What to do in Franschhoek? Well, I recently had the opportunity to stay at the incredible Mont Rochelle hotel centrally located in the French-inspired Franschhoek. The perfect base from which to explore the area, it’s located a mere 5-minute drive from the vibrant town centre.
Despite the allure of just relaxing and enjoying your stay on the extensive Mont Rochelle property, Franschhoek has a lot to offer, so you should definitely venture out. Here are just some of the highlights I experienced during my stay.
1. Hop-On, Hop-Off Wine Route
Franschhoek is known for its award-winning wines. And if you don’t want to bicker over who the designated driver is, you can jump on the Franschhoek Wine Tram. It offers five different experiences, with the hop-on, hop-off experience covering eight routes being the most popular option. The only decision you need to make is to figure out which wine farms you wish to visit. The rest of the day, you can just focus on sipping all the pinotage, chardonnay and merlot on offer.
2. A Glass of Bubbly and a Bentley
If you’re a motor enthusiast and a vintage vehicle aficionado, the Franschhoek Motor Museum is a must-visit. With a collection of over 220 vehicles, this is a dream experience for classic car lovers.
Located at L’Ormarins Wine Estate, this museum is only accessible by pre-booking a visit. And, although it’s a museum, you can enjoy a visit to the on-site deli for a quick lunch before embarking on wine tasting at the surrounding wine farms.
3. Peruse the Local Market
A highlight from our weekend spent at Mont Rochelle was visiting the Franschhoek Saturday Market.
The market is a hub of activity where you have the opportunity to explore the crafts and clothing on offer, as well as experience an authentic side of the town surrounded by the locals meeting up for a coffee or a wine date. This market offers many bites to eat, such as the classic “pannekoek” (pancake) and the Cape Malay samosas with different flavour profiles.
If you wish to get a keepsake of your time in Franschhoek, there are so many vendors from which you can get treasured and unique items.
4. Break a Sweat for a View
The area is known for its excellent hiking trails, especially at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Here you can embark on several trails at different difficulty levels to enjoy a special vantage point of Franschhoek. Take in the beautiful sights during a quick one-hour or full-day hike, depending on what tickles your fancy.
5. Wine Down with a Picnic and a View
Franschhoek is the ideal getaway location for couples and families alike. Although it’s best known for its incredible restaurants, picnic experiences at the various wine farms is an underrated experience.
On our final night at Mont Rochelle, we had a delectable picnic spread laid out for us. Set up on the grass in front of our room, we were spoiled with vineyard views. However, if you are staying at the hotel, they can also set it up at the dam. Simply settling in to feast on the treats they prepared while sipping wine, it’s the perfect lunch or late afternoon sunset activity.
Another property known for its picnics is Boschendal. Here they offer options for a kids picnic if you want to include the little ones, with a wide variety of picnic spots to enjoy, as well as a play area for the kids. This is a great way to spend the day, especially in summer.
It’s Time to Visit Franschhoek
Franschhoek is a fairytale destination and the ideal add-on to a Cape Town itinerary. This town feeds your soul with the calmness it exudes, and two nights is not enough to experience all it has to offer.
Mont Rochelle is offering incredible specials for South African residents at the moment.
Or, if you’re stuck at home waiting for flights to become available for your next trip to South Africa, reach out and let us plan your trip in the meantime. And don’t forget to add this gem to your itinerary!
Featured image: Mont Rochelle
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