Franschhoek Travel Guide
After the Edict of Nantes revocation in France in 1685, when Protestantism was outlawed, hundreds of so-called Huguenots fled their homeland, 277 of them arriving by ship at the Cape of Good Hope. Many of them were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Oliphantshoek (Elephant’s Corner) – so named because of the vast herds of elephants that roamed the area. Soon after they settled here, it became known as Franschhoek (French Corner).
This heritage lives on today with the Huguenot monument standing proudly at the top of the village. The nearby museum chronicles the history of those brave pioneers, with each of the original Huguenot farms having its own fascinating story.
Franschhoek boasts some of South Africa’s ‘Top 100’ restaurants and has become known as the country’s Culinary Capital, providing visitors with a memorable dining experience. Leading chefs create everything from cutting-edge cuisine to stylish light meals, using only the freshest local produce paired with superb local wines.
Franschhoek is also a member of The Délice Network of Good Food Cities of the World. Délice is an international network of like-minded cities engaged in promoting the benefits of culinary excellence and good food. Franschhoek was granted membership to this prestigious network in October 2014 and is the only member in the Southern Hemisphere.
Franschhoek also offers visitors diverse culinary experiences through its festivals such as the Franschhoek Bastille Festival, The Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, as well as its routes – the Food and Wine Route, the Artisan Food Route, and Franschhoek Rond en Bond. The Franschhoek Artisan Food Route, in particular, exposes the visitor to a range of the finest olives, cheeses, salmon trout, charcuterie and artisanal breads South Africa has to offer.
10 Reasons to Visit Franschhoek
Franschhoek is the most beautiful wine valley in the world. It is the food and wine capital of the country.
There are more award-winning restaurants concentrated here than anywhere else in the land.
Franschhoek’s French heritage of more than 300 years is evident in the wine and food tradition. The magnificent
Huguenot Museum and monument are worth a visit.
There are 101 interesting things to do in this picturesque village.
You can taste the wines of the valley more than 40 extraordinary wine cellars.
Franschhoek is a town for all budgets.
It is centrally located to enjoy the wonderful pleasures of the Western Cape – from the winelands to whale watching to exploring the mother city.
The culturally diverse people are friendly and welcoming.
The galleries and shops in the quaint main street provide hours of interesting browsing and shopping.
Dining in Franschhoek
Franschhoek has many fine and award-winning Restaurants to choose from, for a great dining experience. Whether you are after a breakfast, light lunch, family meal or a romantic evening of fine dining gourmet cuisine for two, Franschhoek's wide variety of Restaurants will cater to your every need and desire.
What better excuse to explore one of South Africa’s premier wine destinations, whilst uncovering a fine selection of gems from the Franschhoek Valley.
Franschhoek Art Galleries
Andrea Desmond Smiths Gallery
Ebony Curated Bordeaux House
Everad Read Gallery
La Motte Museum
Sénéchal-Senekal Art Gallery
The Gallery at Grande Provence
Huguenot Memorial Museum
Reflects the persecution of the French Huguenots, their flight, settlement at the Cape and contribution to South Africa. Entrance fee will give excess to the Huguenot Museum, First South African Perfume Museum, Huguenot Monument & Nature Garden.
The Village Walk Tour
The Village Walking Tour takes you on a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Franschhoek Village. Experience some of the oldest architecture and cultural sites the village has to offer.
Price: R195.00 per adult
Almost anybody can experience the excitement of free flight by flying tandem with an instructor. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and you’re off gliding through the air in search of waves of lift.
Franschhoek Wine and Wine Tram
Experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as you journey through rolling vineyards in a double-decker tram and open-air tram-bus stopping at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.