Travel Guide

Greatest things to do in Franschhoek, South Africa

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Franschhoek  (French Nook in Afrikaans) is a beautiful city situated within the picturesque valley on the foot of the mountains, 75 km from Cape City. It’s one of many oldest cities in South Africa. Its historical past goes again to 1688 when French Huguenot refugees began settling down within the valley bringing alongside the custom of rising grapes and making wine. Don’t be stunned by the French origin of the names of many wine farms within the space. 

Franschhoek is a must-visit place in South Africa for wine and meals lovers, right here you could find a number of the greatest wine estates and best eating places within the nation. In the event you’re in search of an ideal place for a romantic weekend Franschhoek is the place to come back. Yearly we spend our marriage ceremony anniversary right here and it’s all the time an ideal experience. 

In the event you’re selecting between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch (one other city within the Winelands) I like to recommend Franschhoek for {couples} and Stellenbosch for solo vacationers and vacationers with youngsters there are extra actions and locations there to maintain your children busy.

Causes we love Franschhoek

  • The world is gorgeous.
  • Many beautiful wine estates with nice wines.
  • Many eating places that serve scrumptious meals.
  • Franschhoek is near Cape City, it’s straightforward to go to it as a day journey from town.
  • There are a lot of things to do in Franschhoek; wine tasting, climbing, chocolate tasting, MTB, visiting museums and artwork galleries, spa, scenic drives, and so on.

Alternative ways of attending to Franschhoek from Cape City

Renting a automobile

Renting a automobile is one of the best and the quickest strategy to journey round South Africa and it’s not that costly in truth for those who’re a few folks sharing a automobile it’s not costly in any respect. Roads to many of the farms and estates round Franschhoek are tarred you possibly can drive with any automobile no must lease an enormous 4×4. Renting a automobile at Cape City airport is the simplest approach you possibly can choose it up on arrival and drop it on on departure.

Prompt automobiles to lease for the journey

Wine tram + shuttle bus from Cape City

If you wish to spend the entire day in Franschhoek however renting a automobile shouldn’t be in your plan there’s a nice day tour to Franschhoek from Cape City. The tour features a return switch from Cape City to Franschhoek and a wine tram ticket. You’ll have sufficient time to go to 4-5 wine estates and to benefit from the gorgeous surroundings round Franschhoek. This tour is probably the most budget-friendly approach of exploring the world. When selecting which wine farms to go to undoubtedly get off and do some tasting at Boschendal farm it’s one in all our favorites in Franschhoek. 

Becoming a member of a gaggle tour

Doing a day tour to the Winelands from Cape City provides you an ideal alternative to get an outline of the world. The tour consists of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl three primary cities within the Winelands. You go to a number of nice estates, do wine, cheese, and chocolate tasting and have a la carte lunch. Franschhoek is without doubt one of the stops on the route you don’t get to spend a lot time in Franschhoek however you do go to a number of wine farms and study quite a bit in regards to the area. This tour is an efficient possibility for solo vacationers.

Doing a personal tour to the Winelands

If you wish to have extra flexibility and privateness you are able to do the identical route (Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch) with a personal tour throughout which you get to go to a number of wine estates, do some tasting and study South African wines.

Beautiful scenery around Franschhoek, Cape Town
Franschhoek one of the best city in South African to come back for a romantic getaway

The place to remain in Franschhoek

There are a lot of guesthouses within the city itself however I’d actually suggest staying simply outdoors Franschhoek at one of many wine estates or farms it’s a very completely different experience and even when it’ a bit costlier (not all the time) it’s undoubtedly value it. Farms round Franschhoek are a number of the most lovely estates within the nation. 

We’ve stayed at La Terra de Luc it’s a guesthouse on a farm simply outdoors Franschhoek. The room was good a bit rustic however very neat and clear, with a cushty mattress and nice bathe. Every room has AC, wi-fi, mini-fridge, and TV. The very best factor in regards to the place is the situation, it’s very near Franschhoek however far sufficient from the street and the city’s life, hidden within the vineyards, a spectacular place.

