Top Things To Do in Franschhoek

Found in the heart of South Africa’s Cape Winelands, Franschhoek offers a unique blend of history, culture, and exquisite natural beauty. Known as the “French Corner,” this charming village is famed for its vineyards, culinary delights, and rich heritage. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Franschhoek promises a memorable experience. There’s no shortage on what to do in Franschhoek and our guide is here to help you figure that out.

Top Things To Do in Franschhoek

A Brief History of Franschhoek

Franschhoek, which means “French Corner” in Dutch, was established in the late 17th century by French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution. These settlers brought with them their winemaking traditions, which have profoundly influenced the region’s viticulture. The Huguenot Monument and Museum, located at the end of Franschhoek’s main street, pays homage to these early settlers and provides insight into their significant impact on the area.

1. Wine Tasting Tours

Franschhoek is synonymous with wine. Embark on a wine tasting tour to explore some of the best wineries in South Africa. Many estates offer guided tours where you can learn about the winemaking process and sample their finest wines. The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a must-try, providing a scenic journey through the vineyards with stops at selected wine estates. Each estate has its own unique charm, from grand chateaus to rustic cellars, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

2. Hiking and Nature Trails

For nature enthusiasts, the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve offers a variety of hiking trails with stunning views of the Franschhoek Valley. The trails range from easy walks to more challenging hikes, catering to all fitness levels. Along the way, you’ll encounter diverse flora and fauna, making it a perfect escape into nature. Remember to bring your camera; the panoramic views are breathtaking.

3. Exploring Art Galleries and Museums

Franschhoek is a haven for art lovers. The village boasts several art galleries showcasing contemporary South African art, sculptures, and ceramics. The Franschhoek Motor Museum is another highlight, featuring an impressive collection of vintage cars. Each piece tells a story, reflecting the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Spend an afternoon strolling through the galleries and discovering local artists.

Car Museum in Franschhoek

4. Culinary Experiences

Renowned as the culinary capital of South Africa, Franschhoek offers a plethora of dining experiences. From fine dining restaurants to cosy cafes, the village caters to all palates. Join a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional South African dishes or enjoy a leisurely picnic at one of the wine estates. The Franschhoek Food & Wine Route is perfect for foodies, providing a delightful journey through the region’s gastronomic offerings.

5. The Franschhoek Market

The Franschhoek Market is a lively spot for both visitors and locals, offering a delightful family-friendly experience. At this vibrant market, you’ll find an array of delis, coffee brewers, and craft beer stalls alongside vendors selling fresh produce and gourmet treats. Additionally, unique art, crafts, antiques, and vintage clothing are available, making it a treasure trove for shoppers. The market provides an opportunity to mingle with the locals and discover the diverse offerings of Franschhoek. Open on Saturdays from 09h00 to 15h00 in summer and 10h00 to 15h00 in winter, entry is free except during the Bastille Festival weekend. For the latest updates, visit their Facebook page. The market is located at 29 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek.

Top Restaurants in Franschhoek

1. La Petite Colombe

Location: Leeu Estates, Dassenberg Rd, Franschhoek

Contact: 021 202 3395

Located in the heart of Franschhoek, La Petite Colombe offers an elegant dining experience. The restaurant’s modern décor complements its innovative cuisine, which blends local ingredients with international flair. Renowned for its tasting menus, La Petite Colombe promises a culinary journey that delights the senses. Its picturesque setting adds to the overall experience, making it a must-visit.

La Petite Colombe

2. The French Connection

Location: 48 Huguenot St, Franschhoek, 7690

Contact: 021 876 4056

The French Connection, a bistro-style restaurant, is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Located in the heart of Franschhoek, it offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The menu features classic French cuisine with a South African twist, including dishes such as duck confit, steak frites, and bouillabaisse. The charming interior, reminiscent of a traditional French bistro, adds to its appeal. With its delicious food, attentive service, and prime location, The French Connection is a must-visit for any foodie exploring Franschhoek.

