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FRANSCHHOEK

Experience Franschhoek, one of South Africa’s oldest towns

Originally settled in 1688 by 176 French Huguenot refugees, many of whom were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Olifantshoek (‘Elephants Corner’), so named because of the vast herds of elephants that once roamed the area. The name then changed to le Coin Français (‘the French Corner’), and later to Franschhoek (Afrikaans for ‘French Corner’), with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which they came. The town’s heritage is shown today by the Huguenot Monument which stands at the end of the town. The nearby museum chronicles the history of the first settlers, with each of the original Huguenot farms having its own fascinating story to tell.

Franschhoek has, since the 1990s, become a premier South African tourism destination. The town and its surroundings host more than 40 wine estates, many of which have won national and international awards for their wine, and provide unique tasting experiences. The town is also home to some of South Africa’s finest restaurants including Le Quartier Français and Reubens.

Franschhoek’s stunning mountain setting also provides the opportunity to participate in a variety or active pursuits, including mountain biking, trekking and horse riding, all of which can be integrated with wine tasting.

The town, with its characteristic Cape Dutch architecture, has a wide range of souvenir, art, jewellery, fashion, antique, interior design and grocery stores, making it a wonderful town for strolling and window shopping.

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Wine

10 Things We Recommend You Do

  1. Experience the valley’s finest wines on a half or full-day tour of the wineries. Contact Winelands Experience (021 876 4042 – info@winelands.travel) for more information.

  2. Sample one of Franschhoek’s infamous gourmet meals at Le Bon Vivant, Grande Provence, Roca at Dieu Donné, Haute Cabrière or Reubens.

  3. Learn about the town’s unique past by visiting the Huguenot Memorial Museum, Museum van der Caab at Solms Delta, and/or taking a historical tour of Franschhoek with a qualified guide.

  4. Hire a mountain bike and explore the wineries, back roads and mountains.

  5. Explore the region’s amazing flora and fauna by hiking at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Permits are available from Winelands Experience.

  6. Tempt the taste buds with a chocolate tasting at Huguenot Fine Chocolates – a half hour chocolate tour, history of chocolate, chocolate-making demonstration, and tasting. Best to book in advance.

  7. Especially for the younger visitors, take a trip just outside the valley to Butterfly World, Drakenstein Lion Park and Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm

  8. Stop by the Motor Museum at L’Ormarins to look back at more than 100 years of motoring history with a unique collection of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia.

  9. Perhaps a spa experience at The Secret Wellness Studio At La Terra de Luc, Pearl Valley Golf Estate Spa or Holden Manz Wine Estate & Wellness Spa

  10. Shop to your heart’s content in and around the village – jewellery, handicrafts, artwork, fine food, ceramics, furniture, fashion, antiques, and of course, wine.

Download Maps

Feel free to use download and print the maps listed below (produced by Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism)

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GUEST COTTAGES