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.
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
Whether you are a local or first-time visitor to Cape Town, Franschhoek is one of those places you simply have to visit. Referred to as Wine and Food capital of South Africa, Franschhoek is a stunningly gorgeous valley where you can wine estates that are more than 300 years old, located next to boutique wineries. The Architectural mastery in Franschhoek and the surrounding region is an experience by itself, with the limitations that are placed on refurbishments and new buildings, a considerable amount of the village continues to be in excellent condition featuring its Cape Dutch architecture.
You can choose to explore Franschhoek on your own or make use of the Wine Tram that will take you through charming vineyards and breath-taking scenery while stopping at various Wine Estates. There you’ll be able to experience the activities on offer, whether it’s wine tasting, lunch, a cellar tour, or simply a walk through the vineyards. Franschhoek Wine Tram currently offers five hop-on hop-off lines to choose from Blue Line, Red Line, Yellow Line, Green Line and Purple Line. Each line takes you to approximately eight distinct wine estates, several of which are over 300 years old and a few that offer boutique wines. No matter which Franschhoek Wine Tram tour you decide on, there will be something to suit everybody along the route.
With eight comfortable benches, the Franschhoek Wine Tram can easily seat 32 travellers. They are built to provide passengers with an incredible view of the scenic splendour which signifies the Franschhoek Valley among the marvelous wine regions in Africa. Even in rainy and windy weather, the Franschhoek Wine Tram is a pleasant experience with its roll-down clear awnings that will ensure that you will still have a view while staying cosy and warm!
You will be guided along the way by a professional tour operator who will educate you on the background and history of the wineries. This will most definitely make you feel the echoes of the age old practices handed down from one generation of winemakers to the next, with every new generation adding their flavour to these traditions to produce first class wines.
The particular assortment of cellars visited during the trip by the Franschhoek Wine Tram consist of small boutique wineries to tempt the taste buds of those trying to find something unique in their wines, to pre-arranged tours and conducted tastings at a some of the bigger cellars. All of which offer an array of award-winning wines that vary from plump reds and stylish whites to delicious sparkling wines!
Browse the Franschhoek Wine Tram website to find the tram line to suit your needs then contact the team to make your reservation for an incredible presentation of the Franschhoek wine valley!
There is no doubt about the fact that Franschhoek is one of the most beautiful locations in South Africa, if not in the world. And what better way to visit renowned Wine Estates and Boutique Wineries than on a Wine tram? Sit back, relax and enjoy the majestic landscape Franschhoek has to offer.
When planning your Wine Tram tour, you have three options:
Curated Wine Experience
The journey starts off at the ticket office by tram to a local wine estate where an experienced guide spills the facts, numbers and methodical elements of winemaking into intriguing stories about Franschhoek’s background of wine and tradition. During this fascinating and interactive experience travellers will have a chance to sample, the delicate tastes of terroir, and also discover the local grape varieties, cultivars plus the components of viticulture that are distinctive to South Africa. After a specially curated three-course lunch at the estate, a tour of the estate wine cellar will follow. Later In the afternoon, attendees will stop by two additional Franschhoek wine estates, experiencing a superior wine tasting at every estate.
Booking is essential as only seven spaces are available for each curated wine experience.
The tour is non-public and pre-arranged to a detailed itinerary by Franschhoek Wine Tram. The route includes four wine estates in the Franschhoek Valley, each with a charm as vibrant and unique as the wines they create. At every wine estate, a top quality wine tasting is offered to the group displaying their award winning wines. Most of the wine estates on the schedule feature world-class eateries and a lunch or picnic stop may be provided upon request.
At least 20 guests must be booked to qualify for the Franschoek group tour.
Hop-on Hop-off Experience
Guests onboard the Hop-on hop-off tour will experience an exceptional and relaxing way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they take a trip through vineyards in an open-sided tram and open-air tram-bus stopping at some of South Africa’s classic and most famous wine estates. This is an excellent way to connect with other travellers from all over the world. Franschhoek Wine Tram currently provides five hop-on hop-off lines to pick from, each visiting eight wine estates and featuring another section of the Franschhoek Valley, so be sure to check out our website for details on each line.
Each wine tram can accommodate 32 guests on comfortable benches.
If you’re not familiar with Cape Town, don’t worry, Franschhoek Wine Tram now offers transfers from Cape Town and surrounding areas, as well as the airport, out to Franschhoek at an additional cost.
One can only imagine the absolute joy French Huguenots fleeing from persecution must have felt when they finally got to Franschhoek safely, only to realise that this valley was everything and more than they may have hoped for on what was then still considered the frightening continent of Africa. The discovery that the land in the valley surrounding them offered the perfect climate and soil in which to carry on the precious tradition of winemaking so close to their hearts was the start of one of the finest wine valleys in the world!