Things To Do in Franschhoek

3. Le Coin Français

Location: 7 Huguenot St, Franschhoek, 7690

Contact: 074 126 0022

Le Coin Français, meaning “The French Corner,” is a tribute to Franschhoek’s French heritage. The restaurant features contemporary French cuisine with a South African twist. The chic décor and intimate setting make it perfect for a romantic dinner. Chef Darren Badenhorst’s creative approach ensures each dish is a masterpiece, reflecting the rich cultural fusion of the region.

le coin francais restaurant

Best Time to Visit Franschhoek

Franschhoek is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) seasons. During these periods, the weather is mild, and the vineyards are at their most picturesque. Summer (December to February) can be quite hot, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and wine tasting. Winter (June to August) is cooler, but cosy fireplaces and hearty meals make it a charming time to visit.

Events and Festivals

Franschhoek hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, attracting visitors from near and far. The Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, held in December, is a highlight, celebrating the region’s sparkling wines. The Bastille Day Festival in July honours Franschhoek’s French heritage with food, wine, and lively entertainment. The Franschhoek Literary Festival, usually held in May, brings together authors and literary enthusiasts for a weekend of readings and discussions.

Accommodation in Franschhoek

Finding the perfect place to stay in Franschhoek is easy, with a variety of options to suit all budgets and preferences.

1. Leeu House

Leeu House, a boutique hotel located in the heart of Franschhoek, offers luxurious accommodation with a personal touch. The elegant rooms are tastefully decorated, providing a serene retreat. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast and relax in the hotel’s lush gardens or by the pool. Its central location makes it an ideal base for exploring the village.

Leeu House

2. La Petite Ferme

La Petite Ferme, perched on the slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains, offers stunning views of the valley. The estate features a guesthouse with well-appointed rooms and a charming restaurant. Guests can explore the vineyards, enjoy wine tastings, and savour gourmet meals while taking in the breathtaking scenery. It’s perfect for those seeking a peaceful and scenic getaway.

La Petite Ferme

3. Franschhoek Country House & Villas

Franschhoek Country House & Villas provide a luxurious and tranquil escape. The property features elegantly furnished rooms and spacious villas set amidst beautiful gardens. Guests can indulge in spa treatments, dine at the award-winning Monneaux Restaurant, and relax by the pool. The attentive service and serene surroundings ensure a memorable stay.

Franschhoek Country House & Villas

If you’re interested, FOMO has Franschhoek accommodation specials on offer for you to explore with a your friends or family. The Franschhoek deal accommodates 12 guests for 2 nights. Located in a tranquil farm setting, these cottages provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. The cottages are well-appointed, featuring comfortable furnishings and all the necessary amenities for a pleasant stay. One of the highlights is the inclusion of Wine Tram tickets, allowing guests to conveniently explore the nearby vineyards. The surrounding landscape is ideal for leisurely walks and picnics, adding to the overall experience of staying at Franschhoek Farm Cottages.

Franschhoek Farm Cottages

Tips for Visiting Franschhoek

  • Plan Ahead: Franschhoek is a popular destination, especially during peak seasons. Book accommodation and activities in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Transportation: Renting a car is recommended for exploring the area. However, many attractions are within walking distance, and bicycle rentals are available.
  • Local Markets: Visit the Franschhoek Village Market on Saturdays for local crafts, fresh produce, and live music.
  • Pack Accordingly: Summers can be hot, so bring sunscreen and hats. Winters are cooler, so pack warm clothing for evenings.

Head To Franschhoek

Franschhoek is a captivating destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring its rich history, indulging in world-class wines, hiking through stunning landscapes, or savouring exquisite cuisine, Franschhoek promises an unforgettable experience. With its charming accommodation options and vibrant events, this picturesque village is the perfect getaway for a memorable holiday. So, pack your bags and discover the many things to do in Franschhoek!

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