Franschhoek, is in a scenic valley around an hour from Cape Town in the heart of South Africa’s wine country. When the Huguenots first settled in there over 300 years ago, they brought with them their traditions and knowledge in winemaking and viticulture from their native France. The French influence is still there today with many streets and businesses given a French name.
For wine enthusiasts, Franschhoek is home to some of the best wineries in the country, with many offering tastings and tours. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the vineyards apart from just tasting the wines. Many offer paired tasting with foods as diverse as fudge, chocolate or cheese. Olive oil is also made in the valley and offered for purchase or to taste. Several vineyards offer a full day of experiences with beautiful gardens to wander around, restaurants and shops such as Babylonstoren or Boschendhal.
A fun way to explore the vineyards is by using the Wine Tram. The original tracks upon which the Franschhoek Wine Tram now runs were originally built in 1904 as an alternative to ox-drawn carts for farmers wanting to get their products to market.
If wine is not your thing, there are also three local breweries including Tuk Tuk Brewery and the Frasbnchooek brewing company and a coffee roaster. You can sample Terbodores’s coffees and well as buying them at their cafe situated on the edge of town which offers casual outdoor dining, including breakfast.
Foodies will be in heaven in this small town which is renowned for its dining scene, with an impressive selection of world-class restaurants offering everything from classic French cuisine to modern South African fare.
Beyond wine and food, Franschhoek has plenty to offer visitors. Take a stroll through the charming streets of the town, admiring the colonial-style architecture and picturesque gardens while visiting one of the many boutique shops. Visit the Huguenot Memorial Museum, which tells the story of the French Huguenot refugees who settled in the area in the 17th and 18th centuries, or take a scenic drive through the mountains to admire the picturesque views.