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Akademie Street Boutique Hotel & Guest House
5 Akademie Street
Franschhoek, Western Cape, 7690, South Africa
+27 (0) 82 517 0405

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Things to do in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is right in the centre of the most beautiful part of the Western Cape.

Think of Franschhoek as the nicest place to stay in Cape Town, for it is only:

  • 50 minutes drive from Cape Town International Airport
  • 55 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town
  • 90 minute drive from the great bulk of the Cape’s wine farms
  • 20 minutes drive from historic Paarl
  • 30 minutes drive from Stellenbosch with its old buildings and university
  • 40 minutes drive to the white beaches of the warm Indian ocean
  • 15 – 45 minutes to seven different golf courses
  • 60 minutes drive to the whales and the white shark diving off Hermanus
  • 90 minutes to Langebaan, Pater Noster and the wild flowers in August, September
  • 90 minutes to Montagu in the arid Klein Karoo
  • On the circular half day drives through spectacular scenery and gorgeous passes

On top of that Franschhoek has nearly 40 restaurants or sidewalk cafes, several of them world-famous, where one can idle one’s time away. Franschhoek is peaceful, safe to walk even at night and has no traffic problems. One can ride by bicycle or by horse  or can take the open wine tram to to taste wine or hike in the glorious mountain reserve or fly fish all within minutes of the village.

So unless you like living out of a suitcase think of staying in Franschhoek and then visiting the rest of the area on day trips!

Stay in Franschhoek for at least five nights to experience it at its best.

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  • Cycling routes, Franschhoek
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There are many activities and things to do in Franschhoek from hiking to sitting at the side walk cafes and watching the world go by. A list follows of some of the more obvious things to do.

  • Visit a wine farm: Franschhoek has some of the most stunning scenery in the wine world and some of the Cape’s best wines. The wineries range from very large to small family-run farms. They are all a few minutes’ drive from Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House. You can also visit several of them by bicycle or on horseback. You can also book the Franschhoek Wine Tram info@winetram.co.za. Of course the best way is to hire a car or let us organise transport or specialised tours for you. Generally it is more fun and cheaper to self-drive but if you wish to be picked up from somewhere or taken on day trips we can organise this for you.
  • Hire bicycles and explore: Franschhoek has stunning scenery and a host of mountain bike and hiking trails or else get taken on mountain paths or wine tasting with a guide: Franschhoek Cycles info@franschhoekcycles.co.za
  • Hike around the village outskirts or in the nature reserve high in the mountains overlooking Franschhoek or behind the gorges in the Berg River Dam or on the trail around the La Motte farm. One can walk around Babylonstoren's beautiful new formal produce garden planted with typical and old Cape plants
  • Go for a guided walk with a historian or a geologist: Izak Rust – icrust@iafrica.com or Siegfried Schäfer siegfried.schafer@gmail.com
  • Go fly fishing: La Ferme fly fishing – 10 minutes drive Mercedes@laferme.co.za
  • Play golf nearby:
    Pearl Valley – 15 minutes drive golf@pearlvalley.co.za
    Paarl Golf Club – 20 minutes events@paarlgolfclub.co.za
    Devonvale – 40 minutes proshop@devonvale.co.za
    Stellenbosch Golf Club – 40 minutes bookings@stellenboschgolfclub.com
    Kleine Zalze – 45 minutes quality@kleinezalze.co.za
    Theewaterskloof – 45 minutes (9-hole course) twkgolf@telkomsa.net
  • Golf….. a little bit further afield:
    Arabella – www.arabellagolfclub.co.za
    Atlantic Beach - www.atlanticbeachgolfclub.co.za
    Durbanville – www.durbanvillegolfclub.co.za
    Erinvale – www.erinvalegolfclub.com
    Somerset West Golf Club – www.swgolfclub.co.za
    Westlake – www.westlakegolfclub.co.za
  • Go wine tasting on horse back or just ride through the vineyards and fynbos Paradise Stables - www.paradisestables.co.za / Rayanne at Delta Crest - montrochelletrails@mtnloaded.co.za
  • Visit the valley museums and galleries:
    Grande Provence – The gallery
    Roubaix House gallery – ceramics by David Walters and his daughter Sarah Walters 
    Glen Carlou Fine Art Gallery – The Hess Collection
    IS Art Gallery – at Le Quartier Français
    La Motte Gallery – From the Rupert collection, especially works of Pierneef
    Ebony – in Franschhoek Square
  • Motor Museum on L'Omarins - One of the largest collections of exotic and vintage cars in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Huguenot Museum - reflecting the history of the early Huguenot settlers
  • Visit museums and monuments in nearby towns (30 – 45 minutes drive):
    Afrikaans Language Monument – on the slopes of Paarl Mountain with its unusual rocks and a nature reserve
    Wellington Museum – small interesting Egyptian section
    Stellenbosch Museum – four houses from the earliest house in Stellenbosch to one from the Victorian era
    Rupert Museum – the art collection bequeathed to Stellenbosch by Anton and Huberte Rupert Sasol Art Museum – Stellenbosch
    Stellenbosch Botanical Garden – very small garden with an interesting plant collection
    Vergelegen – a beautiful old Cape Dutch Manor house, garden and wine farm in Somerset West
  • Pamper yourself at one of the many health spas:
    Holden Manz Spa / The Treatment Room at Le Quartier Français / L’Ermitage / Espirit de Beauté / Franschhoek Health and Skin Care Clinic / or let us organise a masseur to visit you in you room
  • Visit the gym at the Franschhoek Health Club: visitors staying with us pay a special discounted price
  • Visit the chocolate factory: Tours can be booked before hand huguenot@wol.co.za
  • Take a scenic helicopter trip: info@flyingcompany.co.za
  • Visit a Farmer's market: Every Saturday morning at Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch or the local small market at the Dutch Reform Church or Blauuwklippen wine estate on a Sunday
  • Shop at the village’s antique, craft and diamond shops:
    For top of the range diamonds and Tanzanite speak to Tracey’s Diamonds
    For lovely custom-made jewellery using various gems d Toit Classique
    For gems and sterling silver Penchant Design
  • Sit at the side walk cafes and watch the world go by

Festivals 2014 - 2015

25 October

Marriott Classic Music Festival, Franschhoek 

25 - 26 October

Klein Optenhorst Open Gardens

25 October - 30 November

Franschhoek Art in Clay Festival

31 October - 2 November

Franschhoek Open Gardens

29, 30 November

Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

7 February

Franschhoek Summer Wines

February Date to be confirmed

Bridgehouse Swim Berg River Dam

1 - 4 March

Cape Rouler

25 - 29 March

The Franschhoek Food Week

18 April

Franschhoek Wedding Showcase

15,16,17 May

Franschhoek Literary Festival

11, 12 July

Franschhoek Bastille Festival

28 - 30 August

Franschhoek Wine and Dine Johannesburg

26,27 September

Franschhoek Uncorked

26,27 September

Enduroman

24 October - 30 November

Franschhoek Art in Clay

30 October - 1 November

Franschhoek Open Gardens

28, 29 November

Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

  • Le Quartier restaurant kitchen
  • Bastille day festival, Franschhoek
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