Dreaming about a romantic convertible drive through the oak-lined lanes of Le Franschhoek? The wind in your hair... the dappled sunshine warming your skin... the Cape Dutch homesteads streaming past... Forget it. Ditch those wheels and check out a range of fun ways to explore Franschhoek with that extra little je ne sais quoi...
Hop on, hop off...a ‘tram-endous’ way to explore Franschhoek
What’s a trip to Franschhoek without enjoying some of the local tipple? We’re certainly not expecting you to spend all your days sipping pinot noir on Le Franschhoek’s veranda, but you’re visiting one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Let’s face it, a glass or two on the patio just isn’t going to cut it.
No worries, Franschhoek Wine Tram to the rescue! This hop-on hop-off tour is hands down one of the best way to discover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley while sipping some of the greatest wines the country has to offer.
Chug along in an open-side tram and hop off at any of the participating wine estates that spark your interest – you’ll have no less than seven estates to choose from. Enjoy a delectable variety of wines, explore the wine cellars, learn how to pair wine with cheese, olives and even chocolates or try your hand at winemaking before hopping back onto the tram to the next estate.
The tram is a great way to connect with like-minded spirits (excuse the pun) and make friends while on holiday. Although you might feel shy and reserved when you board the tram, after your second stop, you’ll be sure to strike up a conversation with your neighbour, and by the fourth stop, you’ll be bound to make friends for life... although you might not remember them the following morning.
‘I want to ride my bicycle...’
No need to pop on your cleats and camelback. Who said bike riding needs to be about sweat and dirt? In Franschhoek you can just ‘Wine & Ride’– it might sound like a bit of a challenge, but it is without a doubt a not-to-miss experience. Take the scenic back roads of the winelands, enjoy the view and indulge in a bit of wine tasting with Bike & Saddle.
For the hard core MTB fanatics, there are a number of outstanding trails that will be able to challenge the most experienced fitness freaks. What’s more, you don’t even need to be in top shape to tour the region by bike. You can opt for a ‘happy’ 18km circuit where you’ll enjoy the views, sample some lovely wines and eat the most delicious food as you cruise along.
Does the idea of couple of glasses of wine and a bike make you feel a bit nervous? Do you feel that balance might be a challenge after the second or third wine estate? A breakfast tour might be a good option for you. Take a challenging ride to watch the sun rise over the mountains and the Berg River dam.
Footloose and fancy free in Franschhoek
Get back to basics: put on your walking shoes and explore this quaint little winelands town on foot.
The Franschhoek Village Heritage walk will take you on a self-guided stroll into the village’s past. You’ll explore historically significant architecture at leisure, enjoy peaceful green spaces and uncover some unique local attractions you would most probably have missed if you were driving past in a car. Walking is also a great way to meet local residents and engage in conversations with other interesting travellers.
If you’d rather explore the local flora and fauna, Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve has quite a few day hiking trails that will take you though fynbos and into the mountains.
Horsing around a la Franschhoek...
What could be more romantic than a ride through the orchards and vineyards on horseback? Canter off into the sunset or sunrise with the Franschhoek Mountains as your backdrop. Ride through fruit orchards, vineyards, nature conservancies and mountain fynbos.
Feeling brave? Horse back rides can be combined with wine tastings at the area’s award-winning wine estates. One word of warning though: if you were already nervous about hopping onto a bicycle after a couple of glasses of wine, you might want to think twice about getting onto a stallion’s back after enjoying an afternoon of delectable wines.