Journey insurance coverage on your journey

Greatest foody things to do in Franschhoek

There are 50 wine farms and much more eating places within the Franschhoek Valley obliviously you received’t be capable to go to all of them in a single, two or three days. We’ve been to Franschhoek many occasions and managed to go to solely about 15 of them, however we now have a few favorites that we go each time. A few of the wine farms do tasting solely by appointment however most of them are open common hours. 

Trip a wine tram

In the event you don’t have a automobile to drive across the wine farms or just don’t wish to restrict your testing as a result of it’s important to drive, taking the wine tram is the suitable factor to do. In actual fact, it’s a mixture of a tram and a bus, as a result of restricted tram entry the bus was added so as to add extra farms to the route. There are eight completely different wine routes every consists of eight wine farms. It’s a hop on hop off tram/bus you will get on and off at any farm you need. The ticket workplace is on Huguenot avenue, subsequent to the River Cafe. There’s a car parking zone on the ticket workplace you possibly can safely depart your automobile there.

Days Time Ticket worth
Day by day between 9.40am-5.30pm
relying on the route
Adults – ZAR260/US$18
Youngsters – ZAR90/US$6
Franschhoek wine bus on the way to one of the farms
Wine bus driving by means of the vineyards to one of many farms

Take pleasure in spectacular views at Dieu Donne

Dieu Donne is our favourite wine property in Franschhoek and some of the favorites in South Africa. We love their wines they’re nice and never costly, the view from the tasting room is breathtaking (probably the greatest views in Franschhoek), the workers may be very pleasant and knowledgable about wines. We come right here for tasting each time we’re in Franschhoek and purchase a few bottles of their Wooded Chardonnay. In the event you really feel hungry you possibly can order a cheese platter along with your wines or have lunch at Roca restaurant on the property. Dieu Donne is on the pink and yellow Franschhoek tram routes.

Dieu Donne wine tasting

Days Time Tasting worth
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm from ZAR75/US$5
Sat, Solar 10.30am-5pm

Style beautiful wines at Chamonix

This wine property is legendary for its Pinot Noir the wine that’s not quite common in South Africa. They’ve an ideal number of whites and reds in several worth ranges although usually, their wines are fairly costly. The tasting space is sweet however presents no views we often cease right here on the way in which to or from Dieu Donne. You may keep in Chamonix in the midst of the vineyards at one of many luxurious cottages with gorgeous views of the Franschhoek Valley. Chamonix is on the yellow and pink tram traces.

Chamonix wine tasting

Days Time Tasting worth
Mon-Solar 10am-4.30pm from ZAR75/US$5
Tasting wooded Chardonnay at Dieu Donne wine farm in Franschhoek
Tasting Chardonnay at one of many wine farms in Franschhoek

Take superb pictures at Haute Cabriere

A fantastic farm with nice wines and superb views. Positioned between the Huguenot monument and the Franschhoek cross. They’ve completely different tasting choices from a single wine tasting to wine cellar tour and 6 wine tasting mixture (Mon-Sat at 11am and 3pm, Solar at 11pm reserving is advisable). You may select whichever fits you higher primarily based on how a lot time you could have. There’s a good restaurant on the property so you possibly can mix wine tasting with lunch. Don’t miss a photograph spot – an enormous yellow body the place you possibly can take lovely pictures with the mountains on the background. Haut Cabrier is on the pink and gray tram traces.

Haute Cabriere wine tasting

Days Time Tasting worth
Mon-Sat 8am-8pm from ZAR15/US$1
Solar 8am-4pm

Picnic at Boschendal Wine Farm

Boschendal farm is a bit additional away from the city. The property is totally gorgeous, it’s an ideal place to mix wine tasting with a picnic, you don’t must convey something you should purchase a picnic basket proper right here. We actually like their Shiraz and often, simply purchase it with out tasting. There’s a restaurant on the property, it presents scrumptious meals and delightful views of the backyard and the mountains.

This farm is a good place to come back for a romantic lunch underneath the massive oak bushes. I really like their backyard with funky sculptures locations right here and there. You may spend at Boschendal the entire day having fun with the tranquility of the place, nice wines, and scrumptious meals. If you wish to spend extra time right here you possibly can keep in Boschendal in a single day at one of many cottages within the vineyards. Boschendal is on the purple and orange tram traces.

