Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa
Nestled between towering mountains, in the heart of the beautiful Cape Winelands, lies the Franschhoek Valley. Franschhoek was originally known as Olifants Hoek, after elephants took to calving in the sheltered valley which was plentiful in food and water, the French Huguenots renamed the valley upon their arrival.
Franschhoek is the food and wine heartland of South Africa , with its breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, delicious cuisine and fine summer wines.
Beautiful vineyards cover the mountain slopes of this valley which is rich in history, centered around the charming little village of Franschhoek. The tourist trade plays a large part in the towns business people, with many of Bed and Breakfasts, guest cottages and hotels competing for the visitors. There is a strong French theme to the cuisine available in these establishments.
Franschhoek is only 45 minutes drive from Cape Town, and is well worth a visit to sample the wonderful food and wine. Franschhoek is known as the gourmet capital of South Africa. Here 8 of South Africa 's Top 100 restaurants are housed.
A host of shops and galleries are available in the main street in Franschhoek, providing a wonderful choice of antiques, artworks and interesting bric-a-brac, ideal for a leisurely days shopping.
There are also specialty shops such as cheese shops, a chocolate factory and a carpet maker. The main streets house many coffee shops and restaurants, a wonderful place to sit and relax on hot afternoons and warm evenings.
Guided tours are available in Franschhoek for all ages and interests, carriage rides are also on offer, around the town itself or on some of the beautiful wine estates. Most of the Wine Farms in the Franschhoek Valley offer guided tours of there wine cellars, and tasting, of course!
There are twenty-one wine farms in Franschhoek, a few of the most famous being Boschendal and Franschhoek Vineyards, who produce some of South Africa's favourite wines.