In the area - close to Babylonstoren

culture,sport,relax in Franschhoek

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There is plenty to do in and around Babylonstoren and the Cape Winelands
Cape Winelands
South Africa’s world-famous wines are produced mostly in the Cape Winelands – a region of great beauty, fertile soil and historic towns surrounded by impressive mountains. One of the country’s most visited destinations, the Cape Winelands is close to Cape Town and the international airport.

Franschhoek lies in an impressive valley between the Franschhoek Mountains and is arguably one of the country’s best-loved towns. It has a proud tradition as the wine and gourmet capital of the region. The town was founded 300 years ago when French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France were granted land in the area. They brought their traditions – and their expertise in the production of wine – and the town still boasts a strong French character today, as well as many of the country’s top restaurants. The Franschhoek area has 42 wine farms.

Unique features
Huguenot Memorial Museum – a wonderful way to spend a few hours and learn about the French Huguenots who first came to Africa from France. Franschhoek means ‘French Corner’ in Dutch and the town is like no other in South Africa when it comes to its Francophile tendencies. And although French is no longer spoken by the townsfolk, the street names still bear the names of the first settlers and other French towns and authors. The town has a number of festivals every year including a Literary Festival, a Food & Wine Festival as well as Bastille Day.

One of South Africa’s loveliest towns dating back to 1679, Stellenbosch was named after Simon van der Stel, father of the South African wine industry and the first governor of the Cape. The town is just 20 minutes' drive from Babylonstoren and has over the years become home to one of the top universities in the country. The Dutch settlers quickly realised that the fertile soil and agricultural conditions were well suited to viticulture and today Stellenbosch still produces internationally acclaimed wines. Stellenbosch was the first region in South Africa to establish an official wine route, with close to 150 farms.

Unique features
The Dutch Reformed Moedergemeente Church with its neo-Gothic tower is a must-see in the town of Stellenbosch. Completed in 1863, it was designed by Carl Otto Hager from Dresden, Germany.
Dorp Street is one of the oldest streets in the Cape and was originally the old wagon road to the city. Thanks to the well-preserved Cape Dutch buildings that remain on it to this day, the entire street is a national heritage site.
Don’t miss Schoon Bakery - Fritz Schoon’s artisan bakery situated in an old bank in the town’s Church Street. The rustic bakery is an enchanting place where delicious bread and pastries, excellent coffee and all the associated accoutrements are found in plentiful supply.

Cape Town
It is the Dutch-born first governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, who is credited with founding the Cape wine industry. He recognised that the soil, Mediterranean climate and geography were well suited to winemaking. In fact, some of South Africa’s oldest wine farms are situated in and around Cape Town, the beautiful city at the southernmost tip of the African continent. The first vineyards were planted shortly after the Dutch settlers arrived in 1652 to set up a halfway supply station for ships going to India. That historic vegetable and fruit garden, the Company's Gardens in Cape Town, inspired the garden at Babylonstoren.

Unique features
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Stroll amongst the 7 000 indigenous unique plant species at the world-renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.

Table Mountain
One of the new Seven Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain dates back some 600 million years, making it six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rocky Mountains. Originally called Hoerikwagga by the Khoi Khoi, you can walk up Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge – it’s the simplest (but steepest) route up that will have you there in an hour. Have a sundowner in the café and then get the cable car down. Or get the cable car both ways.

Cape Point
Cape Point falls within the southern section of Table Mountain National Park and forms part of the Cape Floral Region, one of UNESCO's world heritage sites. Not only does Cape Point offer exquisite natural beauty, but many visitors are drawn to the area because of its rich maritime history.