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A day of fun in Franschhoek – There are loads on offer in this beautiful valley

franschhoek

Do not expect a small country village when you go on a tour to Franschhoek in the Western Cape of South Africa.  Franschhoek is everything but a small quiet little South African country village.  Here you will find a little bit of ‘French flair‘ in South Africa.  In my opinion a very touristy spot, but definitely worth a visit.  Especially if you love speciality and high quality  shopping.  The main road is lined with sidewalk cafe’s, restaurants and curio shops.  It is a wonderful place for a Sunday afternoon stroll or Saturday day trip in the Western Cape.  (Only a 1 hour (81,3 km) trip form Cape town City center.)

The valley offers anything from:

  • hand-made chocolates and furniture,
  • fashion boutiques and jewellery shops
  • décor and interior design
  • art (galleries) and crafts
  • wine and speciality food shops 
  • and more..

But definitely not to be missed, are the Wine Estates (more than 40 of them) and unique experiences the valley offers.  I think you can be certain to find something for everyone’s taste.

..with special focus on:

  • The Village Market under the old oak trees is the place to gather and find live entertainment. It is known to be one of the nicest markets in the Western Cape.
  • The Franschhoek Motor Museum (by appointment only) is a special stop for all those loving vintage cars.  On display you will find awesome cars like a 1930 Bugatti Type 46, a 1911 Lorraine Dietrich and a 1936 Auburn Speedster, to name a few.
  • The Franschhoek Huguenot Memorial Museum and Monument, is the best place to find out more about the history that forms part of this valley.  Situated right at the top of the main road, you will find the museum and monument honoring the French settlers, who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Enjoy the beautiful outdoors

  • One of the reasons you should rent a car, is to experience the beautiful Franschhoek Pass.  The R45 between Franschhoek and neighboring Villiersdorp, offers spectacular views of the town and Franschhoek Valley.
  • The Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve in the Franschhoek Pass offers wonderful hiking routes with spectacular views. 
  • Mountain biking is a popular sport in the area. I would recommend  Boschendal Wine Estate (just outside of town) which offers a wide variety of excellent routes as well as bike rentals.  For information on everything related to Mountain Biking in the area, visit their website.

How far is Franschhoek from Cape Town

It is only a 1 hour (81,3 km) drive form Cape town City center.

Unfortunately there are no bus or train service directly to Franschhoek.  We would definitely recommend renting your own car or alternatively luxury hotels usually offer airport transfers.  Uber Services are available in Cape Town.

Franschhoek Wine Tram

When going on a wine tour or planning to do a few wine tastings, we definitely recommend the Franschhoek Wine Tram.  Park your car and hop on hop off where ever you like. Simply hop off at a wine estate and enjoy a wine tasting, cellar tour or lunch and then hop on again to the next estate.

For reservations see link below “Things to do”.

Franschhoek trem

Vine Bikes are a fun way to get around

Explore the winelands on a bicycle.  The e-bikes (‘electronic bikes’) makes this experience so much fun and it is definitely something different to experience the Winelands – Franschhoek by bike. Vinebikes guided and self guided e-bike wine farm tours.   You can decide to explore with a guide or on your own.  Visit their webpage for more information. (Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Banhoek Valley.)

This is a family-friendly activity.  There are kiddy seats and half-wheelers and the e-bike is battery operated making it easier to paddle. The bikes do have saddlebags but on any wine tour in the Cape it would be a good idea to have a back-pack to keep your hands free.

Things to do

Franschhoek is very much all about wine and the Wine Estates in and around town.  You will be spoiled with choice between historical Cape Dutch Farm Houses and beautiful Cellar tours.

Artisan Route – Highlights

De Villiers Chocolate Café

Chocolate, Coffee, Ice Cream and more

www.dvchocolate.com

chocolate De Villiers
dalewood

Dalewood Formage

Estate Cheese

www.dalewood.co.za

Allee Bleue Estate

Picnics,Wine, Olives, Olive Oil, Herbs & Pesto

www.alleebleue.com

alleebleue

La Motte Wine Estate and Historic Walk

Water Mill, Bread, Lavender (In season)

www.la-motte.com

Babylonstoren

Lots to offer – Read our article

www.babylonstoren.com

More THINGS TO DO at your favorite destination

Wine Tasting in the Western Cape

Where to buy wine, do a cellar tour or taste wine in the Franschhoek Valley.  A list of Wine Estates and tasting rooms in Franschhoek.

Another article that might be of interest you: Wine Tasting in Stellenbosch

International airport

Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is the closest to Franschhoek.  From here we would recommend hiring a car with GPS set to “main routes” as this would be your fastest way to get to Franschhoek and enjoy a day of exploring.  (Best route to follow is via the N1 and R45.)

Book your accommodation

Accommodation in the Franschhoek valley could be quite expensive.  But, here you will find some of the most exquisite places to stay in the Cape.  However, with our trusted links below you are sure to find something for every budget.