Surrounded by mountains and green valleys, Franschhoek (meaning “French Corner”) is the gourmet heartland of South Africa. French Huguenots settled here in the 1680s and brought with them centuries of food and wine traditions. Just a one-hour drive from Cape Town, Franschhoek is a place to enjoy award-winning cuisine in the shadows of picturesque scenery.
Franschhoek’s leafy streets are pleasant to explore on foot and are lined with art galleries, antique shops and museums. View works by contemporary African artists at the Holden Manz Collection. Learn about the history of the French Huguenot settlers at the Huguenot Memorial Museum. Watch chocolate-making demonstrations and sample Belgian chocolate at Huguenot Fine Chocolates.
Visit one of the wine estates of the Franschhoek Valley to enjoy wine tastings and cellar tours, picnics and leisurely walks. Step aboard the hop-on hop-off Franschhoek Wine Tram, which passes rolling vineyards and stops off at some of the country’s oldest bodegas. Among these is the Haute Cabrière winery, which dates back to 1694. Rent a bike and take a self-guided tour of the bodegas.
Franschhoek takes its culinary scene seriously and has more award-winning restaurants than anywhere else in the country. Join a tour of the Franschhoek Valley Food and Wine Route for olive oil and cheese tastings, cooking demonstrations and food and wine pairings. Food and wine culture is also celebrated at numerous cultural events, such as July’s Bastille Festival and the Cap Classique and Champagne Festival.
For the energetic there are many hiking trails in the surrounding mountains and valley. Go to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve for panoramic views of the Cape Winelands. On a clear day you can see as far as Table Mountain. Make the short drive to Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve for more walking trails and the chance to spot over 100 bird species.
Play a round of golf at nearby Pearl Valley, a course designed by world-famous golfer Jack Nicklaus.
Rent a car and drive to Franschhoek from Cape Town. Once there you can go without your car and get around on foot or as part of a tour.
Wineries, Gardens and Hiking
Enjoy the delights of the wine grapes, restaurants and majestic lodgings in one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious wineries.
Go paragliding, cycling and trekking in this vast mountainous park to encounter its charming streams, heathland vegetation and dominant peaks.
Admire the intricate symbolism of this impressive structure. In the museum, learn about the beginnings of Cape Colony settlements.
Enjoy food, wine and art and experience the majesty of birds of prey at one of the oldest wineries in South Africa.
One of the world’s oldest mountains creates an iconic backdrop to the Cape Town skyline. Climb to the summit for breathtaking views of the surrounding coast.
Get a privileged close-up view of an African penguin colony among the spectacular rock formations at this beach that also offers excellent swimming conditions.
Get ready for a safari tour through the Aquila Private Game Reserve, hoping to catch sight of the Big 5—buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino. Soak up incredible scenery during an enthralling game drive, and then savor an indulgent buffet-style lunch at the lodge.
Ranking just under Johannesburg as South Africa's second-most populous city, Cape Town caters to nature lovers as much as culture enthusiasts. This hop-on hop-off tour grants you the flexibility to explore the city according to your own itinerary.
Discover the highlights of Table Mountain National Park as you embark on a full-day tour around the Cape Peninsula. Travel in and out of pretty bays, see species of African game, stroll with penguins, and admire exotic plants as you explore one of the continent's most southerly points.
Strike out into the South African wilderness and track down the continent's most famous wildlife on this safari in the Inverdoorn Game Reserve. Elephants, lions, buffalo, rhinos, giraffes, and more are out in the open countryside for you to discover, so get ready to experience nature at its finest.
The full day Peninsula Tour will take you around the entire Cape peninsula and show you the wonders of Cape Town - from the pristine beaches, to the spectacular sight of Cape Point, where the oceans meet. Also be sure not to miss the sensational visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
With a rugged coastline, species of African game, and endemic vegetation, discover the natural wonders of the Cape Peninsula on a half-day tour. Gaze out upon sweeping views of the coastline and enjoy the sight of roaming wild animals as you visit charming shoreline towns.