Located in South Africa's Cape Winelands, the picturesque village of Franschhoek South Africa (meaning "French Corner") is a popular destination for foodies and wine enthusiasts. Those who travel to Franschhoek enjoy leisurely days filled with tours and tastings at wineries, browsing art galleries and antique shops, hiking, and fishing. Then, they can spend their evenings enjoying local Franschhoek wine and excellent dining. If this sounds appealing, it's time to start planning your Franschhoek vacation.
The main attractions at Franschhoek are, without a doubt, the food and drink. Of the more than 40 cellars in and around Franschhoek, there are both small boutique wineries and larger operations complete with farms, homesteads, and vineyards. Many offer organized wine tours and tastings, which can be a great way to learn more about the local wines. After sipping on Franschhoek wine through the day, you can select a glass of your favorite local concoction to accompany a gourmet dinner at one of Franschhoek's numerous award-winning restaurants. You'll leave Franschhoek knowing why the city is considered the gourmet capital of South Africa.
Some wine and food enthusiasts may want to time their travel to Franschhoek with a popular event, namely, the Bastille Day Festival in mid-July. This festival, held to celebrate Franschhoek's French heritage, includes a Food and Wine Marquee, a French Film Festival, Pêtanque, Barrel Rolling, and the Chefs and Waiters Race, among other attractions.
In between all that wining and dining, there are a variety of activities you can enjoy in Franschhoek South Africa. For active travelers, there are hiking trails in the hills, cycling paths, and trout fishing in local streams. For those who prefer a slower pace, Franschhoek's downtown area is home to numerous shops and art galleries, perfect for idling away an afternoon and for finding unique gifts and mementos to take home.
During your travel to Franschhoek, be sure to take a little time to soak up the village's early history. Franschhoek received its name after several hundred French Protestants, called Huguenots, settled there in the seventeenth century. You can visit the Huguenot monument at the top of the village and explore the nearby historical museum that chronicles the fascinating history of those French settlers.
Franschhoek South Africa is located just 45 minutes from bustling Cape Town and enjoys the same mild Mediterranean climate. Because of its close proximity to Cape Town, Franschhoek is easy to fit into a Cape Town vacation as a detour. However, if you choose to spend the night, there are numerous options for Franschhoek hotels, as well as lodges, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and self-catering houses.
With numerous wineries and award-winning gourmet restaurants, Franschhoek is a not-to-be-missed destination for oenophiles and gourmands. However, the Franschhoek wine and food are not the only reasons to visit—the beautiful natural surroundings, the village's fascinating history, the inviting hospitality, and the downtown area's numerous art galleries and shops all contribute to making Franschhoek a memorable, well-balanced destination to include on a South African vacation.