Today, Franschhoek is one of the most sought after destinations for visitors from every corner of the globe wanting to experience all that this beautiful valley and the village of Franschhoek has to offer with its breathtaking scenery, warm hospitality, world class cuisine and world renowned wines.
Franschhoek is the heart of the Cape Winelands, and in the midst of all this beauty, the Franschhoek Wine Tram takes visitors on a leisurely tour that meanders from one wine estate to another, in the comfort of an open-air tram that offers uninterrupted views of the splendour contained in this scenic valley surrounded by majestic mountains.
The unique variety of cellars along the route taken by the Franschhoek Wine Tram range from small boutique wineries to tempt the palate of those looking for something a little different in their wines, to organised tours and conducted tastings at a few of the larger cellars, offering a range of award-winning wines that range from plump reds and elegant whites to delightful sparkling wines!
There is no other wine tour that shows you every facet of the heart of the Franschhoek Valley and the wine cultivated in the midst of all this beauty in this unique way. With the help of a narrator who introduces you to the rich history of the vineyards you pass, and the wine estates you stop off at along the way, there is no doubt that you will come away from your Franschhoek Wine Tram experience with a whole new perspective of Franschhoek, its wine estates and stunning restaurants!
Take a leisurely journey through the Franschhoek valley in the open-air Franschhoek Wine Tram, this journey offers uninterrupted views of the breathtaking scenery that makes this region one of the most beautiful corners in South Africa, famous for the cultivation of some of the world’s finest wines!
Franschhoek is known as the Wine and Gourmet capital of South Africa, which, considering that the village of Franschhoek, with its history of over 300 years reflected in the architecture and its rich culture, is home to over 40 restaurants where the talents of nationally and internationally award winning chefs produce culinary delights to suit every palate!
There are three different types of tours offered by the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which include their hop-on hop-off wine tours that stop off at various wine farms along 4 different routes, a curated wine experience and group tours. The hop-on hop-off open wine tram and open air bus transports visitors to various wine estates along the loop taken, where they can enjoy the different experiences offered by each estate. These tours include a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley and how the French Huguenots established the first vineyards in the region.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram Curated Wine Experience will take you on a journey into the heart of the world-renowned winemaking culture of the Franschhoek Valley at the first estate visited, introducing you to local wines under the guidance of a knowledgeable wine guide, a 3 course lunch and premium wine tastings at an additional two wine estates! This is a very special tour that is limited to only 7 visitors per curated wine experience, making booking essential, and it is also a tour that takes you from around 10am to 5pm, so set aside the whole day for this extra special experience!
Last but not least, the Franschhoek Wine Tram offers group wine tours, which are great fun for celebrations, corporate events or functions with a difference! This is a dedicated tour for groups of 20 or more people which include 4 premium wine tastings, along with the exclusive use of a tram-bus for the day while you visit various world-renowned wine estates in this beautiful valley!
Pick your Franschhoek Wine Tram experience, make your booking and look forward to an unforgettable experience and a warm welcome to Franschhoek!
The Franschhoek Valley is home to some of the oldest and most distinguished wine estates in South Africa, many of which have been carrying on the age old tradition of wine making in the area for over 300 years. It was the arrival of the French Huguenots fleeing persecution in their homeland that saw the planting of the first of these vineyards after finding to their joy that this beautiful valley was the perfect setting in which they could continue to cultivate wine, even this far from home.
The Franschhoek Valley wine farms attract millions of visitors each year, ready to explore a little slice of heaven for food and wine lovers, with a plethora of wine estates surrounding the quaint village of Franschhoek and a history that is evident in the architecture and restaurants it is home to.
An extra-special addition to the Franschhoek Valley is the Franschhoek Wine Tram, taking visitors on a leisurely trip through the scenic beauty of this region in open-air trams and open-air buses that do a loop around a variety of wine estates. The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers visitors a unique opportunity to stop-off at various wine estates along the line, with time enough to explore the different experiences offered by each estate before hopping-on to the tram again headed to the next destination.
At each stop visitors have time to sample the wines at the various estates, take wine cellar tours and enjoy lunch or a picnic at wine estates that boast world class cuisine. If you have decided you would like to picnic at one of the stops along the way, be sure to let the Franschhoek Wine Tram team know in advance and it will all be organised for you.
The hospitality of the people who live in this region is legendary, the warmth of the welcome you can look forward to will remain with you long after you have left! The Franschhoek Wine Tram team is just as welcoming and helpful; they will arrange exclusive and direct transfers for you from Cape Town and surrounding areas, including the airport, leaving you free to sit back and relax while they introduce you to this beautiful valley.
Visit the Franschhoek Wine Tram website to browse through the experience or contact the team to make your booking for an extraordinary introduction to the Franschhoek wine valley!
