Best Day Trips From Franschhoek South Africa
The Food and Wine Capital of the Cape, Franschhoek is truly a location like no other. While we love this town and all it has to offer, it would be a real shame to visit South Africa and not see more of the splendid locations it has to offer.
If you want to see more and explore further afield, we’ve come up with our top recommendations of places to visit within driving distance from your Franschhoek accommodation.
After all, South Africa is for the trendy travellers, ambitious adventure seekers and those with a burning desire to experience as much as they can.
Drive to Cape Town
1 hour 5 minutes drive from Franschhoek
How could we not include Cape Town in this list? The capital of South Africa is most definitely worth a visit if you can get there. There are several places to visit in Cape Town that offer unique experiences you won’t soon forget.
This is a historical land that has also kept up with the times. Cape Town utilises its natural beauty and rich past to deliver a location you will fall in love with.
Table Mountain, Cape Town
Located in the Table Mountain National Park, the iconic Table Mountain is a must-see for anyone touring this part of the world. Sun or rain, cloudy or clear, this is always a spectacular site to witness and worthy of your bucket list.
Did you know that Table Mountain has been named one of the new seven wonders of nature? This incredible credit is not so hard to believe once you have witnessed it for yourself.
When visiting, you can either hike up the mountain on foot for an awe-inspiring walk or you can opt for the easier—but no less extraordinary option—of journeying up the mountain by the Table Mountain cableway. Table Mountain is home to the smallest floral kingdom on earth, offering rich colours and fresh aromas – what a sight it is.
At the top, you will understand where the name of this mountain comes from with its bizarrely distinctive flat top surface. You will be flanked by the impressive accompanying mountains, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. The three mountains make up the Northern end of the Cape Fold mountain range.
Before making the trek or ride down, you can visit the mountain’s shop, enjoy a meal at the restaurant and of course, you can’t forget the insane photo opportunities…consider your social media feed blessed, thanks to Table Mountain.
Robben Island, Cape Town
Like Table Mountain, Robben Island is a well-known part of Cape Town. You likely know Robben Island prison as the place Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. If so, then you may be interested in taking a boat out to visit the prison itself.
The island is also home to the Robben Island Museum, whose goal is to preserve the resources and heritage of the island to provide life-long learning of this mysterious piece of land.
The museum is also responsible for maintaining and managing the places on the island that are worth seeing. Through the Robben Island tours, you can easily spend half of the day here, soaking up some of that South African history we mentioned earlier.
Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, Cape Town
Situated at the V&A Waterfront, is the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, so if the historical side of Cape Town is more of a snooze fest for you, then get in your daily fix of retail therapy instead. This shopping centre plays host to hundreds of stores and dozens of restaurants.
This is a place that is hard to walk by without popping inside for a quick look that may or may not turn into an hour-long shopping spree. When there’s a cloud in the sky accompanied by a drizzle of rain, this place is a safe, dry haven where you can spend a good chunk of your day visiting the Cape Town area.
Drive to Cape Point
1 hour 55 minutes drive from Franschhoek
Cape Point National Park is often referred to as the Cape’s most beautiful park and you’ll hear no argument from us.
Here, the towering tremendous rock outlines this park and jagged pieces cut into the blue water that consists of all different shades. To say that Cape Point represents the very best of South African beauty would be an understatement.
Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is widely known as one of the Cape’s most popular tourist destinations. This part of the park offers an abundance of natural wonder for you to get swept up in.
We love it for its multiple hiking and cycling trails that will allow you to experience the wonder around you in an active and enjoyable way. When visiting, be sure to find the famous wooden stairs that lead to the lookout point. You’ll be rewarded for your time with a spectacular 360-degree view of the whole area.
The ocean is a key part of what makes Cape Point so popular, so why not explore the park by boat?
Those in search of a full-on adventure at sea can enlist themselves to take on some deep-sea fishing. Venture out far enough (around 50 km) and you can expect to encounter one or two creatures of the depths! You will also be presented with the option to bring along an experienced guide to ensure you are witnessing all there is to see. Here’s a tip, hire a photographer to come along and snap some action shots, so that you can remember the adventure for a lifetime.
If you’re after less of a Moby Dick encounter and more of a calm sailing experience, you can observe the park on the water along the leisurely coastline.
Cape Point Beaches
Really, the beaches are the only reasons you need to visit Cape Point. Even those who claim to not be ‘beach people’ will be submerging themselves and frolicking in the sand in no time, thanks to the park’s vast range of beaches.
- Buffels Bay – you won’t believe your eyes when you see all the different shades of blue sea water, from warm turquoise to strong navy
- Olifantsbos Trail – also known as Shipwreck Trail, stroll along the beach and ogle over the wrecked ships washed ashore – for the love of God, remember your camera!
- Platboom Beach – for a taste of the wild, this beach remains mostly unspoilt, waiting to be discovered
- Diaz Beach – one of South Africa’s ‘secret’ beaches. The water may be too unpredictable for swimming, but the beauty of the beach and the privacy it offers are reasons enough to visit
There are so many more reasons to visit Cape Point, such as the Cape Point Lighthouse, which is also a famed spot of the Cape. In short, the Cape Point reserve is a sight to see and an experience not to be missed.
Drive to Boulders Beach to See the Penguins
1 hour 50 minutes drive from Franschhoek
This beach is known for one thing, and that’s being the South African penguins beach!
Located in the Cape Peninsula, near Simon’s Town, you will find the famous Boulders Beach penguin colony. This colony is one of very few in the world for this species of the endangered African penguin.
Also commonly known as Boulders Bay, this extraordinary location is made up of three lush beaches, the penguin viewing area, and the boardwalks that you must use to observe these wonderful birds – yes, they are cute and cuddly, but nippy and snappy if they want to be, so be sure to keeping your distance.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the Boulders Beach penguins love the attention and will gladly go about their business, waddling along the sand with pitter-patter flippers, seemingly unbothered by the mounds of tourists who have come to see them.
What else can you do besides seeing the beach penguins? If you fancy a dip, the magnificently blue sea is right there and waiting. You can also find the most scenic picnic spot just about anywhere.
Drive to Stellenbosch
30-minute drive from Franschhoek
We had to include the wonderful town of Stellenbosch in this blog as it’s just a stone’s throw away from our Franschhoek guest house.
Not only is it just a mere thirty-minute drive from Franschhoek, but it is also a lovely town to visit. Like Franschhoek, Stellenbosch is known for its wine, as it is also a part of the Cape Winelands.
The Stellenbosch vineyards offer a luxurious wine experience with wine tasting and pairing sessions that will take your senses to new heights in a stunning setting.
Stellenbosch benefits from the cool air that rushes from the sea to greet those visiting as they shop ‘til they drop and eat ‘til they’re full. If this sounds like a must-visit place for you, then don’t bother searching for hotels in Stellenbosch – stay in Franschhoek and experience both close towns in one trip.
Franschhoek isn’t the only attractive area that South Africa has to offer. There are activities to do in Cape Town that are calling for you to join in, Cape Point and The Cape of Good Hope have natural splendour awaiting you, Boulders Beach colony of penguins are a sight to see, and Stellenbosch provides that luxurious break you’ve been craving.
The Coach House managers Bertie and Cornel are the best people to talk to when you want to plan a South African itinerary driving from Franschhoek. For your next adventure, choose our Franschhoek guest house and simply go from there.