Where to Stay - South Africa
 

As regular visitors to the Cape Winelands and in particular to Franschhoek – our favourite of all the Winelands towns – we always try to do something a bit different each trip. This trip took place in January 2017 and the weather was incredible for the duration of our week-long stay in Franschhoek. Given the weather conditions we decided that we would try a self-ride bicycle tour of some local wine estates. We headed off to Franschhoek Cycles located at 2 Main Road – this is the main road that runs through the centre of Franschhoek. We rented 2 bikes here for a full day which is up to 7 hours. If you are not familiar with the area or the wine-estates just ask and they will provide maps and guidance on the distances between stops and also the overall terrain in terms of hills, etc.

Franschhoek Wine Tasting by Bicycle

Our Bikes!

As we were quite familiar with the area we had a good idea of where we wanted to go and opted for the following 4 wine farms to visit.

  • Mullineux & Lieu Family Wines
  • Four Paws
  • Leopards Leap
  • La Motte

Part of the enjoyment of cycling is being able to keep to your own pace and be able to stop whenever you want for photos or just for a breather! When I said the weather was incredible I wasn’t wrong as we managed to co-inside our cycle tour with the hottest day of our getaway with temperatures reaching over 93F (34C). Plenty of cold water was kept on board at all times! Our first stop was at Mullineux & Leeu which has beautifully manicured gardens and a path that leads you right up to the Tasting Room.

Franschhoek Wine Estate

Mullineux & Leeu

 

From Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines it was a very pleasant gentle downhill ride to our next stop which was Four Paws. Now Four Paws is what I would call ‘unpretentious’ – it isn’t like many other wine tastings you will go to but the service you get accompanied by some very friendly pets made for an awesome experience. Gerda, the winemaker, is extremely knowledgeable and if you like Rose or White Wine then you should definitely make this a stop. Great value for money as well.

Four Paws Wine Tasting

Four Paws!

From Four Paws, located at La Vigne Estate on Robertsvlei Road we took a fairly flat but longish ride to Leopards Leap Wine Estate. Coming from Four Paws it just illustrates the high diversity in size of operation and how it is great to enjoy and support the smaller wine growers. The Restaurant and Wine Tasting area is quite large and has views across the grounds to the mountains.

Leopard's Leap Wine Estate

Leopard’s Leap

From Leopard’s Leap we wanted to make one final stop before we took our bikes back. Having stopped at La Motte on a previous visit to Franschhoek we couldn’t wait to stop over again. The fact that we also enjoy red wine probably did have a lot to do with our decision to stop here. Plus La Motte is beautiful; the gardens are manicured with lovely water features and the Tasting Room is wonderfully relaxing.

La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte

We can thoroughly recommend a cycling tour of the Wine Estates around Franschhoek and something we will definitely do again. Although we did our own self-cycle tour you can get ‘guided cycle tours’ as well which is probably great fun in a group. Naturally we were quite tired at the end of the day not helped by the fact we had to cycle quickly to get back to the Cycle Shop before it closed at 17h00 but that was just down to slightly misjudging the length of time it would take us to get back from La Motte. So whether you are saying in Franschhoek or Stellenbosch be sure to give this a try!

Check out all our Cape Winelands Accommodation here

Top Tip:

If buying wine – many of the estates will deliver to your accommodation OR like we did, hold the wine for you to collect the next day.

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Click here for a short video of our Cape Town Road Trip

Living in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape and planning a road trip to Cape Town always requires a little bit of planning especially when you want to take in new sights and travel down routes you haven’t been before. We had been wanting to visit Paternoster on the West Coast for quite some time now so as it wasn’t that far from Cape Town we decided that this would be a first port of call. Now first of lets understand that it is just over 1000kms from Port Alfred to Paternoster which is at least 11 hours driving. Given that we do like to have a few stops along the way to eat and refresh plus we always advise against driving at night this meant planning a stopover both on the way down and on the way home.

Our route from Port Alfred took us initially along the R72, then onto the N2 through Port Elizabeth and then we turned left onto the Route 62 signposted to Joubertina and Kareedouw. This route is very pretty and takes you through an area called Apple Valley which is not hard to understand why. Either side of the road the fields are full of Apple trees and other fruit trees. The Route 62 took us all the way to Oudtshoorn and through the other side onto the R328 where just 7kms outside of Oudtshoorn was our stopover – Buffelsdrift Game Lodge.

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The Eastern Cape seaside town of Port Alfred will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of its first ever mayor over the weekend of October 24th to October 26th 2014. The celebrations will be tied in with the annual Kowie River Festival and the festivities kick off on Friday evening with a flotilla down the river itself and a seafood festival and Mardi Gras along Wharf Street.

Port Alfred celebrates 125 years

Throughout the weekend events will be taking place that the whole family can take part in. These include water-based fun for the young ones down at Kiddies Beach on the Saturday and Sunday, a fun-fair and entertainment area down at Guido’s on the beachfront, surfing lessons on East Beach, beach volleyball and football on West Beach (by Guido’s) and the infamous ‘Anything that Floats’ Race down the Kowie River on Sunday.

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Walking down Franschhoek Main Street

Take a lazy stroll down Huguenot Road in Franschhoek and you could be forgiven for thinking you are walking down a street in France. The pretty trees that line the pavements, the small cafes and boutique shops and seemingly slow pace of life all encapsulate life in many villages in France. The Huguenots that landed over three hundred years ago have certainly stamped their mark here. This popular town in the Cape Winelands attracts huge numbers of tourists each year and the tourist office at 68 Huguenot Road is normally buzzing with activity.

At one end of the high street lies the impressive Huguenot Monument but perhaps more impressive are the stunning Franschhoek Mountains which surround the town on three sides. Early in the morning it’s not uncommon to see the clouds falling over the tips of the mountains much like the famous ‘Tablecloth’ of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. READ MORE