No visit to Cape Town, South Africa would be complete without exploring the nearby and stunning Franschhoek Valley. Considered to be the food and wine capital of South Africa, Franschhoek is home to several picturesque vineyards and world class restaurants.
A variety of wineries can be found there, boasting cellars both large and small. Visitors can arrange to take a wine tour to learn about the fascinating history and process of wine making, as well as sample the finished product.
The wine making tradition stems from the Huguenots, French Protestants who originally settled in the area in the late seventeenth century seeking religious freedom. The Dutch government there gave the pilgrims land in the valley, which became known as Franschhoek, or French Corner. A Huguenot monument and museum stand in the village and tell the story of these colonists .
The neighboring village of Hermanus, which overlooks Walker Bay, is known as an outstanding spot for whale watching. During the season, June through November, the Southern Right Whales can be seen in the Atlantic Ocean from a cliff top vantage point along the coastline.
Not to be missed is a drive along the scenic Garden Route, which stretches between Cape Town and Knysna. Abundant in lush green vegetation, lakes and lagoons, guests can enjoy the mildest climate in South Africa there.