Between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape wine lands, through which flows one of the tributaries of the Berg River, lies the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. This is food and wine country, where splendid wines are grown and top chefs create international cuisine.
These mountain slopes were settled more than 300 years ago by the Huguenots, who brought with them their age-old French wine and food culture. Breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world class cuisine and the finest wines all combine to create lasting memories.
In the picturesque and friendly village of Franschhoek, ringed by tall mountains, is a riot of galleries, street cafes, coffee shops and restaurants. Franschhoek is also ideally situated to explore the Cape winelands being only a 45 minute drive from Cape Town.
As you enter Franschhoek you will notice that most of the farms still bear their original French names and are usually complete with a spectacular Cape Dutch homestead, towering oaks and luscious vineyards. There are a variety of cellars, from small boutique wineries that cater for those in search of something unique, to large cellars that offer organized tours and conducted tastings.
As many as 8 out of South Africa's "Top 100 Restaurants" are in Franschhoek . Leading chefs create everything from world-class cuisine to light meals using the freshest produce of the valley, which are complemented by the wonderful local wines. Linger a while and savour the hospitality, ambience and variety of so many great restaurants.
A superb variety of accommodation greets the visitor; from internationally renowned hotels and guest houses to self-catering cottages on wine farms, hostels and the like.
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. Soon after they settled here, it become known as Franschhoek, French Corner. This heritage stays preserved today with 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.
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