Boschendal wine tasting

Days Time Tasting worth
Mon-Solar 10am-6pm from ZAR65/US$4.5
A visit to Boschendal wine estate is one of the top things to do for food and wine lovers
The primary home at Boschendal wine property one in all our favorites farms in Franschhoek

Take pleasure in simplicity at Leopard’s Leap

It may be farm to begin wine tasting with, situated on the way in which to Franschhoek, 2km earlier than the city. Leopard’s Leap is sort of an enormous arrange in comparison with probably the most native farms. The views from the restaurant space are gorgeous. We’d suggest coming right here when the restaurant is open in any other case this large place seems a bit abandoned with out folks. They’ve a variety of wines; reds, whites, glowing. They serve breakfast right here as effectively. The farm is on the gray and pink tram traces.

Days Time Tasting worth
Tue-Sat 9am-5pm ZAR55/US$4
Solar 11am-5pm
A stunning view from the restaurant area at Leopard's Leap estate in Franschhoek
View of the vineyards from the terrace at Leopard’s Leap Wine Farm, Franschhoek

Discover the attractive gardens of Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is a big farm close to Franschhoek the place you could find just about something native wines, freshly baked items, fruit and vegetable gardens, a spa, a restaurant, and a farm store. The fruit and vegetable gardens listed below are superb for those who’re into gardening or panorama design you’ll undoubtedly benefit from the backyard tour. You may spend right here half a day simply strolling round, tasting, consuming and enjoyable. They’ve luxurious chalets on the property the place you possibly can keep for a few nights, the chalets look superb however they’re very expensive – luxurious lodging for a really big day. Babylonestoren Farm is on the purple and orange tram line.

Babylonstoren Farm

Days Time Entrance charge
Mon-Solar 9am-4pm Adults – ZAR20/US$1,5
Youngsters – ZAR10/US$1
Backyard Tour
Mon-Fri 11.30am

Go for romantic dinner at a wine property

Most of the wine farms have eating places with nice meals and delightful environment that can be good for a romantic dinner. We went to Grand Provence Property for our marriage ceremony anniversary dinner and it was an incredible experience. The whole lot from the situation to the meals and wine was simply impeccable. The backyard may be very lovely with flowers, small fountains and large oak bushes adorned with lights on a heat, not windy evening I’d suggest to take a seat outdoors. Saldana Bay oysters as one of many starters is a must-try for oysters and seafood lovers. You are able to do a wine tasting on the property as effectively. The farm is on the pink and gray tram traces.

Grand Provence in Franschhoek is a perfect place for a romantic dinner
Beautiful backyard at Grand Provence property and restaurant, Franschhoek

Learn to make chocolate

Tasting is without doubt one of the primary actions in Franschhoek, alter your wine experience with some chocolate tasting. Throughout your go to to the Huguenot Chocolat Manufacturing facility, you’ll study in regards to the chocolate-making course of and get to strive some scrumptious native sweets and sweets. The entire experience takes about 30 min., on the finish of it you get small candy presents. 

Huguenot Manufacturing facility chocolate tasting

Days Time Tasting worth
Day by day 11am and 3pm ZAR50/US$4

Stroll by means of the Franschhoek Market

Locals love this promote it’s not only a place to promote and purchase it’s a social occasion nice vibe and superb meals & wine are assured as a result of on the finish of the day Franschhoek is all about it. Guests can discover right here merchandise from native farmers, home-made preserves, beautiful dishes from native cooks, freshly-baked bread and pastries, jewellery, artwork, souvenirs, garments and extra. Sadly, the market takes place solely as soon as every week on Saturday within the middle of the city on Huguenot Highway.

Franschhoek Market

Days Time Entrance
Sat 9am-3pm free

Cease for breakfast at Large Canine Café

Our favourite place to come back for breakfast. They roast their very own espresso and it’s undoubtedly one of the best espresso in Franschhoek (we all the time purchase their beans for residence). They’ve an enormous backyard and an out of doors terrace, it’s a pleasant place to come back for breakfast and occasional. They’ve many alternative breakfast choices, it’s a very cool place. The espresso store and roastery is simply earlier than Franschhoek if driving from Cape City. 

