Famed across the globe for its award-winning wine farms, the Cape Winelands doesn’t disappoint when it comes to landscape, culinary excellence and its unique Cape Dutch history and architecture. All of this, wrapped up in the finest of warm, South African hospitality.

It’s no surprise that the Lonely Planet has named the Cape Winelands as one of the top 10 places in the world that offer the best value for travel in 2020.

Apart from Stellenbosch, which is home to not only some of of the world’s top wine farms and picturesque vineyards, but also one of South Africa’s top universities, the Cape Winelands boasts Franschhoek and Paarl, two spectacular, mountain-framed destinations, only about an hour from Cape Town.

Franschhoek, known as the ‘Jewel of the Winelands’ and gastronomical capital of South Africa, was first established in the late 17th century by French Huguenot refugees, who marvelled at the fertile haven they discovered and as a consequence, transformed it through their expert winemaking and love for french culture and food.  

Things you’ll (really) love to do in Franschhoek:

  1. Grab a map from Franschhoek Tourism to plot your own wine route or discover the vineyards by Wine tram.
  2. Sample true estate cheese at Dalewood Farm, where all cheese is sourced from the farm’s own Jersey milk.
  3. Experience the true local flair at the Franschhoek Village Market for quality crafts, music, food and good times under the oak trees.  
  4. You don’t want to miss a visit to Babylonstoren, where tranquility comes to life through fine food and exquisite gardens.
  5. As with fine food and premium wines, so too fine art needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Visitors to Franschhoek can once again look forward to a month of artworks and exhibitions this holiday season. 
  6. Experience local diversity through a colourful township tour.
  7. No holiday is complete without some pampering, visit one of Franschhoek’s luxurious health and wellness spas.
  8. Cultural history enthusiasts will be inspired by the Huguenot Memorial Museum.

Franschhoek is internationally renowned for its many iconic wine farms which are without doubt, some of the country’s most desirable and valuable properties.Surina du Toit, Pam Golding Properties area manager, Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington.

As one the oldest European settlements in South Africa, near to some of the best schools in the country, the old world charm of Paarl, which is named after an ancient granite rock resembling a glistening pearl in the sunlight, is often described by its wide, leafy streets and sprawling character homes.

Here are the destinations of necessity in Paarl:

  1. The Paarl Wine Route, renowned for its rich, full-bodied, spicy red and crisp white wines, is the second oldest in the country. Paarl is also home to a couple of Craft breweries, olives and olive oil producers. 
  2. Get up close and personal with reptiles at Le Bonheur where you get to hold a baby crocodile and enjoy an exotic snake exhibit.  
  3. Stop in at the Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop & Weaving Studio for luxurious hand-crafted alpaca products while the kids enjoy the petting zoo and jungle gym.  
  4. Visit the Afrikaans Taal (Language) Monument and learn more about the widely diverse origins of the Afrikaans language.  
  5. Connoisseurs of craftsmanship and authenticity should embark on an journey of artisanal delight at Spice Route – a destination of dreams. 
  6. Stand on the hallowed ground of the Paarl Heritage Trail where Nelson Mandela took his first steps to freedom.  
  7. Outdoor, horse and quad bike enthusiasts will love Wine Valley Adventures.  
  8. Fairview is an absolute must for artisanal wine, cheese and bread lovers.    
  9. Tee off at one of South Africa’s top courses: the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Pearl Valley Golf Estate, or at Boschenmeer.
  10. Eat at one of the many fine restaurants in the area, such as the five-star Grand Roche Hotel, which has long epitomised Paarl’s old-world hospitality.

If the lifestyle of Paarl entices you, the options to live and invest are endless. Contact a Pam Golding Properties area specialist to find out how to make your dream a reality.

Posted by Niki Jackson