Area

Franschhoek

Nestled in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Franschhoek is considered to be the culinary capital of South Africa. With numerous top wine farms in the valley and world-class restaurants every few steps down the main street, this is mecca for foodies.

The French Huguenot refugees made their home in this beautiful valley in 1688, making this one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The French flavour is still very prevalent in this “French Corner” with many farms originally named for the areas in France from which the farmers originated. This heritage is celebrated every year at the Bastille Day Festival in typical Franschhoek style with excellent food, wine, and a whole lot of fun.

  • There are more award-winning restaurants concentrated here than anywhere else in the country
  • Plan your visit for mid-July to coincide with the Bastille Day Festival when the village celebrates their heritage with a gourmet food and wine fair
  • Spend time at the Huguenot Memorial Museum with its fascinating exhibitions and then wander through the beautiful gardens or have a picnic there

The scenery in this area is utterly idyllic and has visitors enthralled by the sheer natural beauty surrounding them. It is easy to spend time simply unwinding with this as the backdrop. For the more active, there are a number of walking trails, particularly in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve in the Franschhoek Mountains. Visitors can also hire bicycles, a perfect mode of transport for exploring the quaint village.

Antique shops, art galleries, craft stores, and culinary markets all line the bustling main street of the village and bear testimony to the creative nature of the area. There is a fresh food, art and craft market every Saturday in the centre of the village. The choice of restaurants is vast and range from cute sidewalk cafes to award-winning fine-dining, both within the village and at many of the wine farms.

Driving through the winelands towards Franschhoek, the tree-lined route is dotted with wine farms on either side. Choose between boutique wine cellars with bespoke offerings or larger farms with organised tours. Many have their own boutique stores, superb restaurants, and picnic areas or other activities.

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