Large Canine Cafe & Roastery

Days Time Common invoice
Mon-Fri 7am-5pm ZAR110/US$7
Sat 8am-4pm
Breakfast with cappuccino at Big Dog Cafe in Franschhoek
A trout sandwich and a cappuccino at Large Canine Cafe a must-visit place in Franschhoek for espresso lovers

Purchase artisanal cheese

Dalewood Cheese Farm is only a fast cease on the way in which to Franschhoek there is no such thing as a actual lengthy tasting right here (although you possibly can strive a number of sorts of cheese on the store). The farm and the manufacturing unit is a family-run enterprise, the house owners are very concerned in all the cheese-making course of from milking cows to creating cheese and promoting it on the store. We cherished their cheese, all the time purchase Camembert and Bri right here.

Cheesery store

Days Time Cheese worth
Mon-Fri 9am-4pm from ZAR30/US$2
Sat 10am-3pm

Really helpful books and guidebooks

Greatest out of doors and journey actions in Franschhoek

Go on a hike in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve

The doorway to the reserve is situated on the high of the Franschhoek Go, there’s a automobile parking and bathroom amenities on the gate. There are six climbing trails within the reserve:

  • Breakfast Rock Path – 2km
  • Vista Path – 2,5km
  • Winelands Path – 3,5km
  • Uitkyk Path – 6km
  • Perdekop Path – 13km
  • Du Toitskop Path – 13km

All the paths are round routes they begin and finish on the primary gate (automobile parking) of Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. In the event you’re planning on doing one of many longer routes it’s extremely really helpful to begin early in summer season months it will get very popular up there. Ensure that to take sufficient water with it’s not all the time potential to get water alongside the way in which.

Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve ticket workplace on the entrance gate*

*the doorway gate is all the time open, you can begin climbing earlier than the workplace opens and pay the charge (solely money) whenever you exit the reserve.

Days Time Enrance charge
Day by day 8am-5pm Adults – ZAR50/US$3,5
Youngsters – free
The scenery on the hike in Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek
Stunning surroundings in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve

Discover wildlife of La Mott Wine Property

It’s all the time good for those who can mix wine tasting, out of doors actions and study extra about native wildlife. La Mott wine farm presents this chance to its guests. There’s a 5km climbing path that takes guests by means of the vineyards and fields to the highest of the hills with spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley. After the hike company can loosen up on the property, do some wine tasting or have lunch.

La Mott climbing path

Days Time Mountaineering allow
Mon-Sat 9am-2pm Adults – ZAR60/US$4

What to take & put on for climbing in Franschhoek

  • Comfy sneakers you received’t want heavy boots however pair of climbing sneakers (for those who’re planning on doing one of many longer routes within the mountains) or simply snug path trainers.
  • A cap or a hat to guard your head.
  • A small day-pack to place water, snacks, sunscreen and so on.
  • A water bottle. Faucet water in Cape City is okay to drink however for stream or river water, I’d suggest utilizing a filter.
  • Sunscreen is strongly really helpful indicate when doing any out of doors actions in South Africa.

Trip a horse by means of the vineyards

In the event you’re in search of a particular experience horseback using by means of the vineyards at Boschendal wine property may be an ideal possibility. You’ll get an opportunity to discover the world and to benefit from the unbelievable surroundings. You don’t must be an skilled rider you are able to do it even for those who’ve by no means accomplished it earlier than. Boschendal is without doubt one of the locations the place you possibly can spend just about the entire day, after horseback using you possibly can style some native wines, have a picnic (you possibly can preorder a picnic basket) or lunch on the restaurant.

Horseback using at Boschendal

Days Time Horseback using rice
Tue-Solar 9am, 10.30am, 2pm
3.30pm
ZAR450/US$30 pp per hour

Do wine tasting on electrical bike

Driving an e-bike is a straightforward and enjoyable exercise appropriate for everyone no matter age and health. Cycle across the city, go to Three wine farms and study extra in regards to the historical past of Franschhoek out of your information. Biking by means of the vineyards to a wine farm having fun with good and heat climate and breathtaking surroundings – an effective way to discover the area.

