South Africa’s Food & Wine Capital, Franschhoek, bursts at the seams with eateries, all along the spectrum from fine to funky. But there’s plenty else to do besides pleasing the palate, and here are some of the options:
Huguenot Fine Chocolates offers a ½ hour chocolate tour for small groups, covering the history of chocolate, a chocolate-making demonstration, and choc tasting. Book in advance. Tel: 021 876 4096.
Bike along a 7 km off-road tarred path starting at De Villiers Street opposite Franschhoek Cellars and continuing to the Wemmershoek/Berg River Dam crossroads.
Manic Cycles in Franschhoek has bikes to rent and offers bike tours of the area.
There are bike, wine and picnic tours, as well as customized tours. Families with young children are catered for too. Tel: 021 876 4956.
The Wemmers River runs through La Ferme estate, bringing brown and rainbow trout.
There are also four dams stocked with trout, bass and carp. Spend some time fly fishing on the farm, and bring your own picnic basket along. Tel: 021 867 0120.
Solms Delta wine estate offers outrides in the winelands for riders 12+ and adult beginners. Tel: 083 300 4368.
Paradise Stables offers wine tasting on horseback and scenic tours. Outrides are for experienced riders 12+. Tel: 021 876 2160.
Val de Vie Wine & Polo Estate has pony rides for children on Saturdays and Sundays between 12:00 and 14:00. Tel: 021 863 6174.
View a statue of Nelson Mandela at the entrance to the Groot Drakenstein Correctional Facility. This is where Mandela walked out to freedom after 27 years in prison.
Huguenot Memorial Museum in Lambrechts Street. Huguenot history, furniture, social aspects of early life in Franschhoek. Open 9 to 5 and 2 to 5 on Sundays. Tel: 021 876 2532.
Motor Museum at L’Ormarins. Open 10 – 5 Tuesdays to Fridays and 10 – 4 over weekends. Tel: 021 874 9065.
Museum van de Caab on the Solms Delta wine estate. This small museum highlights valley history from the Stone Age, as well as the slave history of the farm, recordings of San people talking and singing, and ceramic artefacts. Open 9 to 5 Sundays and Mondays, 9 to 7 Tuesdays to Saturdays over the festive season. Entrance free. Tel: 021 874 3937.
Mont Rochelle offers picnics at tables in the garden or provides blankets under trees overlooking the dam. There are also walks through the vineyards to enjoy. Tel 021 876 2770.
Rickety Bridge. Tel: 021 876 2016.
Solms Delta wine estate. Tel: 021 874 3937.
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve Hiking Trails. Details and a map of walks and trails through fynbos and into the mountains, ranging from short and easy to a strenuous day trail. All of them start at the main gate at the top of the Franschhoek Pass and the views are unsurpassed. Permits are obtainable at Info, the Protea Hotel or the Huguenot Museum.
La Motte offers a guided tour of the historic buildings on the estate, from 10:00 to 11:00 on Wednesday mornings. The tour starts at the La Motte Museum, proceeds through La Motte’s rose garden and pauses at several national monuments: The La Motte Manor House, The Jonkershuis, The La Motte Historic Cellar, The Water Mill. The event includes the milling of stone-ground flour by the oldest operating mill in the Franschhoek Valley, followed by a tasting of locally baked breads. Tel: 021 876 8000.
Explore the Rond & Bont Route to see how the locals live.
Mail us for accommodation bookings or call +27 21 797-7122.