Whether you’re a tourist visiting Cape Town for the first time or a seasoned local, Franschhoek is one of the places you just need to add to your “have-to-visit list”. Located about 50 km east of Cape Town, this little gem is one that should not be missed out on. We listed the Things To Do In Franschhoek for you.
One of Cape Town’s finest wine routes, Franschhoek, homes some of the country’s oldest wine farms, making it one of this summer’s top activities to enjoy. Some of the most celebrated wine farms in the region include La Motte, The Franschhoek Cellar, Vrede en Lust, to name a few.
With so much to do within the Franschhoek region, why not take a day trip on the Franschhoek wine tram and visit some of the Cape’s best wine farms? As there are numerous routes on offer, it’s almost impossible not to meet the needs of a wine-loving couple, small or large group.
What to Include in Your Backpack?
As there is a good chance you’ll spend most of the day between the various wine farms, you should ensure you pack in sunscreen, and to apply it often to exposed areas of your skin in order to avoid getting sunburned.
It’s also important to ensure you pack your sunglasses and a hat in for the wine tour, as the glare of the relentless African sun can do a real number on you. Should it be a bit colder than anticipated, it is always a good idea to keep a light jersey in your bag, so should you get cold, you have something to put over your shoulders.
Remember to Eat
Another important aspect to surviving your first wine tram is to remember to eat. While you move from one wine farm to the next, you should try to ensure that you are eating something small at every stop to help soak up the wine. As you are drinking alcohol, this will ensure that you always have food in your system and you will be able to fully maximise your time on the wine tram.
Charge Those Batteries
As you travel through the various wine farms as well as the wine tram, you will navigate through some of the best views Franschhoek has to offer. Make sure you’re able to embrace the moment and allow the memory to remain there and check you have your camera’s batteries charged, so you can take the perfect shot and capture those special moments. The same goes for your smartphone.
Who to Share the Experience with
As the tram can seat up to 32 people across eight benches, why not include some of your friends and family on the Franschhoek Wine Tram adventure with you? This means many people can share the experience with you.
Bookings Are Essential
There’s nothing more devastating than being unable make a booking because there’s no space left. With Summer fast approaching, bookings for the Franschhoek Wine Tram are essential, not only does this ensure a secure booking but it allows others to experience the same joy as we did.
The Festive Season is fast approaching, and with the weather being as good as it usually is in Cape Town during the month of December, it’s time to start locking down those summer plans. If you’re hosting international guests who have never been on the Franschhoek Wine Tram, you’ll have many options when it comes to choosing a route to follow.
The Blue Route
The blue wine route consists of eight stops, departing at 10 AM from the ticket office daily. From there, the various stops include Mont Rochelle, Le Lude, La Bri, La Bourgogne, Holden Manz, La Couronne, Rickety Bridge Platform as well as Grande Provence Platform.
Between these wine farms, there are a number of activities you can enjoy. Of these activities include cellar tours, picnics, high teas, chocolate pairing, olive tasting, boules as well as enjoying the food at the variety on offer.
The Red Route
If you’re looking for a slightly later start to the day on the wine tour, why not take the Franschhoek Wine Trams Red Route which departs at 10.30 daily. Stopping off at the Maison, Eikehof, Leopard’s Leap, Chamonix, Dieu Donne, Franschhoek Cellar, Rickety Bridge Platform as well as Grande Provence Platform there are so many things you can enjoy.
Some of the activities you can enjoy include cheese, chocolate and biltong tasting. Most of the wine farms on this route include a dedicated area for children which means, the parents can relax and enjoy a few quiet moments.
The Purple Route
The purple route homes some of Franschhoek’s finest wine farms and has a number of stops throughout the day. Whether you’re looking to stop off at all the wine farms or if you want only to do a few stops, the purple wine tram route offers the most flexibility.
Some of the activities you can enjoy on the purple route include garden walks, Lindt chocolate pairing, olive oil and olive tasting, onsite spa, fudge pairing and the social history museum to name a few.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry With The Franschhoek Wine Tram
There’s also the green and yellow route, which is equally as lovely as the routes mentioned above. It includes a combination of fun activities that will keep you and your family entertained. Why not hop onto the Franschhoek Wine Tram and eat, drink and be merry this festive season?
