In 1688 French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in their homeland settled in the Cape and brought their expertise in viniculture with them, boosting the efforts of the Dutch farmers. The pocket-sized town of Franschhoek boasts some 34 restaurants at last count with an enormous variety of choice, from gourmet breakfasts to top quality dinners including smoked trout from the clear and unpolluted local rivers and lakes. Franschhoek boasts the highest number of award winning eateries in South Africa.
The Cape Winelands is the largest wine producing region in the Western Cape; with a selection of over 200 cellars to choose from, visitors are guaranteed to taste some of the best wines in the world. The Cape Winelands is characterized by beautiful mountain ranges, long winding rivers, lush green vineyards and breathtaking scenery and sunsets. Summer in the Cape Winelands is synonymous with harvest season and the freshest locally grown produce can be tasted and enjoyed at various farm stalls. The French influence can still be seen in the names of many of the farms, streets and establishments. Combine all this with stunning Cape Dutch architecture set in one of the most beautiful valleys surrounded by wine estates and you have a combination that is hard to resist.
How to Get there
Sun Safaris can arrange scheduled flights for guests from most major airports to Cape Town International airport. Many international flights fly directly into Cape Town however guests may have a stopover in Johannesburg (at OR Tambo International Airport). Once guests arrive at Cape Town airport, guests have a choice between a self-drive holiday (rental car) and a private road transfer. Sun Safaris can arrange these services for guests.
The Cape Winelands is accessible from anywhere in South Africa. All roads are tarred and in good condition. The drive time will depend on where guests are driving from. Self-driving through the Western Cape is an ideal way of exploring this beautiful region. Sun Safaris can arrange a rental car for guests.
The Wine Route Activities
The Cape Winelands offer visitors a wide variety of activities, excursions and sights to enjoy; visitors will experience rich historical and cultural heritage while visiting small villages and vibrant townships, outdoor museums and galleries, open-air theatres and outdoor art and craft exhibitions. A worthwhile trip is a drive over Franschoek Pass to the Elgin Valley, the foremost region in the country for the growing of apples. The pass follows the route originally taken by elephants on their travels, although it is now well maintained asphalt.
Interesting activities such as berry, cherry, grape and other fruit picking tours can be enjoyed at various fruit farms. For the more adventurous visitors, there are a variety of activities including game viewing, canoeing, 4x4 trails, horse-back safaris, hiking, mountain biking, rock pool swimming, abseiling and 'kloofing'.
Franschhoek Country House
Franschhoek Country House & Villas is a leading luxury hotel situated in the heart of the Franschhoek valley and offers guests luxurious accommodation and gourmet cuisine. Situated on the outskirts of the Franschhoek Village, only 1km from the main town.
Le Quartier Français
Situated deep in the heart of the beautiful Franschhoek Valley is the unique Le Quartier Français, a luxurious and elegant boutique hotel. Hidden away in secluded gardens, it offers the ideal setting for a romantic honeymoon or quiet weekend away.