Things To Do In Franschhoek

Luxury Meets Adventure: Exciting Things to Do in Franschhoek

Franschhoek, a picturesque town located in the Western Cape province of South Africa, is renowned for its scenic beauty, rich history, and world-class wine estates.

Nestled in a lush valley surrounded by mountains, Franschhoek is a popular destination for tourists seeking a unique blend of culture, history, and outdoor activities. With its charming streets lined with quaint cafes, art galleries, and boutique shops, Franschhoek offers visitors an unforgettable experience.

In this article, we will explore some of the top things to do in Franschhoek, from historical landmarks to wine-tasting tours, outdoor activities, art and culture, dining experiences, and accommodation options. Whether you’re a history buff, a wine connoisseur, or an adventure seeker, Franschhoek has something to offer everyone.

Historical significance of Franschhoek

Franschhoek has a rich history dating back to the late seventeenth century, when a group of French Huguenot refugees settled in the valley. These Protestant settlers, who fled religious persecution in France, brought with them their winemaking expertise and played a significant role in establishing the wine industry in the region.

Today, Franschhoek’s Huguenot heritage is celebrated through the Huguenot Memorial Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits relating to the history and culture of the Huguenots. The museum also includes a monument dedicated to the Huguenot pioneers who settled in the valley.

In addition to the museum, there are other historical landmarks in Franschhoek that visitors can explore, including the Dutch Reformed Church, which was built in 1847 and is one of the oldest buildings in the town. The town’s main road, Huguenot Road, is also lined with a number of historic buildings and monuments, including the Franschhoek Monument, which commemorates the town’s Huguenot heritage.

Franschhoek’s history is an important part of the town’s identity and offers visitors a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage.

Things To Do In Franschhoek 4

Wine-tasting in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is known for its world-class wine estates and is considered one of South Africa’s premier wine regions. Visitors to Franschhoek can take part in wine-tasting tours that offer a unique opportunity to sample some of the region’s finest wines while enjoying the scenic beauty of the vineyards.

There are numerous wine estates in Franschhoek, each with its own unique character and wine varietals. Some of the top wine estates to visit include La Motte, GlenWood Vineyards, Grande Provence, and Haute Cabrière. Many of these estates offer guided tours that take visitors through the vineyards, cellars, and tasting rooms, providing insights into the winemaking process and the history of the estates.

For those who are new to wine tasting, it is recommended to start with a basic tasting and work your way up to more complex wines. Most tastings include a selection of white, red, and dessert wines, and visitors can learn about the different varietals and wine-making techniques.

Wine-tasting in Franschhoek is a must-do experience for any visitor to the region, whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply looking to sample some of the best wines South Africa has to offer.

Outdoor activities in Franschhoek

Franschhoek’s stunning natural beauty offers a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. From hiking and cycling to hot air balloon rides, there’s something for every adventure seeker.

One of the most popular activities in Franschhoek is hiking. There are several hiking trails in and around the town that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards. One of the most popular trails is the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, which offers several trails of varying difficulty levels.

Cycling is another great way to explore Franschhoek’s scenic beauty. Visitors can rent bicycles and cycle through the town’s charming streets or take a leisurely ride through the vineyards. There are also several cycling routes that take visitors through the surrounding mountains and valleys.

For a unique perspective on Franschhoek’s beauty, visitors can take a hot air balloon ride over the town and surrounding vineyards. This exhilarating experience offers panoramic views of the valley and mountains and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Franschhoek’s outdoor activities offer visitors a chance to connect with nature and experience the region’s beauty in a unique and memorable way.

Things To Do In Franschhoek 7

Franschhoek Wine Tram

The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a popular attraction that offers visitors a unique way to explore the region’s vineyards and wineries. The Wine Tram is a hop-on, hop-off tour that takes visitors on a scenic journey through the picturesque Franschhoek Valley, stopping at some of the region’s most famous wineries along the way.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers a range of different tour options, each of which covers a different selection of vineyards and wineries. Visitors can choose from a variety of tours, including the Red Line, which focuses on the region’s red wine varietals, and the Blue Line, which focuses on white wine varietals. There is also a combination tour that includes both red and white wine tastings.

The Wine Tram tour includes a guide who provides visitors with interesting information about the region’s history, culture, and winemaking traditions. Visitors have the opportunity to hop off the tram at each stop and explore the wineries at their own pace. They can participate in wine tastings, tour the vineyards, and learn more about the winemaking process.

