Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
Once you've booked your accommodation in Franschhoek, explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Franschhoek.
The French corner of the Cape, Franschhoek lies in one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world, just 45 minutes’ from Cape Town and within half an hour of the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Somerset West wine routes.
This traditionally French town is the food and wine capital of the country and one would be hard pressed to dispute the claim. Eight of the top 100 restaurants in the country are found in Franschhoek, there are nigh on 30 wine cellars and over 28 restaurants from which to choose for your gastronomic experience. The Franschhoek valley has recently launched a Cap Classique route that includes nine cellars, within a distance of 4 km, in a combined marketing initiative. The sparkling wine tour includes teaching visitors about the methods of making Cap Classique in a unique attempt to add value to wine consumption.
Franschhoek’s village has a wonderful collection of art and antique shops and galleries and the main streets are lined with restaurants and coffee shops. It is easy to spend a day here and it serves as an excellent springboard to other wine routes and the Four Passes Fruit Route, of which Franschhoek is also part; and there are a number of walking trails in the surrounding mountains, for the more energetic.
For in depth reviews of this charming town see our articles at:
• Franschhoek Reviewed
• Heads we take the N1, Tails the N2 ....
• Franschhoek Sunset Drive.
• Things you simply Must Do in Franschhoek.
• More Things to Do in Franschhoek.
• 10 Fabulous Things to Do when next in Franschhoek.
• 24 Hours in Franschhoek.
Get the Scoop
"Try to attend one of the wonderful classical music concerts at La Motte, and the Classic Music festivals which Christopher Duigan organises in Franschhoek ..." - Cheryl, Simonstown
Visitorials: We Love South Africa
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We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Franschhoek. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Franschhoek because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Franschhoek
The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum (language museum) in Paarl, set on the banks of the Berg River, and roughly 50 kilometres north east of Cape Town, is at once associated with the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum, and a dedication to the Afrikaans language. The Afrikaans Taal museum offers a contemporary exhibition on the origins of ... more information
Nestled amidst the idyllic beauty of the Cape Winelands is the Bottelary Hills region, home to a number of acclaimed wine farms as well as to the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy. This area (including Stellenbosch) was founded by explorer Simon van der Stel (the first ... more information
Lying within the Western Cape's Cape Floral Kingdom, the 322 030 hectare Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve (CWBR) lies roughly 40 km east of Cape Town. It was officially registered by UNESCO in September 2007. The Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve is bordered in the south by ... more information
Du Toitskloof Pass lies on the R101 between Paarl and Worcester, although these days most people are not even aware they're on the pass for they opt to use the Huguenot Tunnel, which means you shave a significant 11 kilometres off the original drive. You can still scale the heights of this impressive pass that ... more information
Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route includes the restaurants and wine estates that fall into the Franschhoek valley, even if these borders have relaxed somewhat to include the R45 between Klapmuts and Simondium. Already regarded as the 'gourmet capital' of South Africa, the map ... more information
If you are even vaguely into cars, then the Franschhoek Motor Museum is worth a visit. Over 400 vehicles that range from the Beeston Motro Tricycle (1898) to the 2003 Ferrari model, there is something to make everyone drool, even if you're not an ardent fan of the automobile. Museum it might be, but forget the ... more information
Franschhoek has been one of South Africa’s chief wine-making regions for centuries, and this history permeates every element of the town. Historical architecture adds to the experience of sampling some of the world’s finest wines for a truly memorable time. The valley itself is practically ... more information
The Valley of the Huguenots, as Franschhoek is also known, became home to a community of French Huguenots who fled their country from religious persecution. The Huguenots soon recognised that this valley had very similar weather to the wine growing regions in France. Today, over 300 years later, this ... more information
Helshoogte Pass, one of the most loved and travelled roads in the Western Cape, links Stellenbosch with the Drakenstein Valley, a scenic pass that transports one over the saddle that separates Simonsberg from the Jonkershoekberge and wends its way past fruit farms and vineyards en route. The ... more information
The 42,000 ha Reserve stretches from Elgin in the south to beyond Villiersdorp in the north, and from the Stellenbosch mountains in the west, eastwards to the Groenland mountains. The entrance to the reserve is at Nuweberg, situated high in Viljoen's Pass, between Grabouw and Villiersdorp. The ... more information
The Huguenot Memorial was inaugurated in 1948, and displays a female character with a broken chain in her left hand and a bible in her right. As with all things Franschhoek, the Huguenot Memorial Museum lies in a gorgeous setting, in a beautiful Cape Dutch-style building in the grounds ... more information
The beautiful Jonkershoek Nature Reserve lies in the Jonkershoek Valley just above Stellenbosch. Surrounded by the magnificent Jonkershoek Mountains, part of the Boland mountain range, this is the place for wonderful hikes within their peaks and never-ending kloofs. In total, the Jonkershoek ... more information
Lying in the Du Toitskloof Mountains close to Paarl, Limietberg Nature Reserve is a beautiful space in which to spend time, particularly if you are a hiker. There are nine separate hiking trails that wind through fynbos, indigenous forest, rugged and steep kloofs, and valleys through which the Breede and Berg rivers ... more information
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve lies in part of the UNESCO Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve on the Franschhoek Pass. Described by visitors as 'incredible' and 'beautiful', the reserve is extremely popular with hikers and day visitors who head to the reserve to enjoy the views and ... more information
The reserve is easy to get to and its network of paths make a walk up the mountain very much a part of the average Paarl resident's everyday life. The circular Klipkers nature trail takes roughly two hours to complete, comes with a guidebook to help you on your way, and was laid out ... more information
Paarl Vintners has earned its place as the world’s first ‘red route’ because of its focus on wines such as Roodeberg, Cabernet Sauvignon, port and Shiraz. The Paarl district includes the wards of Franschhoek and Wellington as well as the newer wards of Simonsberg-Paarl and Voor-Paardeberg. more information
The Pearl Valley Golf Estate is surrounded by the Simonsberg and Drakenstein Mountains and bordered by vineyards with The Berg River water hazard running through it. Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate and Spa is destined to become the premier residential golf estate in South Africa. Designed on ... more information
On the Sonderend River close to the little town of Villiersdorp lies Theewaterskloof Dam. It is a large, sprawling, remarkably unround dam that lies on the R45 that links Villiersdorp to Franschhoek. Parts of the drive past the dam are almost surreal with the heads of ... more information
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