Summer is fast approaching, and for some, this is the perfect time to start preparing for the many adventures to be had with friends. Planning a day trip to Franschhoek for can become quite overwhelming if you don’t have a solid plan in place.
Avoid this from happening, and plan a successful weekend away. Here are some handy tips to consider when finalizing your Franschhoek wine tram arrangements:
1.Bookings are essential
As the warmer weather approaches, most places will book up quite fast, and seating is limited. The Franschhoek wine tram is an eight and a half hour adventure that moves between Franschhoek and Cape Town. By securing your booking, you’ll ensure that you have sufficient resources for the day to cover your food and drinks.
- There is nothing wrong with getting started early
Get your friends to meet up early on the wine tram to get great seats and that you’re able to enjoy the views as you hop on and off in and around Franschhoek. By getting an early start, there’s a much better chance of a particular wine being available for tasting and purchase.
- Ensure you have transport arranged
Whether or not you’re anticipating a late night, arranging transportation for you and your friends ensure you won’t have to worry about it while on the wine tram. It’s important to ensure you remain responsible and don’t drink and drive.
- Plan your meals
As you start your wine tour early, it’s important to make sure you plan your meals and don’t drink on an empty stomach. While hopping off the wine tram, visit some of the great restaurants and give the local food a try. Ensure the restaurants you’re choosing match up with the wine that you are drinking, for that extra bit of tasty enjoyment.
- Have a game plan
It’ll be worth your while to do some research on the wine farms on the tram, and picking your potential favorites ahead of time. This’ll make it easier to know which farms to invest a lot of your time in, and which ones to take it easy with.
These are only a few tips for planning a successful wine tram in Franschhoek. Look forward to enjoying some of the world’s most celebrated wines as you explore the beautiful region with your friends and loved ones. Book and secure your wine tram today and guarantee your spot.
Looking for activities to do over a weekend with the family, and don’t know where to start? Why not plan a day trip to Franschhoek and explore the many activities it has to offer.
As there’s so much on offer from wine trams to chocolate tasting, the motor museum, art galleries and so much more, there is little room for disappointment.
#1 The Franschhoek Wine Tram
The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers a number of hop-on, hop-off tours that all run through different routes. Not only do you get to enjoy the Cape’s best scenery as you move through the vineyards, but you also get to experience good food and wine.
The hop-on, hop-off tours allow for you to pick the route of your choice and then to sit back and relax as you get an introduction into what the Franschhoek wine valley has to offer. You can also hop-off at the different wine farms on the route where you have the opportunity to go on a cellar tour, enjoy a scrumptious meal or even enjoy a walk through the vineyards.
#2 Huguenot Fine Chocolates
If you’re looking to pair the bottle of wine you bought with of the Cape’s finest chocolates, why not head on over to Huguenot Fine Chocolates? It’s a five-minute walk from the start of the Franschhoek wine tram and offers a mouth-watering range of dark, milk or white chocolates.
These chocolates also make for the perfect gift as they offer themed chocolates. Why not head on over and pick up some festive season chocolates to give your significant other with a bottle of wine from a wine farm you visited while on the wine tram?
#3 The Franschhoek Motor Museum
A mere 15-minute drive from the start of the Franschhoek Wine Tram is the Franschhoek Motor Museum, which offers guests the opportunity to view over 100 years of motor history.
You will find numerous collections of vehicles, bicycles as well as motorcycles on display. Although you are only able to visit the museum by appointment, so why not schedule your viewing before heading on your wine tour?
#4 The Franschhoek Art House
If you’re in search of something to do that’s slow-paced, why not head on over to the Franschhoek Art House? As it is within walking distance of the Franschhoek Wine Tram, it’s the perfect activity for those who want to admire a different kind of scenery than on the wine tram.
Taste South African wine and relish the Cape Winelands scenery throughout this 8.5-hour wine tram adventure around Franschhoek from Cape Town. Travel inside an open-air bus and open-sided tram to check out some of this wine region’s most reputed wineries. Stop for two wine tastings en route.
What You Can Expect
Get collected at your hotel or other accommodation in central Cape Town and transferred to the picturesque Franschhoek Valley in the middle of the Cape Winelands.