One of the highlights of the Franschhoek Wine Tram is the breathtaking scenery. The tram takes visitors through rolling hills and past picturesque vineyards, offering stunning views of the Franschhoek Valley. The tram also passes through a number of historic towns and villages, providing visitors with a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

In addition to the Wine Tram tours, visitors can also enjoy a range of other experiences, including horseback riding tours, cycling tours, and hot air balloon rides. There are also a number of fine-dining restaurants and boutique accommodation options located in the region, making it an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or longer vacation.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Franschhoek. With its unique combination of wine tastings, stunning scenery, and cultural experiences, it offers a truly unforgettable way to explore the region’s vineyards and wineries.

Find out more about Cape Winelands Tour

Things To Do In Franschhoek 2

Art and culture in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is also known for its vibrant art and cultural scene, with numerous art galleries, museums, and cultural events to explore.

The town’s Huguenot heritage is celebrated through the Huguenot Memorial Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits relating to the history and culture of the Huguenots. The museum also includes a monument dedicated to the Huguenot pioneers who settled in the valley.

Franschhoek is also home to a number of art galleries that showcase works by local and international artists. The town’s art scene is celebrated each year during the Franschhoek Art Festival, which takes place in October and showcases the works of over 100 artists.

For music lovers, Franschhoek hosts an annual classical music festival, which attracts musicians from around the world to perform in the town’s historic venues. The Franschhoek Literary Festival is another popular event that brings together authors, poets, and literary enthusiasts from around the country for a weekend of talks, workshops, and book launches.

Franschhoek’s art and cultural scene offers visitors a chance to explore the region’s rich history and creative spirit, and is a must-see for anyone interested in the arts.

Find out more about Cultural Tours In Cape Town

Best Franschhoek Wine Farms

Franschhoek is known for its world-class wine industry, with over 50 wine farms and estates in the region. Here are some of the best wine farms in Franschhoek:

La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte Wine Estate is one of the most iconic and popular wine farms in Franschhoek, known for its award-winning wines, stunning location, and rich history. The estate was founded in 1695 and has been in the hands of the Rupert family since 1970.

The estate’s vineyards cover over 160 hectares of prime terroir in the Franschhoek Valley, with a focus on producing premium wines using sustainable farming practices. The estate produces a range of wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which have won numerous awards and accolades over the years.

In addition to its world-class wines, La Motte Wine Estate is also home to a museum dedicated to the Rupert family’s art collection, with works by some of South Africa’s most celebrated artists. Visitors can take a guided tour of the museum, followed by a wine tasting and a visit to the estate’s restaurant, Pierneef à La Motte, which offers a unique culinary experience inspired by traditional South African cuisine.

La Motte Wine Estate also offers a range of other activities and experiences, including hiking trails, picnics, and a farm shop selling artisanal products, gifts, and souvenirs. Overall, La Motte Wine Estate is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek and is sure to offer an unforgettable experience of wine, art, and culture in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

Grande Provence Estate

Grande Provence Estate is one of the most beautiful and historic wine farms in Franschhoek. Founded in 1694, the estate covers over 47 hectares of prime terroir in the heart of the valley, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards.

The estate’s winemaking philosophy is based on traditional methods combined with modern techniques, with a focus on producing wines that reflect the unique terroir of Franschhoek. The estate produces a range of wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a flagship Bordeaux-style blend called the Grande Provence Trilogy.

In addition to its world-class wines, Grande Provence Estate is also home to a range of other attractions and experiences, including a tasting room, art gallery, sculpture garden, and two award-winning restaurants. The estate’s flagship restaurant, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, offers a fine-dining experience with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, while the more casual Bistro at Grande Provence offers a relaxed setting for lunch or dinner.

Grande Provence Estate also offers a range of other activities and experiences, including vineyard tours, cellar tours, and a range of events and functions, such as weddings and corporate events. With its stunning location, rich history, and world-class wines and cuisine, Grande Provence Estate is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek.

Things To Do In Franschhoek 8

Boschendal Wine Estate

Boschendal Wine Estate is one of the oldest and most prestigious wine farms in Franschhoek. Founded in 1685, the estate covers over 2000 hectares of prime terroir in the valley, with a focus on producing premium wines using sustainable farming practices.

