhoek

About

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.

Getting there

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.  

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