A trip on the wine tram is similar to time travel as you’ll be transported about in a Victorian-style tram overflowing with good old fashioned etiquette. At check in office, you’ll receive a ticket with your name on it and later on the friendly and polite employees will do everything possible to ensure you have the time of your life. Guided tours and blankets when the weather conditions are harsh will make you feel at home immediately.
Climb into the Franschhoek Wine Tram to journey through this exquisite countryside, with charming vineyards and historical wine estates. The tram operates in a circle, with regular stops at wineries, so you’re able to hop off whenever you want to go on a wine cellar tour, enjoy a wine tasting, take a stroll through a vineyard, or to enjoy a delicious lunch. When you’re ready to carry on your tour, just hop back on the next tram.
During your wine tram experience, discover the history of the French Huguenots who established this area more than 300 years ago. Learn about how they set up vineyards and wineries here according to their expertise in French wine-making. These days, the wines of the Franschhoek Valley are exclusive representations of South Africa’s viticulture heritage.
From full-bodied reds wines to light whites and sparkling wine, you’ll manage to taste an impressive selection in one day for as low as R20-R50 per farm. Also, a lot of the farms supply cheese and meat platters, with a few even offering chocolate, Turkish delight and pizza pairings together with the wine. Please note: Two wine tastings are included in this package. All other food and drinks are at your own expense.
The unique experience of visiting wine farms in an open tram is much more exciting and convenient than renting a car. Experiencing the fresh air on your face and enjoying unmatched views of the area is an unforgettable experience.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram flawlessly fuses breath-taking scenery and world-class wines for an incredible hop-on-hop-off experience in the idyllic Franschhoek area. Book your memorable Wine Tram experience today!
The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is among the best ways to uncover the real flavour of the Franschhoek Valley – idyllic vineyards, heavenly scenery, warm hospitality, world-class food, high-quality wines and a 300-year heritage.
A combination of tram and tram-bus conveys passengers around a circle of stops enabling them to hop-off at every stop and discover the activities being offered, be it wine tasting, lunch, a cellar tour, or a walk through the vineyards and once they’re ready, hop-on to carry on with the tour.
When exploring the majestic valley of Franschhoek on the Wine Tram, you have a few different options to choose from. Each line visits various Wine Estates and showcases different areas of Franschhoek.
Blue line and Green line:
These routes showcase Franschhoek’s breath-taking mountain views while stopping at the following Boutique wine estates:
- Mont Rochelle
- Le Lude
- La Bri
- La Bourgogne
- Holden Manz
- La Couronne
- Rickety Bridge
- Grande Provence
- Rickety Bridge
- Grande Provence
- Mont Rochelle
- Le Lude
- La Bri
- La Bourgogne
- Holden Manz
- La Couronne
The primary difference between the Green and Blue Line is with the Blue line you will begin with our Tram-busses and finish the tour on the Tram. With the Green Line, you start out on the Tram and end of your tour on the Tram-busses. The lunch stop would also affect your choice as to pick Blue or Green.
Red Line and Yellow Line:
These two tours showcase Franschhoek’s impressive rolling vineyards while stopping at the following Internationally known wine estates:
- Leopard’s Leap
- Dieu Donne
- Franschhoek Cellar
- Rickety Bridge
- Grande Provence
- Rickety Bridge
- Grande Provence
- Leopard’s Leap
- Dieu Donne
- Franschhoek Cellar
As with the Blue and Green lines, the main difference between the red and yellow lines are the starting point. With the Red line, you will start with our Tram-busses and end the tour on the Tram and with the Yellow line you commence on the Tram and end of your tour on the Tram-busses.
The Purple Line operates solely on the tram-bus and showcases the western region of the scenic Franschhoek Valley stopping at the following exquisite wine estates:
- Vrede en Lust
- Noble Hill
- Plaisir de Merle
- Allée Bleue
The wine tram is a convenient and trouble free way of doing the rounds of many of the wineries in the Franschhoek valley, and regardless of the route you take, you are guaranteed to have an excellent time.
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to the gorgeous, historic yet contemporary Franschhoek. Also famous as the Food and Wine Capital of South Africa, it is an astonishingly beautiful valley that is home to wine estates that are more than 300 years old, located next to boutique wineries.