Since the Franschhoek Wine Tram started its fantastic hop-on hop-off wine tours through the Franschhoek wine valley, a completely new dimension has been added to the meaning of wine tours in Cape Town! Seating 32 passengers on comfortable benches that allow travellers on the wine tram breathtaking views of the majestic mountains that frame the scenic beauty of the Franschhoek Valley wine lands, the Franschhoek Wine Tram brings you an extra special wine tour not to be missed.
Rolling past vineyard upon vineyard as travellers on the open air Franschhoek Wine Tram move from one wine estate to another, this is truly a unique experience designed perfectly for anyone who loves their wine and the thought of stopping off at some of the oldest and most distinguished wine estates in South Africa.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram is also the perfect outing for families, the kids will thoroughly enjoy the leisurely trip on the open side tram that looks a lot like the first trams used in the 1890’s, even the open air Franschhoek Wine Tram Bus used at various points along the way is designed in the same style as the tram, and there are very few kids who would not enjoy a family day out with a distinctive difference!
The combination of open-tram and tram-bus transports will take passengers around in a loop, with four different lines to choose from, which allows them to hop-off at each stop to experience the different activities on offer at each wine estate, whether it is a cellar tour, wine tasting and a superb lunch or picnic.
Each line takes you to an average of eight different wine estates, some of which are over 300 years old and some that offer boutique wines, no matter which Franschhoek Wine Tram tour you select, there will be a little something to suit everyone along the way.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram operates all year round, come sun or rain, and on days when it is raining or there are heavy winds, you will still be protected from the inclement weather while you enjoy the magnificent views, kept comfortable by roll-down transparent awnings.
Join the Franschhoek Wine Tram team for a wine tour of the Franschhoek Valley that is truly unique!
If you would like to add an extra special adventure to your visit in the Franschhoek Valley then the Franschhoek Wine Tram is the perfect experience to bring magic to your day spent in this beautiful corner of South Africa.
Known as the Wine and Gourmet capital of South Africa, Franschhoek is a spectacularly beautiful valley which is home to wine estates that are over 300 years old, living alongside boutique wineries in perfect harmony.
Originally settled in 1688, French Huguenot refugees were given land by the Dutch government in this valley originally called Olifantshoek, named after the elephants that chose this valley as the perfect birthing place for their calves. With over 176 French settlers in the area it didn’t take long to make this picturesque valley their home and change the name to the more appropriate le Coin Français, ‘the French Corner’.
Having brought generations of wine making to the Franschhoek Valley, these settlers chose to name their farms after the regions in France which had once been their home, and today La Motte, Champagne, La Cotte, Cabrière, La Provence, Bourgogne, La Terra de Luc and La Dauphine still stand proud as some of the first established wine farms.
The Architecture in Franschhoek and the surrounding valley is an experience on its own, with the restrictions that have been placed on renovations and new buildings in place, much of the village remains in pristine condition with its unspoiled Cape Dutch architecture.
A trip on the Franschhoek Wine Tram is going to take you through all these world renowned wine estates in their open-air tram, slowly meandering through vineyards in perfect rows set against the breathtaking backdrops of the mountains surrounding the region. Hop-on and Hop-off at some of the most famous wine estates to taste and buy fine wine, and stop off for a picnic or lunch at one of the restaurants along the route.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram is made for a romantic couple of hours or a fun family outing, bringing along kids and grandparents for a day of trundling through this beautiful valley, the kids will love the open-air tram and the adults will be able to indulge all their senses in everything that makes Franschhoek a must on any bucket list.
With 4 different schedules to choose from, which offer you the choice of up to eight wine estates to visit, there is no doubt that any wine connoisseur will find just the right schedule to suit their taste in wine, whether it is rich reds, bubblies, crisp whites or boutique wineries to captivate your taste buds! Naturally, the Franschhoek Wine Tram crew know full well that fine wine deserves fabulous gourmet food, which is why they will assist you with bookings for lunch at wine farms which have a restaurant or with planning a delectable picnic among the vineyards.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers you a unique trip through the Franschhoek Vineyards and wine estates in their open-air tram on tracks that were restored in 2012 just for them and this fantastic adventure, offering an unforgettable, laid-back trip through the Franschhoek wine lands, along with a narration which focuses on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley.
Unparalleled views of the Franschhoek Valley and it’s vineyards accompanied by world class wines and gourmet food have been perfectly mixed together by the imagination which created the Franschhoek Wine Tram tours, making an open-tram tour through the valley an absolute must for anyone visiting Cape Town, or spending the day in this picturesque village.
In addition to the hop-on hop-off experience, you may choose a curated wine experience with the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which will offer you an in-depth look into wine making through the eyes of a wine maker on one of the wine estates you visit, however, these curated wine tours are limited to just seven people, which makes booking essential; a great way to celebrate an intimate birthday!
Grab a couple of friends and book a group experience with the Franschhoek Wine Tram; it carries with it the promise of unforgettable fun, wonderful wine and great food! No matter which Franschhoek Wine Tram experience you choose, make sure you get your booking in ahead of time to avoid disappointment!