Already a popular destination when it comes to food and wine experiences, Franschhoek has something fun and exciting in store for outdoor enthusiasts too. Adventure tourism in South Africa appeals to a thriving niche market and the Franschhoek Wine Valley caters to these needs with a variety of offerings. Ranging from a leisurely walk to an adrenalin pumping mountain bike trail there’s bound to be something in store for every outdoor fanatic.
The area surrounding the Berg River Dam offers pristine hiking trails boasting breathtaking panoramic scenic views of the valley whilst admiring the flora and fauna along the way. The Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve situated along the scenic Franschhoek Pass offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to moderate. Perfect for the novice and more advanced hiker. Enjoy the leisurely Breakfast Rock Trail which covers a distance of roughly 2km, or if you want to work up a sweat then the Perdekop Trail – categorized as moderate and covering about 13km – will be perfectly suited to you.
La Motte, renowned for its wines, food and art, is also home to the Sustainable Hike. This trail reaffirms the estate’s commitment to the highest conservation and biodiversity standards, as well as the protection of precious indigenous flora and fauna in the mountain area surrounding the estate and the adjoining Wemmershoek mountain range. It offers the ideal opportunity to explore some of La Motte’s greatest assets – the abundant birdlife, a protea garden, sustainably farmed vineyards, a wealth of flora, resident mammals and reptiles and the breath-taking vistas of the Franschhoek Wine Valley.
If you prefer the thrill of the wind through your hair, then the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing the perfect mountain biking trail. Biking enthusiasts can choose between any of the following routes:
- Matoppie Loop
- Matoppie Mast Climb
- Wolwekloof, which includes three technical loops: Snake Alley; lower dam vista track; and the Skelmhoek Contour
- Dassenberg Loop
- The Franschhoek Urban Trail
These trails are not for the faint hearted. Franschhoek is an adventure destination and its trails reflect this. Some areas are technical, but an average skilled mountain biker can ride it all without putting his foot down, except for a few river crossings. Thrill seekers delight!
To ensure a safe adventure experience hikers and cyclists will be requested to pay a nominal fee, which is used towards the maintenance of the reserve and security staff who monitor the surrounding area whilst keeping a watchful eye on your vehicles. The cost is R40 per person for a day permit. An annual permit costs R500 per person for non-residents, and Franschhoek residents pay R200 per annum per person. The permits can be purchased from the security guard at the entrance or from the tourism offices situated in the village. A detailed map will be made available via the Franschhoek Wine Valley website, allowing visitors to plan their routes at leisure. For those preferring some assistance local hiking and mountain biking trail guides are on hand to steady any nerves. Contact the FWV office for more information
Franschhoek’s Adventure Tourism project is an inclusive initiative for all the residents of the area. It aims to assist the community members through a number of ventures, which are currently in the planning stages.
Make the most of your outdoor adventure and turn a day visit into an overnight experience. Franschhoek is home to some of South Africa’s finest restaurants, award-winning wine producers and world-class accommodation establishments. With exquisite boutique shops at your fingertips you are guaranteed of the ultimate outdoor adventure and lifestyle experience.
For more information, contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley information office on 021 876 2861 or www.franschhoek.org.za.