A focus on: The Blue Train
By Sukie Chapman
15 December 2017
As luxury train rides go, it would be misguided to not consider South Africa's The Blue Train amongst the very best.Read more
Sitting in its own valley, the town of Stellenbosch is the second oldest settlement in South Africa, after Cape Town. Known also as the 'City of Oaks', due to the large number of oak trees planted by the town's founder, Simon van der Stel, Stellenbosch is surrounded by spectacular mountains. The hilly region and warm climate of the Cape Winelands makes ideal wine-producing conditions, which has given rise to a large number of vineyards that cover the valley that surrounds Stellenbosch.
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17 days from £8,490 ppView tour details >
Discover the highlights of South Africa with a rail journey on the luxurious Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria. Ascend Table Mountain, sample local wines in Stellenbosch and enjoy fantastic game drives during a wonderful three-night stay at a hotel at the gate of Kruger National Park.… see more
12 days from £3,895 ppView tour details >
Explore the magniﬁcent attractions spanning Africa on this incredible adventure aboard the luxurious, 5-Star Pride of Africa train. Journey across lush wildernesses and dusty desert plains, taking in natural wonders, rare creatures and spending time in cosmopolitan cities.… see more
22 days from £17,390 ppView tour details >
Marvel at the wonders of southern Africa as you discover dynamic Cape Town, uncover the natural beauty of the lush Garden Route, bask in the majesty of Victoria Falls, and embark on a truly elegant rail journey on the luxurious Pride of Africa.… see more
16 daysView tour details >
Discover the highlights of Namibia and South Africa on this fantastic holiday by rail. Explore Cape Town and Table Mountain, see the Big Five in Etosha National Park, experience the mighty Sossusvlei and enjoy six indulgent nights on the incredible Pride of Africa - the world's most lavish and luxurious hotel train.… see more
16 daysView tour details >
The magnificent Franschhoek Valley nestles between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands. Spectacular vineyards cover the mountain slopes, which were settled more than 300 years ago by the 'Huguenots', who brought with them their age-old French wine and food culture.
After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France in 1685, when Protestantism was outlawed, hundreds of Huguenots fled their homeland, 277 of them arriving by ship at the Cape of Good Hope. Many of them were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Oliphantshoek (Elephant's Corner) - so named because of the vast herds of elephants that roamed the area. Soon after they settled here, it became known as Franschhoek (French Corner).
This heritage lives on today with the Huguenot Monument (also known as 'Franschhoek Monument', standing proudly at the top of the village. The museum nearby chronicles the history of those brave pioneers, with each of the original Huguenot farms having its own fascinating story to tell. Driving into Franschhoek you will notice that most of the farms still bear their original French names and are usually complete with a spectacular Cape Dutch homestead, towering oaks and luscious vineyards.