Travel Guide

Greatest things to do in Franschhoek, South Africa

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Franschhoek  (French Nook in Afrikaans) is a beautiful city positioned 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 finest wine estates and best eating places within the nation. If you happen to’re searching for an ideal place for a romantic weekend Franschhoek is the place to come back. Yearly we spend our wedding ceremony anniversary right here and it’s at all times an ideal experience. 

If you happen to’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 beautiful.
  • 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 the town.
  • There are numerous things to do in Franschhoek; wine tasting, mountain climbing, chocolate tasting, MTB, visiting museums and artwork galleries, spa, scenic drives, and so on.
Beautiful scenery around Franschhoek, Cape Town
Franschhoek the very best city in South African to come back for a romantic getaway

Alternative ways of attending to Franschhoek from Cape City

Renting a automobile

Renting a automobile is the very best and the quickest option to journey round South Africa and it’s not that costly actually in the event you’re a few individuals sharing a automobile it’s not costly in any respect. Roads to a lot of the farms and estates round Franschhoek are tarred you may drive with any automobile no must lease an enormous 4×4. Renting a automobile at Cape City airport is the simplest approach you may choose it up on arrival and drop it on on departure.

Advised vehicles 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 is just not 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 beautiful 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 every of our favorites in Franschhoek. 

Becoming a member of a gaggle tour

Doing a day tour to the Winelands from Cape City offers you an ideal alternative to get an summary of the world. The tour contains Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl three most important cities within the Winelands. You go to a number of effective 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 be taught quite a bit in regards to the area. This tour is an effective choice 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.

The place to remain in Franschhoek

There are numerous guesthouses within the city itself however I’d actually advocate staying simply exterior Franschhoek at one of many wine estates or farms it’s a completely completely different experience and even when it’ a bit costlier (not at all times) 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 exterior Franschhoek. The room was good a bit rustic however very neat and clear, with a snug 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 in 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 gained’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’ve a few favorites that we go each time. Among the wine farms do tasting solely by appointment however most of them are open common hours. 

Trip a wine tram

If you happen to don’t have a automobile to drive across the wine farms or just don’t wish to restrict your testing as a result of you need to drive, taking the wine tram is the best factor to do. The truth is, it’s a mix 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 contains eight wine farms. It’s a hop on hop off tram/bus you may 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 may safely go away your automobile there.

Days Time Ticket value
Every 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 via 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 one of the vital favorites in South Africa. We love their wines they’re nice and never costly, the view from the tasting room is breathtaking (top-of-the-line views in Franschhoek), the employees could 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. If you happen to really feel hungry you may order a cheese platter along with your wines or have lunch at Roca restaurant on the property. Dieu Donne is on the purple and yellow Franschhoek tram routes.

Dieu Donne wine tasting

Days Time Tasting value
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 isn’t quite common in South Africa. They’ve an ideal number of whites and reds in several value ranges although basically, 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 possibly can keep in Chamonix in the course of the vineyards at one of many luxurious cottages with beautiful views of the Franschhoek Valley. Chamonix is on the yellow and purple tram traces.

Chamonix wine tasting

Days Time Tasting value
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 wonderful images at Haute Cabriere

A stupendous farm with nice wines and wonderful views. Situated between the Huguenot monument and the Franschhoek move. 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 possibly can select whichever fits you higher based mostly on how a lot time you could have. There’s a good restaurant on the property so you may mix wine tasting with lunch. Don’t miss a photograph spot – an enormous yellow body the place you may take lovely images with the mountains on the background. Haut Cabrier is on the pink and gray tram traces.

Haute Cabriere wine tasting

Days Time Tasting value
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 beautiful, it’s an ideal place to mix wine tasting with a picnic, you don’t must carry something you should buy 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 exquisite views of the backyard and the mountains.

This farm is a superb place to come back for a romantic lunch below the large oak timber. I really like their backyard with funky sculptures locations right here and there. You possibly can 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 may 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 value
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 every of our favorites farms in Franschhoek

Take pleasure in simplicity at Leopard’s Leap

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

Days Time Tasting value
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 gorgeous 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 wonderful in the event you’re into gardening or panorama design you’ll undoubtedly benefit from the backyard tour. You possibly can spend right here half a day simply strolling round, tasting, consuming and stress-free. They’ve luxurious chalets on the property the place you may keep for a few nights, the chalets look wonderful however they’re very dear – luxurious lodging for a really special day. Babylonestoren Farm is on the purple and orange tram line.

