The French Corner of the Cape
Franschhoek, one of the oldest towns in South Africa, lies nestled between towering mountains in one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world! Perfectly situated to explore the Western Cape, Franschhoek is only 45 minutes from Cape Town and within half an hour from Stellenbosch, Paarl and Somerset West.
Franschhoek, literally means “French Corner”, and this little French town is also known as the food and wine capital of our country – there are more award-winning restaurants concentrated here than anywhere else in the land! Here, in-between breath-taking scenery, top chefs create world class cuisines and offer some of the finest wine. The abundance of excellent Wine Estates can be visited by bus, private tours, the Franschhoek Wine Tram or pick your favourites and visit at your own leisure.
While in Franschhoek visit the Huguenot monument standing proudly at the top of the village. The museum nearby chronicles the history of those brave pioneers, with each of the original Huguenot farms having its own fascinating story to tell.
Once a sleepy little countryside, Franschhoek has turned into a premier holiday destination. It offers ideal summer weather and snowy mountains in winter, a wonderful collection of art and antiques and outdoor enthusiasts can revel in fishing, horse riding, hiking, cycling and exploring the beautiful Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.
Franschhoek has an abundance of B&B’s and guesthouse establishments, as well as self-catering options and hotels and spas.
Things to do and see
- Franschhoek Motor Museum
- Huguenot Monument & Museum
- Franschhoek Art House
- Ceramics Gallery
- Rickety Bridge
- La Motte Wine Estate
- Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve
- Theewaterskloof Dam
- Franschhoek Pass
- Franschhoek Walking Tours
- Huguenot Fine Chocolates Tour
- Rond en Bont Cultural Tour
- Dieu Donne Microbrewery
- Franschhoek Wine Tram
- Franschhoek Village Market
- Pearl Valley Golf Course
Franschhoek receives approximately 912 mm of rain annually with rainfall occurring mostly during the winter months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 19˚C.
In 1685 when Protestantism was outlawed, hundreds of so-called Huguenots fled their homeland, arriving by ship at the Cape of Good Hope. Many of them were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Oliphantshoek, or Elephant's Corner - so named because of the vast herds of elephants that roamed the area.
In 1688, soon after they settled here, it become known as Franschhoek, French Corner. Many of the settlers here named their farms after the areas in France from which they came such as La Motte, Provence and Chamonix and many of these have grown into renowned wine estates today. Franschhoek’s French heritage of more than 300 years is evident in the wine and food tradition.
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