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Franschhoek Accommodation

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Franschhoek scenic view ©Nick Farnhill, Licence

Franschhoek

Franschhoek Valley nestles between the towering peaks of the Cape winelands, a beautiful valley where some of the world's finest wines are produced. Not to be outdone by the good wines of the regions, some of South Africa's top chefs have settled in the area and have added top international cuisine to the menu. The village is full of arts, crafts and antique shops and galleries, and is only 45 minutes drive from Cape Town. Franschhoek is an ideal spot from which to explore this wonderful regon of South Africa.

When Protestantism was outlawed in France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, hundreds of Huguenots fled France for places new. Nearly 300 of them arrived by ship at the Cape of Good Hope and many of these were given land by the then Dutch government in a valley called Oliphantshoek (Elephant Corner). The valley later became known as French Corner or Franschhoek. Their Huguenot Heritage is honoured today by the monument that stands at the top of the village. Most of the farms and vineyards in and around Franschhoek still have French names today.

Franschhoek, located in the Cape Winelands of the Western Cape, South Africa, is renowned for its scenic beauty, rich history, and exceptional food and wine.

Here are ten things to see and do in Franschhoek:

1. Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tours: Franschhoek is home to some of South Africa’s finest vineyards and wineries. Notable estates include La Motte, Boschendal, and Haute Cabrière. Many offer wine tastings, cellar tours, and the opportunity to purchase world-class wines.

2. Franschhoek Wine Tram: The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a hop-on-hop-off tram and bus service that allows you to explore the area's picturesque vineyards and indulge in wine tastings without worrying about driving.

3. Huguenot Memorial Museum: Learn about the history of the French Huguenots who settled in the area in the late 17th century. The museum offers insights into their culture, heritage, and impact on the region.

4. Huguenot Monument: Located near the Huguenot Memorial Museum, this impressive monument commemorates the influence of the Huguenots on the development of Franschhoek and the surrounding wine industry.

5. Dining at World-Class Restaurants: Franschhoek is known for its gourmet dining scene. Top restaurants include La Petite Colombe, Foliage, and The Tasting Room. Many of these establishments pair exquisite food with local wines.

6. Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve: For outdoor enthusiasts, the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve offers numerous hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Franschhoek Valley. The trails range from easy walks to more challenging hikes.

7. Franschhoek Motor Museum: Car enthusiasts will enjoy the Franschhoek Motor Museum, which showcases an extensive collection of vintage and classic cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.

8. Art Galleries and Studios: Franschhoek has a vibrant arts scene. Explore local art galleries and studios, such as the Everard Read Gallery and David Walters Ceramics, which feature works by both local and international artists.

9. Chocolate Tasting: Visit Huguenot Fine Chocolates for a delectable chocolate tasting experience. You can learn about the chocolate-making process and indulge in handmade Belgian-style chocolates.

10. Bastille Day Festival: If you visit in July, don't miss the annual Bastille Day Festival. This lively event celebrates Franschhoek's French heritage with food, wine, music, and a variety of activities, all in a festive atmosphere.

These activities offer a perfect blend of culture, history, nature, and gastronomy, making Franschhoek a must-visit destination in the Cape Winelands.

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