Explore the small town of Franschhoek on a guided bike tour and seek out the best quality, locally-crafted chocolates, wines and cheeses along the way. See the Cape chestnut trees that produce the "yangu" oil, marvel at Cape Dutch buildings and more.
What to Expect
Following pick-up from your hotel, start your bike tour of Franschhoek in the churchyard of the historic Dutch Reformed Church on the main road. The first Europeans to settle in the valley were a group of French Huguenots who fled France following persecution for their Protestant faith. In 1688, they were given land by the Dutch East India Company in what was then known as "Olifantshoek" ("Elephant’s Corner").
The newcomers gave the farms where they began to cultivate wine names such as "La Motte," "Bourgogne," "Champagne," "La Provence" and others reminiscent of their homeland. By the early 18th century the valley was referred to as "De France Hoek" ("The French Corner") and by 1805 Franschhoek had become the official name.
Cycle to some of the most significant Huguenot farms of the area and see how the building styles changed over the years. Learn how to identify early Cape Dutch buildings, with their distinctive and ornate rounded gables, symmetrical windows and H-shaped design, and those that were "Victorianized" with the addition of verandahs and sash windows.
Stop at a secondary school, founded in 1850, where Cape chestnut trees grow. The yangu oil extracted from the trees has ultra-violet protective properties that are still used in cosmetics today. Pass the home of the celebrity chef, Reuben Riffel. Franschhoek is often referred to as South Africa’s gourmet capital and Reuben is one of several top-notch chefs in the valley.
Next, go to the Huguenot Chocolate Factory for a tasting. Return to Dieu Donne via the vineyards of Grande Provence for a wine tasting and fitting nod to the wine culture of Franschhoek.
- Bikes and all equipment
- Wine and chocolate tasting
- Hotel pick-up and drop off