The estate’s vineyards are planted with a range of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz, among others. The estate produces a range of wines, including still wines, sparkling wines, and fortified wines, all of which have won numerous awards and accolades over the years.

In addition to its world-class wines, Boschendal Wine Estate is also home to a range of other attractions and experiences, including a tasting room, farm-to-table restaurant, deli, and picnic area. The estate’s flagship restaurant, The Werf Restaurant, offers a unique culinary experience, with a focus on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and a farm-to-table ethos.

Boschendal Wine Estate also offers a range of other activities and experiences, including farm tours, horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, and fly fishing. The estate is also home to a number of historic buildings and gardens, including the Manor House, the Rhone Homestead, and the vegetable garden, which dates back to the 1680s.

Boschendal Wine Estate is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek, offering an unforgettable experience of wine, food, and nature in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

Haute Cabrière Wine Estate

Haute Cabrière Wine Estate is one of the most unique and iconic wine farms in Franschhoek. Founded in the early 1980s, the estate is known for its focus on méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines and its stunning location on the slopes of the Franschhoek mountains.

The estate’s vineyards are planted with a range of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinotage, among others. The estate produces a range of wines, including still wines, sparkling wines, and dessert wines, all of which are crafted with meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to quality.

In addition to its world-class wines, Haute Cabrière Wine Estate is also home to a range of other attractions and experiences, including a tasting room, cellar tours, and a restaurant. The estate’s flagship restaurant, The Restaurant at Haute Cabrière, offers a unique culinary experience, with a focus on French cuisine and a range of perfectly paired wines to complement each dish.

One of the most unique features of Haute Cabrière Wine Estate is its cellar, which is carved directly into the mountainside and features a unique design that allows for natural temperature and humidity control. This unique cellar is used to produce the estate’s méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines, which are aged for several years before release to ensure maximum complexity and flavor.

Haute Cabrière Wine Estate also offers a range of other activities and experiences, including vineyard walks, picnics, and a range of events and functions, such as weddings and corporate events. With its stunning location, unique wines, and world-class cuisine, Haute Cabrière Wine Estate is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek.

Chamonix Wine Farm

Chamonix Wine Farm is a family-owned boutique winery located in the Franschhoek Valley. The estate is situated on the slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains.

The estate’s vineyards are planted with a range of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon, among others. The estate produces a range of wines, including still wines, sparkling wines, and dessert wines, all of which are crafted with a focus on minimal intervention and sustainable farming practices.

The tasting room at Chamonix Wine Farm offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with knowledgeable staff who are passionate about their wines. Visitors can taste a range of wines and learn about the estate’s winemaking process, vineyards, and history.

In addition to its wines, Chamonix Wine Farm is also home to a range of other attractions and experiences, including a restaurant, a deli, and a guesthouse. The estate’s flagship restaurant, the Racine Restaurant, offers a unique culinary experience, with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

The guesthouse at Chamonix Wine Farm offers comfortable and luxurious accommodation, with six spacious suites that overlook the vineyards and mountains. The guesthouse also features a swimming pool, a lounge area, and a garden, providing the perfect setting for a relaxing getaway in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

Chamonix Wine Farm also offers a range of activities and experiences, including vineyard walks, cellar tours, and a range of events and functions, such as weddings and corporate events. With its stunning location, excellent wines, and range of attractions and experiences, Chamonix Wine Farm is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek.

La Motte Wine Estate 9

GlenWood Vineyards

GlenWood Vineyards is a small, family-owned boutique winery located on the outskirts of Franschhoek. The estate is known for its focus on sustainability and organic farming practices, as well as its high-quality wines.

The estate’s vineyards are planted with a range of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate produces a range of wines, including still wines, dessert wines, and a méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine, all of which are crafted with a focus on quality and sustainability.

Visitors to GlenWood Vineyards can enjoy a wine tasting experience in the estate’s modern tasting room, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. The tasting room also features a range of local art, adding to the unique ambiance of the space.

In addition to its wines, GlenWood Vineyards is also home to a range of other attractions and experiences, including a restaurant and a self-catering cottage. The estate’s flagship restaurant, The GlenWood Vineyard Restaurant, offers a unique culinary experience, with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

The self-catering cottage at GlenWood Vineyards is ideal for visitors who want to stay on the estate and enjoy a more immersive experience. The cottage is located on a hill overlooking the vineyards and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The cottage is fully equipped and can accommodate up to four guests.

