Planning a Ce Town route means including a little of everything – the beach, mountains, city life, and of course, wine. This post is all about wine … especially the Franschhoek wine region.
If you want to experience the best of the beautiful Ce Winelands, be sure to visit the Franschhoek Wine Quarter.
Why the Franschhoek wine region?
With over 20 wineries, Franschhoek is known for its popular wine trams, exquisite food and Five star accommodation.
The relaxed nature of the city, the breathtaking scenery and the quiet place make this a perfect relaxing vacation, city break or a fantastic day trip.
Franschhoek has a great French influence, whereby the name means „French corner” in Afrikaans.
Where is Franschhoek?
This incredible destination is 60 kilometers outside the hustle and bustle of Ce Town and 30 kilometers from the popular Stellenbosch wine district (here are a few things to do in Stellenbosch). The city lies between the Franschhoek Valley and the Wemmershoek Mountains.
Take a Franschhoek Wine Tram Tour
This is the number one attraction in Franschhoek, with trams covering 8 tram lines and 8-10 stops on each line (you can stay on board and skip some stops if you want). The tram runs every hour, allowing for wine tasting, food, and a walking tour before heading to your next destination. Note, however, that the last tram leaves at 4:00 PM. So if you’re settling into a winery for a couple of hours, keep an eye on your watch or it can be a long walk.
Two wine stops to do
Located on the slope with a view of the breathtaking Franschhoek mountain range and the neighboring Stellenbosch, God grant offers a feeling of freedom and a world away from it all.
Top tip: This is the best place in Franschhoek to see the sunset.
Eikehof is a smaller, more family-oriented winery and you really get a feel for what it might feel like to grow up in this world. The family shared some great stories, like the story of the 1940s Ford on display – which belonged to the owner’s grandfather who used to plow the fields. Such intimate stories shared by the owners added to the warm experience we had here.
Eating out in Franschhoek
Franschhoek is unofficially known as the culinary capital of South Africa. It offers first class fine dining yet creates a relaxed aura and atmosphere that is Franschhoek.
Our favorite restaurant in Franschhoek
For us it has to be Monneaux Restaurant, a restaurant with a relaxed yet intimate setting. With three rooms and the flow of a house, this really is a place of comfort. This was certainly an environment to feel comfortable in while appreciating all the paperwork and professionalism of an upscale gourmet restaurant.
The food prides itself on local suppliers and artisans, seasonal menus, and simplicity with an aim not to over-complicate things.
We enjoyed a small tasting menu with 4 dishes and a dessert. This way we like to eat with many different flavors and textures. The presentation is fantastic and every dish was well executed.
Accommodation in Franschhoek
We were at Franschhoek country house and villas only 10 minutes walk from the center of Franschhoek. 5-star accommodation at its finest. With free champagne on arrival and a great breakfast of freshly made items, fruit, pastries, meats and cheeses served every morning.
Walk by the pool and soak up the sun with poolside dining and cocktails, fresh mountain views and the old-fashioned wine tram passing by.
The hotel also has an on-site spa with many, many package options to help you relax and unwind.
5 more activities in Franschhoek
Are you staying a few days? Here are five other great things to do in Franschhoek.
1. Franschhoek Motor Museum
With over 100 years of history and over 200 cars, the Franschhoek Motor Museum is a must for any car enthusiast.
2. Franschhoek Pass
The Franschhoek Pass takes you into the mountains with breathtaking drives and views that you can only imagine.
3. First South African Perfume Museum
Franshhoek was once a thriving perfume district with a number of perfumeries. In the museum you can learn all about the history of this industry in this area.
A small fact that the restaurant we ate in Monneaux actually housed one of the first perfumeries in Franschhoek.
4. Soul barrel brewing
If you’re all exhausted and in the mood for a change, look no further than Soul barrel brews. A selection of independent craft beers with beers and guided tours.
5. Hike in the Mont Rochelle nature reserve
Mont Rochelle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is just outside Franschhoek. With over 30km of hiking trails and also home to Richard Branson’s stunning hotel and vineyard.
If that doesn’t upset you for some downtime, I’m not sure what will. We advise you to relax, slow down, and take it easy.
A good three or four days would be a suitable trip, enough time to relax, but enough time to tick off a few excursions.
Putting this on a Ce-Town trip is just perfect with the busy nature of Ce-Town and so much to do, Franschhoek is just a perfect way to end it.