Babylonstoren Farm

Days Time Entrance price
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 exquisite environment that will likely be excellent for a romantic dinner. We went to Grand Provence Property for our wedding 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 could be very lovely with flowers, small fountains and big oak timber embellished with lights on a heat, not windy evening I’d advocate to sit down exterior. 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 properly. The farm is on the pink and gray tram traces.

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

Learn to make chocolate

Tasting is without doubt one of the most important actions in Franschhoek, alter your wine experience with some chocolate tasting. Throughout your go to to the Huguenot Chocolat Manufacturing facility, you’ll be taught in regards to the chocolate-making course of and get to strive some scrumptious native candies 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 value
Every day 11am and 3pm ZAR50/US$4

Stroll via 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 wonderful 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 Street.

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 the very best espresso in Franschhoek (we at all times purchase their beans for dwelling). They’ve an enormous backyard and an out of doors terrace, it’s a pleasant place to come back for breakfast and low. They’ve many various breakfast choices, it’s a extremely 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 may strive a number of sorts of cheese on the store). The farm and the manufacturing unit is a family-run enterprise, the homeowners are very concerned in your complete cheese-making course of from milking cows to creating cheese and promoting it on the store. We liked their cheese, at all times purchase Camembert and Bri right here.

Cheesery store

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

Advisable 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 positioned on the high of the Franschhoek Cross, there’s a automobile parking and bathroom services on the gate. There are six mountain 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 most important gate (automobile parking) of Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. If you happen to’re planning on doing one of many longer routes it’s extremely really useful to begin early in summer season months it will get very popular up there. Be sure that to take sufficient water with it’s not at all times doable to get water alongside the way in which.

Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve ticket workplace on the entrance gate*

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

Days Time Enrance price
Every 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 at all times good in the event you can mix wine tasting, out of doors actions and be taught extra about native wildlife. La Mott wine farm presents this chance to its guests. There’s a 5km mountain climbing path that takes guests via the vineyards and fields to the highest of the hills with spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley. After the hike friends can chill out on the property, do some wine tasting or have lunch.

La Mott mountain climbing path

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

What to take & put on for mountain climbing in Franschhoek

  • Comfy sneakers you gained’t want heavy boots however an excellent pair of mountain climbing sneakers (in the event you’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 advocate utilizing a filter.
  • Sunscreen is strongly really useful suggest when doing any out of doors actions in South Africa.

Trip a horse via the vineyards

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

Horseback using at Boschendal

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

Do wine tasting on electrical bike

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

Go on a mountain bike journey

Franschhoek is just not solely wine and meals there are a number of mounting bike trails across the city. Some are brief and simple some require experience and abilities.

Boschendal Wine Property trails. This property might be the very best to come back for biking in the event you don’t have your individual bike, you may 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 price
Every day 8am-5pm ZAR50/US$3,5
  • Robertsvlei Loop – a 14 km newbie path that begins at R45 (street) and continues on Robertsflei Street via 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 move path – a steep 25km path to the highest of the move, it begins within the city and winds up previous Huguenot Memoria Museum, Haut Cabrier property, Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Advisable for skilled cyclists.

Discover the vineyards on a downhill scooter

If you happen to don’t really feel snug sufficient on a mountain bike however nonetheless wish to catch some happening the hills a downhill scooter tour is perhaps an ideal choice for you. No particular abilities wanted, the one requirement is to have the ability to preserve stability on a bicycle. The route goes via the slopes of Mont Rochelle Nature Reserves and close by vineyards.

Drive the Franschhoek Cross

Scenic drives are an enormous a part of touring in Cape City just about anywhere you go there will likely be a move that gives breathtaking views. The Franschhoek Cross 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 may 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 Cross

Franschhoek for tradition and historical past lovers

Go to Huguenot Memorial Museum

If you wish to be taught 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 price
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 vehicles 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 at last determined to go in. What a shock! We anticipated to search out possibly 20 oldish vehicles parked exterior, half rusted, like at some locations in Namibia. By no means! Lots of of vehicles in excellent circumstances, all shining and operating (85% of them a minimum of).

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

The Franschhoek Motor Museum working hours

Days Time Entrance price
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 vehicles 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 Fundamental Street

Park your automobile and stroll alongside the Fundamental 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 gained’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 Fundamental Street 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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