GlenWood Vineyards also offers a range of activities and experiences, including vineyard tours, cellar tours, and a range of events and functions, such as weddings and corporate events. With its focus on sustainability, quality, and unique experiences, GlenWood Vineyards is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek.

Anthonij Rupert Wyne

Anthonij Rupert Wyne is a luxurious wine estate located in the heart of the Franschhoek Wine Valley. The estate is known for its exceptional wines, as well as its stunning setting and world-class hospitality.

The vineyards at Anthonij Rupert Wyne are planted with a range of grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Merlot. The estate produces a range of wines, including still wines, dessert wines, and a méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine, all of which are crafted with a focus on quality and elegance.

Visitors to Anthonij Rupert Wyne can enjoy a wine tasting experience in the estate’s elegant tasting room, which overlooks the vineyards and mountains. The tasting room is open seven days a week and offers a range of tasting options, including wine and chocolate pairings.

In addition to its wines, Anthonij Rupert Wyne is also home to a range of other attractions and experiences. The estate’s flagship restaurant, the Terra del Capo Antipasti Bar, offers a unique culinary experience, with a focus on Italian-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The estate also features a museum, which showcases the Rupert family’s private collection of vintage cars.

Anthonij Rupert Wyne is also home to a luxurious guesthouse, which features six spacious suites and a private swimming pool. The guesthouse offers a range of amenities, including a private butler, a personal chef, and access to a range of exclusive experiences, such as private wine tastings and vineyard tours.

Anthonij Rupert Wyne also offers a range of activities and experiences, including vineyard walks, cellar tours, and a range of events and functions, such as weddings and corporate events. With its exceptional wines, stunning setting, and world-class hospitality, Anthonij Rupert Wyne is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek.

Vrede en Lust Wine Estate

Vrede en Lust Wine Estate is a picturesque wine estate situated in the heart of the Franschhoek Wine Valley. The estate is known for its award-winning wines, stunning setting, and rich history.

The vineyards at Vrede en Lust are planted with a range of grape varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Merlot. The estate produces a range of wines, including still wines, dessert wines, and a méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine, all of which are crafted with a focus on quality and sustainability.

Visitors to Vrede en Lust can enjoy a wine tasting experience in the estate’s historic tasting room, which is located in a beautifully restored 18th-century cellar. The tasting room offers a range of tasting options, including a cheese and wine pairing, and is open seven days a week.

In addition to its wines, Vrede en Lust is also home to a range of other attractions and experiences. The estate’s flagship restaurant, Lust Bistro & Bakery, offers a unique culinary experience, with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. The estate also features a range of luxury accommodation options, including the Manor House, the Vineyard Suites, and the Farm Cottages.

The Manor House is a luxurious five-bedroom villa that offers stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. The Vineyard Suites are spacious and elegantly appointed, with private balconies and outdoor showers. The Farm Cottages are ideal for families or groups, with two or three bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens, and private gardens.

Vrede en Lust also offers a range of activities and experiences, including vineyard tours, cellar tours, and a range of events and functions, such as weddings and corporate events. The estate’s beautiful gardens and grounds are also perfect for picnics and leisurely walks.

With its exceptional wines, stunning setting, and range of attractions and experiences, Vrede en Lust Wine Estate is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek.

Dieu Donne Vineyards

Nestled at the foot of the Franschhoek Mountains, Dieu Donne Vineyards is a boutique wine estate that offers visitors a truly unique experience. The estate’s vineyards are planted on a steep slope, which provides ideal growing conditions for its range of varietals, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Visitors to Dieu Donne can enjoy a range of wine tasting experiences, including a classic wine tasting, a chocolate and wine pairing, and a cellar tour. The estate’s wine tasting room offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valley, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass of wine.

Dieu Donne is also home to a fine-dining restaurant, The Restaurant at Dieu Donne, which serves up a range of gourmet dishes that are made using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant offers breathtaking views of the vineyards and surrounding mountains, making it an ideal location for a romantic dinner or special occasion.

