Reasons to Add the Franschhoek Wine Region to Your Cape Town Itinerary

Planning a Cape Town itinerary means including a little bit of everything – beach, mountains, city life, and, of course, wine. This post is all about the wine…the Franschhoek wine region in particular.

If you want to experience the best of the beautiful Cape Winelands, make sure to include a visit to the Franschhoek wine district.

Why the Franschhoek wine region?

Boasting a huge 20+ wineries, Franschhoek is renowned for its ever popular wine tram tours, exquisite food and five star accommodation.

The relaxed nature of the town, stunning scenery and slow place make this the perfect relaxing break, city escape or fantastic day trip.

Franschhoek has a huge French influence, with the name meaning the ‘French corner’ in Afrikaans.

Where is Franschhoek?

This incredible destination is located 60 kilometres outside the hustle and bustle of the Cape Town city and 30km to the ever popular wine district of Stellenbosch (here’s a few things to do in Stellenbosch). The town lies between the Franschhoek Valley and the Wemmershoek Mountains.

Franschhoek wine region
Franschhoek wine region

Join a Franschhoek wine tram tour

This is the number one attraction in Franschhoek, with trams covering 8 tram lines and 8 to 10 stops on each line (you can stay aboard and skip some stops if you wish). Tram times run every hour allowing some wine tasting, food and a look around before heading off to your next destination. Be aware though, the last tram runs at 4pm, so if you settle in to a winery for a few hours be sure to keep one eye on your watch or it could be a long walk.

Book the tour now

Two wine stops you must make

Dieu Donne

Set on the side of the hills with views of the stunning Franschhoek mountain range and neighboring Stellenbosch, Dieu Donne offers a sense of freedom and a world away from everything.

Top Tip: This is the best place in Franschhoek to see the sunset.

Eikehof Wines

Eikehof is a smaller, more family oriented winery and you really get a sense of what it might feel like to grow up immersed in this world. The family shared some great stories such as the history of the 1940’s Ford on display – which belonged to the owner’s grandfather who used it to plough the fields back in the day. Such intimate stories shared by the owners added to the warm experience we had here.

Franschhoek wine tram
Franschhoek wine tram

Food in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is known unofficially as the culinary capital of South Africa. It boasts first class fine dining, while still creating a relaxed aura and feel that is Franschhoek.

Our favourite restaurant in Franschhoek

For us it has to be the Monneaux restaurant, a restaurant set with a relaxed yet intimate environment. With three rooms and the flow of a house, this really set a scene of comfort. This certainly was an environment we could feel comfortable in while still appreciating all the formalities and professionalism of a top end fine dining restaurant.

The food prides itself on locally sourced suppliers and artisans, seasonal menus and simplicity with a view of not over complicating things.

We enjoyed a small plates tasting menu trying 4 dishes and dessert. This is the way we like to eat getting many different flavours and textures. Presentation is fantastic and every dish was well executed.

Where to stay in Franschhoek

We stayed at the Franschhoek Country House and Villas a short 10 minute walk from the center of Franschhoek. 5 star accommodation at it’s finest. With complimentary champagne on arrival and a great breakfast of freshly cooked dishes, fruits, pastries, meats and cheeses laid out each morning.

Get poolside and enjoy some sun with poolside dining and cocktails, the fresh views of the mountains and the old fashioned passing wine tram.

The hotel also has an onsite spa with many many options of packages to unwind and rejuvenate.

Franschhoek Country House and Villas
Franschhoek Country House and Villas

5 Other Things To Do In Franschhoek

Staying for a few days? Here is five other great things to do in Franschhoek.

1. Franschhoek Motor Museum

With over 100 years of history and over 200 cars the Franschhoek motor museum is a must for any car enthusiast.

2. Franschhoek Pass

The Franschhoek pass takes you into the mountains with stunning drives and views that you can only imagine exist.

3. First South African Perfume Museum

Franshhoek was once a budding perfume district with a whole host of perfumeries. At the museum you can find out all about the history behind this industry in this area.

A little fact the restaurant we ate in the, Monneaux was actually home to one of the first Perfumeries in Franschhoek.

4. Soul Barrell Brewing

If you’re all wined out and fancy a change, then look no further than Soul Barrel Brewing. A selection of independent craft beers with taproom and tours available.

5. Hike Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve

Mont Rochelle is a Unesco World Heritage Site situated just outside Franschhoek. With over 30 kms of hiking trails and is also home also to Richard Branson’s stunning hotel and vineyard.

And Finally

If this doesn’t get you excited for some down time I’m not sure what will. We suggest going to unwind, slow down the pace and take it all in your stride.

A good three or four days would be a suitable trip, enough time to relax but enough time to tick a few trips off.

Placing this on a Cape Town trip is just perfect with the busy nature of Cape Town and so much to do, Franschhoek is just a perfect way to end.

Here are a few other posts to help you plan your Cape Town itinerary


The Best Beaches in Cape Cod

Seafood shacks, quaint beach cottages, and dune-lined beaches – Cape Cod is a major tourist hotspot for a good reason.

Taking up nearly 600 miles of the southeastern Massachusetts coastline, Cape Cod is the perfect destination to soak up the summer sun. And where better to take in all the sun after a harsh winter than on the best beaches in Cape Cod?

Whether you’re looking for prime surfing conditions, family-friendly beaches with tidal pools, or the perfect beach conditions for taking long walks, Cape Cod has a beach for you. Here are our tips, which we created in partnership with Hotels.com.

The Best Beaches in Cape Cod
The Best Beaches in Cape Cod

Cape Cod beach resorts

There are some incredible Cape Cod hotels on the beach. You can find a mix of luxury hotels, family-friendly beach resorts, quaint cottages, relaxing guest houses and large private rental houses.

