The 11 000ha Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is a World Heritage site and situated 6km from Stellenbosch – one of the oldest wine regions in South Africa famous for its wine route. Home to the majestic Jonkershoek Mountains with their high peaks and deep valleys. While you hike here you are constantly aware of the massive mountains and the amazing flora surrounding you.
The town of Franschhoek is about 80km (49.7 miles) from the centre of Cape Town. The origins of this charming and beautifully situated village date back to 1688 when some French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in Europe settled in the valley, then known as Elephants Corner. As the settlers increased the elephants ceased their annual migration to the valley, which gradually became known as French Corner, or ‘Franschhoek’ in Afrikaans. The French influence is evident today in the names of the surrounding wine estates and the number of excellent restaurants.
Paarl Nature Reserve is dominated by the huge granite rocks that date back more than 500 million years. The three rounded outcrops that makeup Paarl Mountain are the second-largest granite outcrop in the world. Paarl meaning ‘pearl’ was so named for the pearlescent glitter of the wet granite after rains. On the foothills of these granite domes you find the town of Paarl, the third oldest European Settlement in South Africa.
The Durbanville Wine Valley was one of the earliest farming areas. The original estates were granted in 1698. A number of the farms are still run by families who have owned the land for many generations, some families have been making wine for six generations. Each winery has its own charm and country elegance through the collection of wines they produce and the culinary experiences they have on offer.