The Cape Winelands lie an easy hour’s drive from central Cape Town and yet there's a very real sense of stepping into another world when you arrive in Franschhoek: the classic Cape Dutch architecture, verdant vineyards, grand old estates and winding back roads all conspire to deliver an experience that will have you asking yourself whether you are, indeed, still in Africa.
Of the Cape’s many Winelands towns, arguably the prettiest is Franschhoek (which means ‘French Corner’). Imagine staying on a working wine estate and, after waking up each morning in your luxurious villa surrounded by orchards and sun-splashed vineyards, wandering out onto your private verandah and being met with enticing mountain views in every direction.
Franschhoek has just one main street where, tucked between art galleries and boutique shops, you’ll find an incredible selection of restaurants serving up flavours that range from traditional Cape fare to French haute cuisine – little wonder Franschhoek has an undisputed reputation as South Africa’s foodie capital.
When you want to go wine tasting, most of the estates lie within easy reach of each other and all it takes is a map and a designated driver (or tour guide) and you’ll have access to more farms than you could possibly hope to visit in a day. When you find a wine you particularly like, take a couple of bottles back to be enjoyed while settled in the deep, plush verandah chairs of your private villa. Or take the Franschhoek Wine Tram, a no-fuss way to tour wine estates and museums.
This region is not only about food and wine, however: families or more active visitors can go horse riding or hiking in the surrounding mountains; hire bicycles and take leisurely cycles along country lanes; go fly fishing on a nearby trout dam; or play a round of golf on the Pearl Valley estate. Our Franschhoek villas also lie close to the historic Winelands town of Stellenbosch, and just over an hour’s drive from the Whale Coast harbour town of Hermanus.
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Franschhoek has some of South Africa’s best restaurants including The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, Reuben’s, Babel at Babylonstoren and Bread & Wine - try them out but be sure to book in advance!
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