Most travelers visit Cape Cod from June through to September to make the best use of the Cape Cod beaches. However, going during this time does mean more crowds, so make sure to book one of best Cape Cod hotels on the beach early to snap up the best Cape Cod hotels on the beach!

Best Beaches in Cape Cod

With more than 130 beaches in Cape Cod, it’s no wonder it has some of the world’s finest beaches!

Here are a few of the best Cape Cod beaches to explore.

Best family-friendly beaches in Cape Cod

These Cape Cod beaches tick all the boxes for a family-friendly outing – including chilled waves, lifeguards, bathrooms and lots of space.

Craigville Beach, Centerville

This is the most popular beach in the Barnstable area with all of the typical beach amenities you’d expect on the main beach. It’s a popular spot for kite surfers in the summer months, and a favorite hangout for college students and teenagers. The water is also a bit warmer than other beaches in the area – a bonus for kids!

Amenities include parking lot, lifeguards, restrooms, showers, chair and umbrella rentals, and a nearby snack bar. It is also disabled accessible.

Mayflower Beach, Dennis

The tidal pools at Mayflower Beach are always a hit with young explorers. During low tide, kids can walk for miles exploring the tidal pools searching for shells and sea life. It’s also large enough to set up all your beach gear.

Amenities include a parking lot, lifeguard, restrooms, a small boardwalk, a picnic area, and a snack bar.

Cold Storage, Dennis

With Dennis being a well-known beach town, it has a few family-friendly beaches. The calm waters make it a popular beach to bring your floaty – which the kids love!

There are lifeguards and restrooms, but no snack bar so make sure to bring your food and drinks.

Best surfing beaches in Cape Cod

Surfing in Cape Cod is growing in popularity as more tourists’ flock to the beaches searching for great waves. Just remember that the water is cold, so wetsuits are recommended!

While most of the beaches have surf potential, here’s the most popular ones.

Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore

Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, this beach is rated among the best in America. Amongst surfers, it’s known for its consistent shortboard/longboard summer swell.

Apart from great waves for surfing and boogie-boarding, this beach features amazing landscapes including marshlands and dunes. Non-residents will have to park at the nearby Little Creek parking lot and hop onto a shuttle that runs every few minutes.

Nauset Light Beach, Orleans

Nauset Light Beach is another extremely popular beach in the Cape Cod National Seashore, protected by a high dune bluff. The beach is among the most popular ones on the Outer Cape.

It’s popular for families but also an excellent spot for swimming, boogie-boarding, and surfing. The beach features a sandbar break that has quite reliable surf. When conditions are right, it can get quite crowded.

Nauset Light Beach in Cape Cod
Nauset Light Beach in Cape Cod

Marconi Beach, Wellfleet

Marconi Beach is popular for surfing due to its consistent steep right running at higher tides when the swell is up. The beach is protected by dunes and home to seals! While the beach is quite popular, its massive size means that there’s plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Note that you’ll have to carry your surfboard along a steep descending staircase to get from the parking lot to the beach.

Best beaches for the sunset in Cape Cod

There are a few prime locations in Cape Cod to witness the most amazing sunsets from the beach. Here’s a few.

Skaket Beach, Orleans

A fantastic spot for sunset lovers and photographers, the beach offers gorgeous sunsets every evening. Skaket is a large stretch of shoreline that surrounds one of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Cod.

The nearby Rock Harbor makes this beach a prime spot for watching boats travel up and down. Which makes sunset hour even more spectacular! The beach also opens up even more during low tide, making room for long walks on the beach.

Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown

A sunset with a lighthouse view! Herring Cove Beach is part of the National Seashore, located at the Cape’s very tip, just miles from downtown Provincetown. The sunsets here are stunning, and the views wonderful any time of day.

For the athletic bunch, take your bicycle for a sunset ride on the nearby bike path.

Best beaches for walking in Cape Cod

Looking for a long, leisurely stroll on the beach? Here’s where to head to in Cape Cod.

Harding’s Beach, Chatham

Take a long walk along the tall dunes, with views overlooking Nantucket Sound and North Monomoy Islands. You can walk from Bucks Creek in the northwest to the historic Stage Harbor Lighthouse in the east.

Cape Cod Canal, Bourne

Okay, not technically a beach, but Cape Cod Canal is the best spot for walking in Bourne. There’s a total of 13-1/2 miles of paved trails great for walking, cycling and rollerblading line either side of the canal.

There are several parking spots along the trails, including at Bell Road on the Cape side and Buzzards Bay Park on the mainland side.

Cape Cod Canal, Bourne Bridge
Cape Cod Canal, Bourne Bridge

Best secluded beaches in Cape Cod

Looking to hide away from people? These hidden spots provide incredible views without the crowds.

Bound Brook Island Beach, Wellfleet

This beach is so secluded that you’ll need to navigate a few dirt roads and then walk a few hundred yards over the towering dunes and beach grass to reach the sandy shore. Depending on when you visit, you could be the only ones on the beach, enjoying the sweeping views of Cape Cod Bay all by yourself.

Crowe’s Pasture Beach, Dennis

Crowe’s Pasture Beach in Dennis offers a more rustic, old-school Cape Cod beach experience. A narrow trail through marshlands and woods in the conservation area turns into a mile-long dirt path that eventually opens up to a hidden beach. It’s one of the most secluded spots in the entire Cape, with a mix of sand, marshy lands and seagrass.

Ready to hit the beach this summer?

This region has some of the best beaches in America, no doubt about that. The best beaches in Cape Cod offer something for everyone, and we recommend visiting a few to find your favorite. Whether you’re all about the surf, building sandcastles with the kids, going for long strolls or simply laying back and absorbing the sun, a Cape Cod vacation could do the trick!

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