The beautiful town of Franschhoek is just 75 kilometres from Cape Town. It is much smaller than Stellenbosch, so it has a much more relaxed atmosphere. It is often called the food and wine capital of South Africa. However, Stellenbosch has also laid claim to that title! So, what are the top 5 reasons why you should visit Franschhoek?
Enjoy Fine Dining and Wine
There is no shortage of fantastic restaurants in Franschhoek. One of my favourite things about South Africa is the food! You can enjoy some truly fantastic cuisine, and pay a lot less for it then you would in the UK. So if you are going to treat yourself to a fancy dinner, then this is the place to do it! Some of the best restaurants are located at the wineries. Whilst many are centrally located and easy to find. Which is perfect if you are staying in town. If you have a certain place in mind, then it is advisable to book in advance.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram
This is, without a doubt, the best way to explore Franschhoek. Whether you enjoy wine, or just want to experience the stunning scenery. It’s a combination of tram and bus-tram transportation. Which you can hop on and hop off where you like. It stops at some of South Africa’s oldest wine estates. Perfect for wine tasting, cellar tours, a walk through the vineyards or lunch. Remember, Franschhoek is renown for its world-class cuisine. And many of the best restaurants are at wineries. You can also learn about the rich history of Franschhoek as you travel between stops.
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve
If you enjoy hiking, nature, and great views. Then Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is definitely one of the top reasons why you should visit Franschhoek. Part of the UNESCO Cape Winelands Biosphere, and situated in the Franschhoek Mountains. The reserve has a number of well-maintained hiking trails. So you can go for anything from a 2 hour to full-day hike. Don’t forget your camera, the views of Franschhoek Valley are incredible.
If you don’t enjoy hiking, or simply don’t have enough time on your schedule for a hike in Franschhoek. You should definitely take a drive through the Franschhoek Pass. Remember to take a camera with you, so that you can capture the amazing views. It’s only a short drive from the town centre. And is where you will find the entrance to Mont Rochell Nature Reserve. If you are heading to Hermanus from Franschhoek then this the best route.
Did you know that Franschhoek is home to a painting Pig? Pigcasso has found global fame as an abstract expressionist. She was rescued from a hog farm by Jo Lefson. Pigcasso has even designed a swatch watch! The proceeds from her art go to funding the rescue centre where she lives. Whilst visitors are welcome. There are no live demonstrations, animal petting or pig parades. When I visited, she was having a nap, we just had a wander around and saw some of the other animals at the farm. If you would like to visit, you can find the details here.
Those were my favourite experiences from my visit. However there is so much more to do in Franschhoek, I highly recommend actually staying at one of the wine estates. If you fancy a beer then the Tuk Tuk Microbrewery is a good place to start. You can do a chocolate tasting at Huguenot. And for classic car enthusiasts or anyone who needs a break from drinking! Then there is the Franschhoek Motor Museum.
If you are trying to decide whether to stay in Stellenbosch or Franschhoek you can take a look at the best things to do in Stellenbosch. I have also written about the best stops on the garden route. Have I missed something? Please let me know what you enjoyed doing in Franschhoek in the comments section below.