Desperate for a reprieve from work and the stresses of life, but can only afford to take a few days out?
Then you need a weekend get-away to the picturesque and culturally rich Franschhoek Valley.
Tucked away in a beautiful, centuries-old wine country valley surrounded by mountain ranges and nature reserves is the quaint old town of Franschhoek. It is considered to be the most beautiful wine valley in the whole world, and is also the wine and food capital of the entire country.
While quaint and old, it is full of life and activity, from thriving wine farms and agriculture, to contemporary artists and culinary master-minds. The nature of the valley and surrounding area also provides many wholesome, refreshing outdoor opportunities as well.
Add to this the fact that Franschhoek is an easy drive from Cape Town and Table Mountain National Park, Stellenbosch and Paarl, and Hermanus and Walker Bay, and there is no shortage of opportunity during a visit to Franschhoek.
Whether your idea of a good time is going on a safari, hiking in a national park, tasting exquisite wine and eating tasty food, or whale watching, Franschhoek is in the center of it all.
With so many things to do and such a variety of opportunities, we want to help you find a weekend get-away option that is best for you.
So, to that end…
A Vineyard Vacation
If enjoying the wholesomeness of an active farm combined with the elegance of wine, fine food, and luxury accommodations sounds like your thing, Franschhoek is overflowing with vineyards that offer overnight stays and plenty for guests to do.
Perhaps one of the best and most diverse vineyard stay would be with the Babylonstoren: whether you want to be pampered by the luxury of their hotel rooms, lounge, spa and wine cellar, or you want to get an up close and personal look at the farms, gardens and unique biodynamic agriculture, Babylonstoren knows how to accommodate you.
Enjoy elegant luxury and earthy nature all at the same time. It’s even kid friendly, with plenty of trails, farm animals, tours and activities to enjoy.
A Nature Escape
If escaping into wild nature is more your style, Franschhoek is surrounding by beautiful mountain ranges and nature reserves just waiting to be explored.
For great hiking trails, diverse plant and animal life, and gorgeous views of the Franschhoek Valley, a visit to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, a part of the UNESCO Boland Biosphere reserve, is a must. Explore the trails on your own, or go on a guided walk. Haweqwa Nature Reserve and the Threewaters Nature Reserve are also close by.
For an off-the-path cozy, nature-loving accommodation that will keep you close to the Mont Rochelle and other nearby Nature Reserves, you can try Otter’s Bend Lodge, right on the Franschhoek River. Surrounded by orchards, meadow and the river, peace and quiet is the key quality at the lodge, with bird song, the ripple of the stream, and the wind through the trees being the main soundtrack.
Otter’s Bend is a log cabin style lodge with numerous rooms as well as family cabins available, and a self-catering kitchen and lounge space dubbed “the Otter’s Barrel.” There is also a back-packer’s dorm and numerous camping sites available as well.
The lodge was just awarded with the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and received an award for Best Value for Money.
A Stress-Free B&B Stay
If you want a quaint but no stress weekend where you can choose to do absolutely nothing but rest, or maybe decide last minute to hop onto the Franschhoek Wine Tram, go for a hike, or enjoy the local culinary brilliance, then a stay at one of the Bed & Breakfasts might be your thing.
There are many boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts through Franschhoek. If mountain views are your thing, try Cape Vue Country House Bed & Breakfast, which is down in the valley and surrounded 360 by mountains. It is located on a small wine farm and is an easy walk to the heart of the village.
Or, for a chic 5-star B&B experience, check into the Alle Bleue Kendall Cottage. Decorated with a mixture of South African and contemporary art and design, the two luxurious suites bespeak luxury. Enjoy the relaxing fireplace, help yourself to the wine, and dine either in the lounge or on the veranda with its gorgeous view of the surrounding vineyards.
So Much More
The above are only three of the many ways you can spend a weekend get-away in Franschhoek. So, you have nothing to lose! Get planning and get relaxing!
About Brittany Hawkins
Brittany’s passion for food and wine began in her hometown, Napa Valley, California, where she grew up immersed in the wine industry. After receiving a degree from DePauw University, she began her career in Silicon Valley in the advertising and marketing industries. Brittany moved to Cape Town 3 years ago where she launched Explore Sideways and has since been able to marry her interests in food, wine, travel and tech to create transformative experiences around the world.