The Franschhoek Valley wine farms captivate countless visitors annually, ready to discover a little piece of heaven for food and wine enthusiasts, with a variety of wine estates surrounding the charming town of Franschhoek and a history that is visible in the architecture and eateries it is home to. If you’d like to add an extra unique experience to your visit in the Franschhoek Valley, then the Franschhoek Wine Tram is a brilliant way to explore this gem of a place.
The hop-on hop-off Franschhoek Wine Tram adventure will take you on a journey of stopping off at a number of wine estates along the line you’ve selected, and if you wish to have a picnic in the vineyards or have lunch at the estate restaurant, you will want to make a booking at least 24 hours in advance to prevent disappointment. The Franschhoek Wine Tram seats approximately 32 passengers for this one-of-kind relaxed way of exploring exquisite vineyards,
You can choose from 5 different route options: blue, green, red, yellow and purple to visit particular wine estates. If you’re looking for a more personalised experience, you can book our curated wine tour. This experience includes a professional wine guide that will present you with information on statistics and scientific components of winemaking into fascinating tales about Franschhoek’s history of wine and culture. Guests will have an opportunity to taste the local grape varieties, cultivars and the elements of viticulture that are unique to South Africa. An exclusive tour of the wine cellar will be followed by a curated three-course lunch at the estate eaterie. Guests will also visit two additional Franschhoek wine estates, enjoying a superior wine tasting at every estate.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram team provides door-to-door transfers between the airport and Cape Town, allowing you to relax and savour the experience; and if you find that one day is not sufficient, this warm and friendly team, passionate about Franschhoek, will help you with arranging accommodation.
No other wine tour features every facet of the Franschhoek Valley along with the wine developed in the midst of all this beauty in this distinctive way.
Franschhoek is one of those enchanting towns in the Cape Winelands you can never get enough of. You can expect nothing less than majestic mountain scenery, lush vineyards and quaint European feel of the sidewalk shops and restaurants along the main road.
Franschhoek Valley is among the most breathtaking wine valleys in the entire world with its senses of intimacy and mystery that make every tourist feel extremely welcome. It comes as no surprise that Franschhoek is known as the culinary capital of South Africa. Of the top 10 restaurants in South Africa, Franschhoek has three and one in the top 50 worldwide.
If that’s not enough reason to visit the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, here are five more reasons to spoil yourself and travel to this beautiful wine region:
1. Wine, wine and more wine
Because you can’t drive past this side of the world without passing a good number of wine farms most of which offer wine tasting sessions and tours. They’re also relatively affordable and have some of the finest and top of the range wines on offer. A unique way to discover the picturesque vineyards, breathtaking scenery and, of course, excellent wines of the Franschhoek wine valley is The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour. The tour starts at the Franschhoek Wine Tram ticket office on the main road and departs every 40 minutes.
2. Culinary Heaven
There are some unique places where you can go out and grab a bite. Franschhoek is renowned for its world-class cuisine, and the town’s restaurants take its status as The Gourmet Capital of South Africa seriously. The 36 Franschhoek Eateries, and 4 South African 5-star chefs, continuously produce cuisine that your palate falls in love with. Among these are the restaurants on the various wine farms in the region.
3. Explore the outdoors
Franschhoek Valley features a lot of activities, so it may be hard to decide if you have only a couple of days to experience it all. But there’s something for every taste, and you’ll never get bored. If you enjoy walking or hiking, you will find fantastic walking trails in the mountains around the valley, particularly in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The various other activities offered in the area are cycling, horse-riding, fly fishing and golf.
4. Marvelous nature and breathtaking views of the mountains
The area offers breathtaking views, gorges and valleys, as well as beautiful places to stay by the river. Aim to enter Franschhoek from the incredible route called Franschhoek Pass, and you’ll be astonished by the surrounding mountain ranges and divine landscape.
5. World-class accommodation
It must be something in the water because the accommodation establishments in Franschhoek have managed to get it just right. Apart from the gorgeous natural setting, you can always expect excellent service.
One thing is for certain – Franschhoek is a place that has so much to offer. Do yourselves a favour and go check it out. You won’t be sorry.
