Franschhoek is a gorgeous valley tucked away in the heart of the Cape Winelands. This stunning region is a world-famous wine and cuisine destination. Dream up picturesque vineyards, award-winning wines, and a quaint, bustling town surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges - this is Franschhoek!
Whether you are a local or a visitor to Cape Town, a trip to Franschhoek and the Cape Winelands at large is a must! There are hundreds of inviting wine farms and wine estates, just waiting to be explored and enjoyed! No matter the season or weather, you can’t go wrong spending a day indulging in a wine tasting or two - South Africa is famous for its wine after all!
The best way to discover the delights of the Franschhoek wine valley is the Franschhoek Wine Tram. The Wine Tram transports you between wine farms in a relaxed and scenic way. All you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! Find out more about the Wine Tram below.
Here at 5 reasons that a day trip on the Franschhoek Wine Tram should definitely be on your Cape Town Bucket List:
1. It’s a unique (and fun!) way to see the wine farms in the area
With so much to see and experience, it can feel almost overwhelming deciding where to start! The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a convenient way to see a number of wine destinations in one day.
How it works: The tram is a hop-on-hop-off design comprising of different modes of transport including the iconic double-decker tram, open-air busses and even a tractor or two! There are a number of different lines (named after different colours) that include a variety of wine farms. Pick the line of your choice, book your ticket, hop aboard and you’re ready to go!
En route, you’ll travel past vineyards and picturesque suburbs; making stops at wonderful wineries along the way.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a great activity for family and friends! It’s also fantastic for celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, pre-wedding festivities and even end of year functions! Just be sure to book ahead at the wine farms if your group has large numbers and you are hoping to enjoy a lunch or specific wine tasting activity.
2. There are a number of award-winning wine farms included on various routes
The Wine Tram visits some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates including Grand Provence, Allée Bleue, Maison, Babylonstoren and much, much more!
The routes include large cellars with organised tastings and tours, well-established wine favourites that enjoy a steady stream of visitors, and smaller, boutique wineries that offer unique curated experiences. Wine enthusiasts of all kinds are sure to find a route and wines that will pique their interests; from robust reds and refreshing whites to South African-grown pinotage and bottles of bubbly Method Cap Classique.
There are currently two dozen destinations covered in total by the Wine Tram, and each has a variety of activities on offer - more on that below!
3. You can pick the route that best suits your needs and interests
There are eight different lines (Purple, Orange, Pink, Grey, Blue, Green, Yellow and Red) that visit 24 different wine destinations. Each line includes eight wine farms and you should be able to visit six of them during the course of your trip.
The experience is designed to allow you to curate the day around your preferences! Are you looking to sample award-winning wines? Choose a line heaving with must-see wineries. After a delicious meal? Pick a spot home to a great restaurant in a gorgeous setting. Seeking stunning scenery? Do some research and choose wine farms that ooze views! Want to see a painting pig? You can do that too! (Visit Pigcasso’s home base, included on the Blue and Green lines).
You are free to spend as much time as you like at each stop; transport will arrive and depart every hour and your onboard guide will share the next pick-up time with you at each stop.
There are several ways to enjoy the tram: the hop-on-hop-off experience which is most popular, the cuisine experience, the exclusive wine & cuisine experience and the group experience for groups of 20 or more people.
4. You can make it a full-day experience, including lunch and dinner afterwards
The wine tram runs from mid-morning with the last trams back to the main depot departing wine farms at around 5.45 pm. This gives you the whole day to explore as you wish!
Why not complement your wine tasting with some gourmet dishes? Include a fine dining lunch at one of Franschhoek’s award-wining wine farm-based restaurants. You could even keep it more casual and find a scenic wine farm at lunchtime and order some divine meat and cheese platters! Most wine farms offer some sort of food - be sure to check the information cards provided by the Franschhoek Wine Tram for more details.
Afterwards, find a gorgeous spot in town for dinner at one of Franschhoek’s gourmet restaurants. After all, Franschhoek is known as the Wine & Gourmet Capital of South Africa so you can’t leave without sampling something tasty!
5. It’s safe and affordable!
The best thing about the wine tram is that it safely transports you between several farms and the centre of Franschhoek throughout the day. No need to worry about designated drivers or organising transport from destination to the destination!
If you are staying closer to Cape Town, you can drive through to Franschhoek on the day and park your car at the central terminal (just be sure that there is a designated driver for the return trip home unless you are staying in town and are situated within walking distance of your accommodation). Alternatively, transfer services are available from the Cape Town area through to Franschhoek. With an organised transfer, you can enjoy yourself with peace of mind!
Another great feature of the Wine Tram experience is that it is really affordable for what you get! Hop-on hop-off tickers begin from R270*. Your ticket covers your transport between the farms on your chosen line as well as fascinating narration on the Franschhoek Valley and the region’s winemaking history from an onboard guide! Once you arrive at your chosen wine farms, you can partake in the activities of your choice. Convenient, safe and perfect to suit a range of budgets - we like the sound of that!
*Prices correct at time of publication
Have you enjoyed a trip on the Franschhoek Wine Tram yet? What are you waiting for! Go out and explore the wine farms and enjoy the scenery of this beautiful region of the Cape Winelands.