A lone French corner in South Africa, Franschhoek is a beautiful small town located at the tip of the mountain ranges, more or less 75 kilometers away from Cape Town. Its distinct French origin dates back to the 1600s when the town was utilized as a refugee settlement of the French Huguenot, settling in the slopes of the valleys and eventually developed the art wine-making.
Hence, their reputation of having some of the largest wine farms in the entirety of South Africa. But the place isn’t only about good food and good wine, they also offer enjoyable activities for their tourists. Here are ten of the many things to do in Franschhoek.
10 Best Things To Do in Franschhoek, South Africa
1. Hiking in Franschhoek
If you are into adventure, Franschhoek got you covered with their seven (7) hiking trails like Breakfast Rock trail, minimal time and easy one-hour of fun and excitement trail that may take up to a couple of hours and the famous Perdekop trail, with a six-hour duration in different distances and levels.
More than the difficult phase of hiking, the relaxing panoramic view of nature reserve will surely keep you going.
2. Wandering around the Franschhoek Village Market
For those who like to roam around and engage with the locals, the Franschhoek village market will have you drenched in a somewhat ocular session with their people demonstrating the basics of coffee grinding, handicrafts-making, painting, among others.
The village opens during Saturdays, between 9 AM to 3 PM. It is one of the best things to see in Franschhoek.
3. Wine Tasting in Franschhoek
Franschhoek is known to have vast landscapes, including wine farms of about fifty (50). Two of their famous wine farm destinations are the following: Haute Cabrine, boasting their good-tasting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The other is Dieu Donne Farm, where best Shiraz is served. Like the former, Dieu Donne also makes their own wine. Dieu Donne is also a great place for a sundowner while you enjoy the view of the wine farm.
4. Visit the Franschhoek Motor Museum
Located in the vineyards of L’Ormarins farm, Franschhoek Motor Museum is a museum dedicated to the vintage cars and vehicles—all still in decent conditions. At least, most of the cars (more or less a hundred in number) displayed are in mint condition. And about 85% of them are still even running.
There are also rare cars in the display such as the 1904 Ford models and formula race cars. There are also super rare car models that are just about 2 or 3 in the world and are difficult to find. Entrance fee is R80 for adults and R40 for children.
5. Riding the Tram
Wine tasting isn’t complete without riding the Franschhoek wine tram, a combination of tram and bus and is one of the best things to do in Franschhoek. Because of its limited reach, it was put there so farms can be connected to each other.
The trams are ventilated, two-story that sits on the top deck so you’ll be able to get a picturesque view of the mountains. It is ideal to ride tram when it is a sunny day. Six different routes are available and each has 8 wine farms, traveling from a ticketing stall in Huguenot at the heart of Franschhoek.
Ticket prices: R220 (adults), R90 (children). Wine tasting, however, is paid separately and may vary depending on a farm (between R20 and R100 per head).
6. Check out the fine dining scene in Franschhoek
You’ll never go hungry in Franschhoek. The place has a dozen restaurants with best-tasting dishes to tickle your taste buds. One of the famous fine-dining restaurants in Franschhoek is the acclaimed La Petite Colombe, regarded as one of the top restaurants in South Africa.
They serve sumptuous meals and delightful concoctions. Look forward to savoring the same level of world-class cuisine and excellent service. Recently, the restaurant moved to Le Quartier.
7. Eat Chocolates
Give your sweet tooth a treat at Franschhoek’s Huguenot Chocolate factory, where delicious and great-tasting chocolates are served. Also, you’ll be able to see behind-the-scenes on how chocolates are made from a cacao tree. Free tasting, upon visit (with an entrance fee of R40 per person), is being served, daily at 11 AM and 3 PM. The owners are generous as they give the tourists a handful of ‘sweet’ gifts after.
8. Mountain Biking
Aside from chocolates and wine farms, Franschhoek is also a place for euphoric adventure-seekers as several mountain bike trails are scattered like pimples in town. For beginners, there is a 14-kilometer trail called Robertslevi Loop, Boschendal Wine Estate (a total of six trails) from easy 4-kilometer loop to 33-kilometer. It is quite challenging, for some though but it sure will be one heck of a fun biking.
For hustlers, the trails are the following: Franschhoek pass MTB (moderate to difficult) and the Matoppie MTB, a 14-kilometer trail (difficult).
9. Check out Huguenot Monument
The Huguenot Monument is dedicated to the influence of the French people in South Africa that lies fervently in a beautiful setting (a building in the memorial grounds). It is built to celebrate the arrival of the French people in 1683 and its wide influence especially the places and things with French names.
In 1948, the Huguenot monument was inaugurated with a façade/sculpture of a woman character holding a Bible in her right arm and a somewhat chain in her left. It is ideally placed in front of a water-filled pond, a symbol of tranquility of one’s spirit and mind.
10. Franschhoek Pass
This is a breathtaking spot in Franschhoek where mountains and waves meet together in a calming harmony. A thirteen-kilometer pass, it somewhat crawls to the height of the vast mountains along the lush hills going to the Theewaterskloof dam. The place is Instagram-worthy and you may have an endless photo-ops with such amazing view as a backdrop to which it is regarded as one of the best attractions in Franschhoek.
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