The history of Franschhoek stretches back more than 300 years and starts in France in the 1600s where at that time there was extensive faith based oppression by the ruling Catholics towards the Protestants. Due to this, more than 200 000 of these Protestants became refugees when they left their country of residence and ended up in a small colony on the tip of Southern Africa, the Cape colony.
Franschhoek was the place where nine of these Huguenot families eventually settled after receiving land by the Dutch authorities and through perseverance and determination they converted the wilderness around them into essentially the most spectacular valley in the South Africa, if not the entire world.
The rails on which the tram operates were originally constructed in 1904 to serve as a substitute for ox pulled carts for farmers hoping to get their produce to market. Steam engines ran along the route until diesel engines took over in the 1970’s after which, in the 1990’s, since the desire for train transport lessened, service along the railway line minimised. For over a decade the rail line continued to be inactive until finally it was returned to full-time operation in 2012 as the Franschhoek Wine Tram.
The newly built tram is designed in the images of the open-sided Brill Trams of circa 1890. Being an eco-friendly initiative, it makes use of the latest in bio-diesel engine technology to lower greenhouse chemicals and other ecologically harmful pollutants. The tram seats 32 guests on eight secure and comfortable benches. Six of the eight benches include flip-over, tram-style seatbacks that enable passengers to savour the view in both directions. Passenger accessibility is via two low non-slip mounted steps on each side of the tram, permitting secure and easy passenger entry. On inclement weather days, guests are protected by roll-down see-through awnings, which enable them to enjoy the magnificent views while staying comfortable.
Franschhoek Wine Tram presently provides five hop-on hop-off lines to select from, each visiting an average of eight wine estates and showcasing a separate part of the Franschhoek Valley.
The tour takes individuals straight into the centre of the Franschhoek Valley, with an experienced guide concentrating on the historical past of Franschhoek and wine farming in the valley with unmatched views of the valley and vineyards.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram tour is among the finest ways to experience the real significance of the Franschhoek Valley – idyllic vineyards, remarkable views, overwhelming hospitality, world-class delicacies, superior wines and a 300-year heritage.
You simply can’t go to Cape Town without experiencing what its wine regions are offering. Located between magnificent mountains in the beautiful Cape Winelands lies the spectacular Franschhoek Valley. Famous as the food and wine capital of South Africa, where superb wines are produced, and outstanding chefs create international cuisine. Breath-taking landscapes, warm hospitality, first class cuisine and the highest quality wines all unite to create long lasting memories.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram tour is among the best ways to uncover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley. A mixture of tram and tram-bus transports travellers around a cycle of stops permitting them to hop-off at each stop and enjoy the activities available, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or perhaps wandering through the vineyards and once they are ready, hop-on to carry on with the tour.
Franschhoek Wine Tram presently features five lines to choose from based on your preferences. Each visiting eight wine estates and introducing a different portion of the Franschhoek Valley. The Franschhoek Wine Tram also provides group wine tours, that are extremely fun for functions, corporate events or functions with a difference! This is a specialised tour for groups of 20 or over that include four superior wine tastings, in addition to the exclusive use of a tram-bus for the entire day while you visit several world-famous wine estates in this stunning valley!
Besides the hop-on hop-off experience, you may select a curated wine experience with the Franschhoek Wine Tram. This will present you with an in-depth look into wine making through the eyes of a wine producer on one of the wine estates you visit, however, these curated wine tours are restricted to seven people, making booking crucial; a terrific way to enjoy an intimate birthday!
You cannot find any other wine tour that demonstrates to you every element of the Franschhoek Valley and the wine developed in the middle of all this splendour in this unique way. With the assistance of a narrator who introduces you to the abundant history of the vineyards you pass, along with the wine estates you visit along the route, it is evident that you will leave your Franschhoek Wine Tram experience with an entirely new outlook of Franschhoek, its wine farms and spectacular dining establishments!
The hospitality of individuals who reside in this area is unreal, the warmth of the welcome you can expect will be with you long after you have departed! The Franschhoek Wine Tram team is equally as pleasant and helpful; they will coordinate private and direct transfers to suit your needs from Cape Town and surrounding areas, such as the airport, allowing you to sit back and relax while they familiarise you with this spectacular valley.
Pick your Franschhoek Wine Tram experience, make your booking and look forward to an