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“A great way to spend a day in the winelands”

Franschhoek Wine Tram
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Full-Day Franschhoek Wine Tram Experience from...
Ranked #6 of 66 things to do in Franschhoek
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Discover the Vineyards of Franschhoek. The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley - picturesque vineyards, breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine, fine wines and a 300-year history. Tour Experience: Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely introduction to the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus stopping at some of South Africa's oldest and most distinguished wine estates. A combination of tram and tram-bus follows a loop of stops allowing guests to hop off at each stop and experience the activities on offer, such as wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards. When ready guests simply hop on to continue the tour. The tour takes guests into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with a guided commentary and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards. Ticket prices: R170 - R220
Reviewed 14 June 2014

I can imagine that this gets extremely busy in the height of summer, but in May there was plenty of free space which probably led to a more relaxed, enjoyable day. We took the first tram of the day on the red route, although the route we took did seem to vary slightly from the published timetable. We started off with four wines at the Holden Manz vineyard, which was set in a beautiful location. Strangely drinking wine at 11 a.m. didn't seem wrong as we sat and took in the sights. However, the wines here were not really to our taste. The restaurant looks fantastic but we really were too early for lunch. We started talking to a Canadian visitor here, who was the only other tourist on our bus and it really is noticeable how the friendships grow as the day progresses and the wine is drunk!! Our second stop was at La Couronne, where we selected the chocolate pairing option and sampled five wines - wine and chocolate together made more sense here than I had thought possible and again the view towards the chateau was spectacular. Three more wines and a good lunch followed at Moreson with a further five at Leopard's Leap - where we made our only purchase. I had read much about the lack of interest of the employees who explain about the wines and about high-pressure selling techniques. I can honestly say that throughout the day we could not have felt more relaxed or had any better service. We got back on the tram following our last vineyard and several of the groups had joined together as some people had skipped one or more stops. By now, everyone was friends with everyone else; our tram had South Africans, Germans, Dutch, Indians, Argentinians and the two of us from England but you wouldn't have known that we hadn't spent days together. Great value at 170 Rand for the day providing a non-driving option to sample some wine and enjoy the scenery in one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

2  Thank Trickycricketer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"rickety bridge"
in 218 reviews
"blue line"
in 91 reviews
"great fun"
in 120 reviews
"le lude"
in 38 reviews
"ticket office"
in 58 reviews
"la couronne"
in 34 reviews
"hop on hop"
in 39 reviews
"red route"
in 68 reviews
"different routes"
in 35 reviews
"holden manz"
in 87 reviews
"always on time"
in 19 reviews
"grande provence"
in 83 reviews
"visit vineyards"
in 26 reviews
"great idea"
in 47 reviews
"dieu donne"
in 90 reviews
"every hour"
in 20 reviews
"leopards leap"
in 45 reviews

1,585 - 1,589 of 1,984 reviews

Reviewed 10 June 2014

We stayed in Franschhoek over Easter, so the tram was very busy, but the staff managed it so well, we didn't even notice the crowds.
It's the best way to get in quote a few wine farms in the valley - without having to get behind the wheel yourself!
We stopped off at Chamonix for lunch (at the recommendation of our driver) and we had the most phenomenal meal under the trees.
The trams run with the same efficiency as German or Japanese trains - they were exactly on time at every stop.
No visit to Franschhoek will be complete without a trip on the tram!

Thank Emmyjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

My sis and her British boyfriend were down from the UK during the time of all the public holidays so on Worker’s Day we decided to take a load off and took the Franschhoek Wine Tram. Many seem to have the same idea and we could only book for the last time slot of 1 pm which meant apart from the two predetermined stops we were unfortunately only allowed one additional stop.

One can choose between the red line, which stays on the western side of the valley or the blue line that also includes some estates on the eastern side. At present a total of 10 estates are visited on the two routes. We decided on the blue line as we were not only out to enjoy wine but also the beautiful views of Franschhoek. We met in town at the ticket office, jumped on the open bus that transported us to the tram that took us through the vineyards to our first stop, Rickety Bridge.

At Rickety Bridge we were met by an old dodge truck with a converted flat bed that dropped us at the tasting room. The atmosphere was relaxed, the staff friendly and knowledgeable and the wines good. We were pleasantly surprised to find out a tasting is only R20 and with the tram discount we only paid R10 per person.

Next stop Grand Provence where were met by a tractor and taken to the tasting room. As it was a beautiful day we ordered tastings for four and went to sit outside. The set of wines to be tasted was brought to us all at once with no verbal or other description given. I had to go inside to ask if they had information on what we were about to taste and was given an A4 tasting sheet with a description of each wine. We were not impressed seeing as we paid R40 per person. The setting however was beautiful and the sculptures, there is a gallery on site, dotted throughout the garden are worth a look.

Back on the tram we got and headed back to town. From there the rest of our journey was on the open bus. We had already decided that we would want to go to Holden Manz which turned out to be a good thing as the other tasting rooms on the line had already closed. We had to wait at a closed La Bri gate to pick up some guests that had been dropped off previously. Luckily a taxi was picking up staff and the gates were opened.

Holden Manz has beautiful views of the eastern side of the valley. The guy who presented the wines to us did mention that they actually stayed open longer than usual to accommodate us but his presentation was still excellent with just the right amount of information and jokes thrown in. We did not pay for the tasting here as it is included in the blue line package.

I had been to Dieu Donne before and recalled the beautiful views of the western side of the valley so asked the driver if we could not just drive up there and have a five minute stop. I was so happy he agreed as we got there as the sun was setting. Stunning! The five minutes went by far too quickly and in the bus we climbed, for our last trip down the hill back to our starting point.

Was it a good experience? Definitely. There is just something nostalgic about taking a tram. The open bus was not a detraction as one was still afforded a comfortable ride and an opportunity to take pics of the beautiful landscapes. The transport on the farms also add a nice old school touch. It was lovely to just enjoy the time on the wine farms, the only thing was to watch the time as not to miss the pick up. There were no worries about a designated driver, directions to the next farm or the squish of five adults into one car. Is it worth the R 170? For foreigners not a problem, for us lowly South Africans I think it may be a bit steep though it may be offset by taking advantage of the discounts offered on the wine sales at several of the estates.

As we were pushed for time I do not think we got the full benefit of the deal. Each estate we visited had its own restaurant unfortunately we did not have time to look at menus let alone have a meal. From what I can tell the tram has not been running for that long and the route has definitely expanded over the last 6 months. So there are still some teething issues that need to be sorted out especially regarding opening times of the tasting rooms. I would highly recommend starting at 10 am (the Boeing has gone over somewhere in the world) and spend a leisurely day enjoying the some of the best Franschhoek has to offer including lunch on one of the farms.

Thank Ingrid P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Although most of the trip was actually in a bus and not on the tram, it was still great fund and the staff were really friendly.

Thank Satef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 June 2014

It was very nice to go from estate by the other by the wine bus and tram. The guy at the ticket office was very helpful by helping us to plan our route and wine estates to visit in order to be in time for our lunch reservation. On your way a voice over tells you a little bit of the history and the wine estate on the next stop.
Because it was very cold we got blankets on the tram. And because it was low season the bus waited for us at Grand Provence to take us back to the tram: very convenient!

Thank Karlien K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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