Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : South Africa : Western Cape : Cape Winelands : Franschhoek
Franschhoek was founded by French settlers (hence the name), who fled the inquisition in Europe and were looking for a little hide-out on the other side of the world. They found it in the fertile valley of Franschhoek - initially known as Oliphantshoek, as they valley was known for its large numbers of elephants.
Even though no one speaks French, most of the street names, restaurant names and wine farms in the "French Corner" are French.
Franschhoek makes a serious attempt at being the "food and wine capital of South Africa". Be as it may, it's a great place to relax, enjoy top food and wine, in an almost European atmosphere.
Only one road (R45) leads to Franschhoek from Stellenbosch or Paarl. For a more scenic drive, you can enter Franschhoek all the way over the "Franschhoek Pass" - a spectacular mountain route leading into Franschhoek from Villiersdorp.
There is a taxi service (small buses with loud music and often loud drivers) from Stellenbosch and from Paarl.
There's no train service.
You can walk along the main street to see all the nice old houses and have a look at the shops and various restaurants.
Franschhoek is a place to relax. Stroll up or down the main street and take your time to have a look around.
There are many excellent restaurants in and around Franschhoek. Along the main road are a number of very good restaurants.
Wine is plentiful and cheap.
Haute Cabriere and La Petite Ferme (see above) sell their own wines. Just outside of the village are two top wine estates, Le Grand Provence and Boschendal, where tastings are available daily. There are also many other smaller wine estates in the area. Virtually all welcome visitors and tastings can be arranged with most. Enjoy.