Founded in 1688 by French Huguenots who fled their homeland in search of religious freedom, the village of Franschhoek wears its Gallic heritage with pride. The Tricolore is dotted throughout its streets, the names of its wineries and restaurants are très Français, and the stately Huguenot Monument looms large at the end of the main road. Plus: the town even hosts an annual Bastille Day festival – complete with boules and crêpe.
Dubbed the ‘gourmet capital’ of South Africa, Franschhoek is guaranteed to satisfy even the fussiest foodie. For every boutique and gallery lining its main road, there are at least three award-winning restaurants. Food and wine may be the town’s big draw card, but it’s hardly the only thing to do here: petrol-heads can visit the vintage motor museum; outdoorsy types can take their pick of hiking trails in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve; while fishing enthusiasts can cast a line in the Wemmers River. After a day of adventure, treat yourself to a red-wine body wash or massage at the La Residence Spa.
About an hours’ drive from Cape Town Franschhoek is favourably positioned for exploring the Cape Winelands. The neighbouring towns of Paarl and Stellenbosch are only half-an-hour away, making for a convenient and varied wine-tour experience.
- Dubbed the ‘food-and-wine capital’ of South Africa, with one of the highest concentration of award-winning restaurants of any town in the country
- It’s origins are linked to the French Huguenots who fled their homeland and arrived in the valley in 1688
- Well over 50 celebrated wineries scattered throughout the valley
- Learn more about the town’s French heritage at the Huguenot Monument and Museum
- Trout-fishing on the Wemmers River is a popular outdoor activity
- Host to several annual festivals – including the Bastille Day Festival