Franschhoek Travel Guide
After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France in 1685, when Protestantism was outlawed, hundreds of so-called Huguenots fled their homeland, 277 of them arriving by ship at the Cape of Good Hope. Many of them were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Oliphantshoek (Elephant’s Corner) – so named because of the vast herds of elephants that roamed the area. Soon after they settled here, it become known as Franschhoek (French Corner).
This heritage lives on today with the Huguenot monument standing proudly at the top of the village. The museum nearby chronicles the history of those brave pioneers, with each of the original Huguenot farms having its own fascinating story to tell.
10 Reasons to visit Franschhoek
- Franschhoek is the most beautiful wine valley in the world.
- It is the food and wine capital of the country.
- There are more award-winning restaurants concentrated here than anywhere else in the land.
- Franschhoek’s French heritage of more than 300 years is evident in the wine and food tradition. The magnificent
- Huguenot Museum and monument are worth a visit.
- There are 101 interesting things to do in this picturesque village.
- You can taste the wines of the valley more than 40 extraordinary wine cellars.
- Franschhoek is a town for all budgets.
- It is centrally located to enjoy the wonderful pleasures of the Western Cape – from the winelands to whalewatching to exploring the mother city.
- The culturally diverse people are friendly and welcoming.
- The galleries and shops in the quaint main street provide hours of interesting browsing and shopping.
What to Do
Franschhoek Food & Wine Route - Breathtaking scenery, warm hospitality, South Africa’s Gourmet Capital, fine wines, distinctive artists, and a small village atmosphere. These are the hallmarks of the picturesque Franschhoek Wine Valley, situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands. (See Maps attached) or visit http://franschhoek.org.za/routes/food-wineroute/
Franschhoek Rond en Bont - The Franschhoek Rond en Bont route encourages visitors to experience the diversity of this beautiful valley. Our various communities’ welcome visitors with open arms and they are eager to share their heritage. The route boasts a rich cultural history. It covers a large area of the Franschhoek Wine Valley and includes communities such
as Dwarsrivier, Wemmershoek, Bosbou, Groendal, Mooiwater, Tyotyombeni, neighbouring farms as well as the town of Franschhoek.
Franschhoek Cap Classique Route - Regarded as one of South Africa’s leading Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) producing areas, the Franschhoek Wine Valley MCC route has been established. The Valley, renowned for producing outstanding Méthode Cap Classiques, has a total of 24 producers.
Art Franschhoek Route - As with fine food and outstanding wines, so too fine art needs to be savoured in order to be appreciated. Regarded as SA’s premier food and wine destination, Franschhoek has added art destination to its résumé. Franschhoek is home to some of the country’s finest art offerings and a growing number of local and international art enthusiasts, a need arose to establish Art Franschhoek, which showcases all of these and much more. The route aims to promote fine art in the valley in the same way its other strengths have been defined, namely food and wine.
What to Experience
- La Motte’s Pierneef Experience – a distinct way of enjoying the finer things in life!
- The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour - http://winetram.co.za/
- Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf - Situated in the picturesque Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, 35 minutes from Cape Town, Pearl Valley forms part of Val de Vie Estate, internationally recognized for its wine making and polo facilities. The majestic Simonsberg and Drakenstein mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for the acclaimed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Our residents enjoy a safe, exclusive lifestyle in a magnificent setting. Discover ‘Life Worth Living’ in a place we call the Valley of Life. - http://pearlvalley.co.za
Franschhoek boasts some of South Africa’s ‘Top 100’ restaurants and has become known as the country’s Culinary Capital, providing visitors with a memorable dining experience. Leading chefs create everything from cutting-edge cuisine to stylish light meals, using only the freshest local produce paired with superb local wines. Franschhoek is also a member of The Délice Network of Good Food Cities of the World. Délice is an international network of likeminded cities engaged in
promoting the benefits of culinary excellence and good food. Franschhoek was granted membership to this prestigious network in October 2014, and is the only member in the Southern Hemisphere.
Franschhoek also offers visitors diverse culinary experiences through its festivals such as the Franschhoek Bastille Festival, The Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, as well as its routes – the Food and Wine Route, the Artisan Food Route, and Franschhoek Rond en Bond. The Franschhoek Artisan Food Route, in particular, exposes the visitor to a range of
the finest olives, cheeses, salmon trout, charcuterie and artisanal breads South Africa has to offer.
Internationally acclaimed chefs who include Le Quartier Français’ Executive Chef, Margot Janse, Reuben Riffel, Chris Erasmus (Foliage Restaurant), Darren Badenhorst (The Restaurant at Grande Provence), Carmen Muller (The Tasting Centre at Rupert & Rothschild) as well Neil Jewel (the Charcuterie Guru) are based in Franschhoek, adding further acclaim to the area.