Go on a mountain bike journey

Franschhoek shouldn’t be solely wine and meals there are a number of mounting bike trails across the city. Some are brief and straightforward some require experience and abilities.

Boschendal Wine Property trails. This property might be one of the best to come back for biking for those who don’t have your individual bike, you possibly can lease right here MTB, bikes for youngsters, and e-bikes. There are 6 trails on the property; Yellow Route – 4km; Inexperienced Route – 9km; Blue Route – 11km; Pink Route – 15km; Black Route – 23km. 

Boschendal MTB trails

Days Time MTB path charge
Day by day 8am-5pm ZAR50/US$3,5
  • Robertsvlei Loop – a 14 km newbie path that begins at R45 (street) and continues on Robertsflei Highway by means of the farms.
  • Matoppie MTB path – a moderate-difficult 14 km loop for extra skilled cyclists that goes as much as the Berg River Dam.
  • Franschhoek cross path – a steep 25km path to the highest of the cross, it begins within the city and winds up previous Huguenot Memoria Museum, Haut Cabrier property, Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Really helpful for skilled cyclists.

Discover the vineyards on a downhill scooter

In the event you don’t really feel snug sufficient on a mountain bike however nonetheless wish to catch some happening the hills a downhill scooter tour may be an ideal possibility for you. No particular abilities wanted, the one requirement is to have the ability to hold steadiness on a bicycle. The route goes by means of the slopes of Mont Rochelle Nature Reserves and close by vineyards.

Drive the Franschhoek Go

Scenic drives are an enormous a part of touring in Cape City just about anyplace you go there can be a cross that provides breathtaking views. The Franschhoek Go is a 13km lengthy street over the mountains of Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The entire approach is gorgeous don’t flip round on the first view-point, proceed alongside the waving street until you begin happening. The drive begins at Haut Cabriere Wine Farm the place you possibly can cease on the way in which again for some wine tasting.

Beautiful scenery on the way over the Franschhoek Pass
The surroundings on the way in which over the Franschhoek Go

Franschhoek for tradition and historical past lovers

Go to Huguenot Memorial Museum

If you wish to study extra in regards to the French Huguenots who arrived in South Africa within the 17th century escaping the prosecution for his or her beliefs from the authorities. The Huguenots dropped at South Africa grape crops and the custom of constructing wine.

Days Time Entrance charge
Mon-Sat 9am-5pm Adults – ZAR80/US$5,5
Solar 2pm-5pm Youngsters – ZAR40/US$3
Huguenot Monument, Franschhoek
Stunning Huguenot Monument, Franschhoek

Admire previous and fashionable automobiles on the Motor Museum

The Franschhoek Motor Museum is an actual hidden treasure within the vineyards of L’Ormarins farm. Each time driving previous the signal we have been questioning about this place and eventually determined to go in. What a shock! We anticipated to seek out possibly 20 oldish automobiles parked outdoors, half rusted, like at some locations in Namibia. Under no circumstances! A whole lot of automobiles in good situations, all shining and working (85% of them not less than).

From the primary Ford automobiles assembled in 1904 to the trendy Components-1 automobiles. A few of the automobiles are very distinctive there are solely two or three of such automobiles on the earth. I’m not an enormous automobile fan however I cherished this place we spend a few hours strolling round, evaluating automobiles from completely different years and selecting the favourite ones.

The Franschhoek Motor Museum working hours

Days Time Entrance charge
December – March
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm Adults – ZAR80/US$5,5
Sat, Solar 10pm-5pm Youngsters – ZAR40/US$3
April – November
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Sat, Solar 10am-4pm
Old cars at the Franschhoek Motor Museum
Stunning previous automobiles on the Franschhoek Motor Museum. A go to to the museum is without doubt one of the cool things to do in Franschhoek

Promenade alongside the Principal Highway

Park your automobile and stroll alongside the Principal street, benefit from the Cape Dutch structure, go to a few artwork galleries, cease for a cup of espresso or lunch at one of many many eating places alongside the street. The city is fairly small it received’t take you lengthy to cross it on foot from the doorway to the Huguenot Monument and again.

The Dutch Reformed Church, Franschhoek
The Dutch Reformed Church on the Principal Highway in Franschhoek

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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