It is hard to imagine more beautiful surroundings for a hiking trail than the Franschhoek Valley. The quaint town is set in a valley surrounded by four towering, mountain ranges and boasts numerous spectacular walking trails, some of the best in the Western Cape. Hikes in Franschhoek range from short and easy to a strenuous day trail. Take your camera, take your time and enjoy nature at its best.
Cats se Pad Hiking Trail
Starting just outside Franschhoek and built in 1819, this was the first pass over the Franschhoek Mountains. This easy 3km trail offers glorious scenery and a great diversity of fynbos within the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. There are some lovely views of the patchwork of farms in the Franshhoek Valley.
Cats Pass Trail
Enjoy the unrivalled splendour of Franschhoek on the Cats Pass Trail located in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. This 10.5km trail extravaganza of gorgeous scenery, steep ascents and historic points of interest is ranked as being moderately challenging (mainly due to a very steep ascent) and takes about five hours to complete.
Perdekop Hiking Trail
Staking a claim for the best view in a region famous for them, this enjoyable 15km walk to Perdekop is the longest trail available at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The trail requires a high level of fitness and the steep climb is more than made up for by the glorious 360 degree views from the top and the lovely fynbos and abundance of birds along this 6-8 hour route.
Dutoitskop Trail is a breathtaking hiking trail with a beautiful variety of fynbos along the route. The views from Dutoitskop, that stretch over the stunning Franschoek Valley and Wemmershoek Mountains are spectacular and on a clear day Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are easily visible! This moderate strenuous trail spans 12km and is challenging enough for the keen and experienced hiker, but easy enough for fit walkers. It should take about 5 hours, and is well worth the effort. If you are into bird watching, look out for the endemic Cape Rockjumper
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is part of the UNESCO declared Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. Situated in the Franschhoek Mountains, the reserve offers spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley, diverse plant life and over 30km of safe, well-maintained hiking trails
La Motte Hiking Trail
As an estate, La Motte is committed to the highest conservation and biodiversity standards, and their picturesque hiking trail is a wonderful showcase of some of the extraordinary work they do. This 2 hour circular hiking trail through luxuriant fynbos, orchards and vineyards along a scenic mountain route with stunning views over the valley is a great way to appreciate this beautiful wine estate.
The trail requires a fair degree of fitness, starting off relatively easy, wandering through the gardens and then the vineyards before it begins to wind up the slopes of the Wemmershoek Mountains, where one is bound to work up a sweat (get the heart rate up). The 5.6km trail starts and ends at the La Motte Tasting room and a well-deserved wine tasting is definitely a great way to finish off your day out.
The Sustainable Hike is a further expression of La Motte’s commitment to the highest conservation and biodiversity standards and the protection of precious indigenous flora and fauna in the mountain area surrounding the estate and the adjoining Wemmershoek mountain range.