Open-air activities in and around FranschhoekDecember 15th, 2020
This year, we’ve all spent too much time indoors. If you’re craving wide open spaces and fresh air, Franschhoek has some spectacular offerings on the menu. Franschhoek is known as the culinary heart of South Africa, but this exquisite region isn’t reserved only for foodies and oenophiles – it has an array of outdoor activities for avid adventure seekers and art enthusiasts alike. Bring the whole family and spend a day in the gorgeous Franschhoek Valley!
Whether you’re in the mood for a simple stroll through the historic town or a more strenuous mountain hike, Franschhoek has it all. The Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve boasts spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley. With over 30km of safe, well-maintained hiking trails varying from short walks to day hikes, the striking fynbos in this UNESCO declared Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve is sure to get both hikers and plant enthusiasts’ heart rates up.
For the more adventurous, the Franschhoek Valley Walk is a unique way to experience scenic Franschhoek as well is its warm hospitality and world class cuisine. The self-guided three day walking trip starts in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve and covers a distance of roughly 30km. Breathe in the fresh mountain air during the day and spend the night in some of Franschhoek’s finest hotels and guest cottages.
Explore the breathtaking vistas of the Franschhoek valley from a different vantage point when you lace up your boots for the La Motte Sustainable hike. The five kilometer trail is set to deliver abundant birdlife, a wealth of flora, resident mammals and reptiles.
Or for a slightly more leisurely day in town, opt for the Village Walking Tour. You’ll get to experience some of the village’s oldest architecture and cultural sites, including the Huguenot Memorial Monument, the Franschhoek Town Hall and the Dutch Reformed Church.
In the saddle
Meander through vineyards, forests and orchards on horseback for a unique Franschhoek experience. Both Cape Winelands Riding and Paradise Stables offer outrides for beginners and lifetime riders alike.
Boschendal offers riding experiences for both equestrians and mountain bikers on the estate. Five marked trails consisting of single track, mountainside jeep track and farm roads offer adventures for intermediate and advanced riders, as well as families and casual riders.
Thrill-seekers will delight in Scootours Franschhoek’s downhill descent. Free wheel down the gentle slopes of wine farms on these non motorised mountain scooters, which are propelled by gravity. The route is easy to navigate and all tours are guided by professional guides. It’s as easy as riding a bike!
Make an entire day of your outdoor Franschhoek adventure and finish off the day with a movie under the stars at the Galileo Open Air Cinema. Screenings are hosted at a different estate in the winelands each week. Arrive early to reserve your spot on the lawn and enjoy a magical market experience of delicious artisanal food and beverages, music and fun before the movie starts at sunset. Be sure to check the schedule for when your favourite classic will be showcased – Galileo is in the winelands on Saturday evenings.
Art enthusiasts can enjoy a stroll through the garden at Leeu Estates where an impressive collection of life-sized bronze sculptures are on display in the landscaped gardens. Book your spot for a guided tour of the sculptures by local artists such as Angus Taylor, Deborah Bell and Dylan Lewis, among others.
And of course, no visit to the Franschhoek valley would be complete without a visit to Babylonstoren! Take a leisurely stroll through our orchards and vegetable garden at your own pace, or join one of our guided daily tours led by our gardening team.
Keen gardeners will be in for a treat when they join one of our Special Collection garden tours led by one of our most experienced gardeners. The hour-long tour will give you an opportunity to glean from their expertise on cycads, historical trees, healing plants or succulents.
And while you’re in the vicinity, why not taste some of our award-winning wines? You are in the winelands, after all …
*Be sure to check the Covid-19 policies of each destination as this might influence opening times and bookings.