For those looking to extend their stay, Dieu Donne also offers luxury accommodation in the form of two spacious self-catering cottages. The cottages are beautifully decorated and offer all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, including fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and private outdoor areas with braai facilities.

In addition to its wine and dining offerings, Dieu Donne also hosts a range of events and functions, including weddings, conferences, and corporate events. The estate’s stunning location and facilities make it the perfect venue for any occasion.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply looking for a peaceful and picturesque setting to enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious meal, Dieu Donne Vineyards is a must-visit destination in Franschhoek.

Boekenhoutskloof Wine Estate

Boekenhoutskloof Wine Estate is a renowned winery located in the heart of Franschhoek. The estate was founded in 1776 and has a rich history that is reflected in its stunning architecture and vineyards. The estate’s name comes from the Boekenhout tree, which is indigenous to the area and is known for its dense wood.

Boekenhoutskloof Wine Estate is known for its award-winning wines, which are crafted with a focus on quality and sustainability. The estate produces a range of varietals, including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, which are all grown on the estate’s vineyards. The estate also produces a unique Semillon that is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.

Visitors to Boekenhoutskloof can enjoy a wine tasting experience in the estate’s beautifully appointed tasting room, which offers stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. The tasting room is open seven days a week and offers a range of tasting options, including a cheese and wine pairing.

In addition to its wines, Boekenhoutskloof is also home to a fine-dining restaurant, The Werf Restaurant, which offers a unique culinary experience that is inspired by the estate’s wines and surroundings. The restaurant serves up a range of gourmet dishes, which are made using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

For those looking to extend their stay, Boekenhoutskloof also offers luxury accommodation in the form of The Cottage, a beautifully restored 18th-century homestead that offers all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay. The Cottage is situated in the heart of the estate’s vineyards and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Boekenhoutskloof Wine Estate is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Franschhoek. With its exceptional wines, stunning setting, and range of dining and accommodation options, it offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Find out more about Cape Winelands Tour

Dining and culinary experiences in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is renowned for its culinary excellence and is considered one of South Africa’s top food and wine destinations. The town is home to a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bistros, each offering a unique culinary experience.

One of the highlights of dining in Franschhoek is the opportunity to sample the region’s world-class wines paired with delicious cuisine. Many of the town’s restaurants offer wine pairings with their dishes, allowing visitors to experience the perfect marriage of food and wine.

Franschhoek is also home to a number of artisanal food producers, including chocolate makers, cheese makers, and olive oil producers. Visitors can take tours of these producers and learn about their processes while sampling their products.

For a truly unique dining experience, visitors can take part in one of Franschhoek’s famed culinary events, such as the Franschhoek Bastille Festival or the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival. These events showcase the town’s culinary talent and offer visitors a chance to taste some of the region’s best food and wine.

Dining and culinary experiences in Franschhoek are a must-do for any foodie or wine lover visiting the region. The town’s world-class cuisine, paired with its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, make it a truly unique and memorable destination.

Things To Do In Franschhoek 6

Accommodation options in Franschhoek

Franschhoek offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. From luxurious hotels and guesthouses to quaint bed and breakfasts and self-catering cottages, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque town.

One of the most popular accommodation options in Franschhoek is boutique hotels, which offer luxurious accommodations and personalized service. Some of the top boutique hotels in Franschhoek include La Petite Ferme, Leeu House, and Le Quartier Français.

For those looking for a more rustic and laid-back experience, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses are a popular option. These establishments offer comfortable accommodations with a personal touch and are often located in the heart of the town, making it easy to explore Franschhoek’s attractions on foot.

Self-catering cottages are another popular option, particularly for families or groups of friends traveling together. These cottages offer the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen and the privacy of a standalone property.

Franschhoek’s range of accommodation options ensures that visitors can find the perfect place to stay, whether they’re looking for a luxurious getaway or a budget-friendly option.

Find out more about Things To Do In Cape Town

Things To Do In Franschhoek 5

Conclusion

Franschhoek is a beautiful town that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, rich history, and culinary excellence. Visitors to Franschhoek can enjoy a range of activities, from wine-tasting and outdoor adventures to exploring the town’s vibrant art and cultural scene.

Accommodation options in Franschhoek cater to every budget and taste, from luxurious boutique hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts and self-catering cottages. With its picturesque setting, world-class cuisine, and rich cultural heritage, Franschhoek is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to South Africa.

Similar Posts