During my stay in Franschhoek a few weeks back, my friend Kim and I decided to finally try out the Franschhoek Wine Tram – something that’s been on my to do list for quite some time now.
I mean what better way to see the winelands than a hop-on hop-off tour where you don’t have to worry about driving? #winning
Tickets can be booked online, or from their ticket office in Franschhoek Main Road (32 Huguenot Road). We went for the online option just to avoid disappointment on the day.
Now there are 4 tour options to choose from:
- Blue line stops: Le Lude, La Petite Dauphine, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, La Couronne, Mont Rochelle, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence.
- Green line stops: Rickety Bridge, Grande Provence, Le Lude, La Petite Dauphine, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, La Couronne and Mont Rochelle.
- Red line stops: La Bri, Chamonix, Dieu Donne, Leopard’s Leap, Maison, Eikehof, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence.
- Yellow line stops: Rickety Bridge, Grande Provence, La Bri, Chamonix, Dieu Donne, Leopard’s Leap, Maison and Eikehof.
So it’s really up to which wine farms you’d like to see…
It’s important to note however that the actual tram only runs between Rickety Bridge & Grande Provence. From there you jump onto a tram bus. So with that in mind, we opted for the green line because with that one you start off on the actual tram and I figured I’d rather remember that instead of doing that after a very long, boozy day and then possibly not remembering it at all. 😉
This is what the green line schedule looks like:
|DEPARTURE: Ticket Office||BUS||10:15 AM||11:15 AM||12:15 PM||—-||—-||—-||—-|
|STOP 1: Rickety Bridge Platform||TRAM||10:37 AM||11:37 AM||12:37 PM||1:37 PM||2:37 PM||3:37 PM||4:37 PM|
|STOP 2: Grande Provence Platform||TRAM||10:45 AM||11:45 AM||12:45 PM||1:45 PM||2:45 PM||3:45 PM||4:45 PM|
|STOP 3: Franschhoek Village||BUS||—-||12:00 PM||1:00 PM||2:00 PM||3:00 PM||4:00 PM||5:00 PM|
|STOP 4: Le Lude||BUS||—-||12:06 PM||1:06 PM||2:06 PM||3:06 PM||4:06 PM||5:06 PM|
|STOP 5: La Petite Dauphine||BUS||—-||12:16 PM||1:16 PM||2:16 PM||3:16 PM||4:16 PM||5:16 PM|
|STOP 6: Holden Manz*||BUS||—-||12:21 PM||1:21 PM||2:21 PM||3:21 PM||4:21 PM||5:21 PM|
|STOP 7: La Bourgogne||BUS||—-||12:28 PM||1:28 PM||2:28 PM||3:28 PM||4:28 PM||5:28 PM|
|STOP 8: La Couronne||BUS||—-||12:34 PM||1:34 PM||2:34 PM||3:34 PM||4:34 PM||5:34 PM|
|STOP 9: Mont Rochelle||BUS||—-||12:42 PM||1:42 PM||2:42 PM||3:42 PM||4:42 PM||5:42 PM|
|Maximum Stops by Departure Time||STOPS: 6||STOPS: 5||STOPS: 4|
You can start out as early / late as you like – but of course, the later you start the less stops you can fit in. We decided to maximise our time and kicked off at 10:15am sharp. That way we were able to fit in 5 stops, including lunch. Also you’ll see that the drop off / pick up times are all an hour apart. So you can stick to that hourly schedule, or if you really like a particular spot, you can stay an hour or two extra.
Worried about the fact that the tram only runs between two stops? Don’t be. Both the tram & tram bus are super cute. Here’s what both look like:As a crucial need-to-know: It gets rather chilly on the tram because it’s open air, so be sure to pack a warm jacket, OK. As I mentioned, we managed to do 5 stops on the day, including lunch. This was what our day looked like:
Stop 1 – Rickety Bridge:
Wine tram peeps are identified by stickers you’re given at the ticket office. This gives you access to some special deals along the way. Also each adult ticket includes two complimentary tastings at select wine estates, so you can plan your stops around that as well. We didn’t really bother too much and rather went for the stops we really wanted to do. At Rickety Bridge for example, the tastings weren’t free, but we got it at a discounted rate of R10 each. So that was still a really great deal.
Stop 2 – Grande Provence:
Probably the prettiest wine farm of the day… Let me show you why:
Stop 3 – Le Lude (an MCC estate):
Here you can do an MCC tasting and then we had also pre-booked a table at their Orangerie Restaurant for lunch. As you’ll see this restaurant is absolutely gorgeous, and the food was really good too.
This was one of the free tasting spots – so that was cool. Also they did a special wine tram box for R220 which included 2 wines and a bottle of olive oil, so I snapped one of those up too.
Stop 5 – Mont Rochelle:
The final stop of the day certainly was very pretty (and that’s why we had opted to stop there), but in hindsight I’d say rather stop at the previous farm, La Couronne (heard that was actually the better choice).
Why? Well we ran into a little issue at Mont Rochelle that just didn’t sit well with me. We arrived & found a table in what looked to be the tasting area. We were given wine lists to look at and at that point of the day we figured ah well, let’s skip the tasting and just order a bottle or two. We had made friends along the way and we figured we may as well end off in style. The problem was that when it was time to pay, they all of a sudden gave us the restaurant menu with the restaurant wine prices. So a bottle of wine which for example was R145 on their wine list (which is what we had ordered from) was now R220. Now you expect to see “restaurant prices” in town – but not on a wine farm, seated in what we thought was the tasting area. So that really baffled me… I mean isn’t the whole point of going to a wine farm that you get the wine at cellar door prices?
So ja, have a look at my pics. You’ll see it really is very pretty there. But maybe just keep the wine thing in mind…
Other than that minor glitch, this really was the most amazing day out. We had so much fun and met some really great people along the way…I highly recommend you do this the next time you’re in the Franschhoek area. Price wise things are pretty simple – all 4 lines cost R200 for adults & R85 for kids (aged 2 – 17). Just take note of these need-to-knows:
- Each adult ticket includes two complimentary wine tastings at select wine estates on the tour.
- Each tasting consists of 2 to 3 samples of wine.
- Additional wine tastings can be purchased at each wine estate directly.
- Dining is at your own cost and is best booked before the time to avoid disappointment (this includes sit down meals & picnics)
And then also make sure you take note of any winter closures noted on the website.
So what else can I say other than: Get your friends together & book your tickets now!