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A green and red vinate double decker tram  running along a track in front of a mountainouse rocky background, with a bright clear blue sky above
Photograph: Shutterstock

Tour South Africa’s vineyards on a vintage double-decker wine tram

The hop-on hop-off service stops at 24 growers throughout the picturesque Franschhoek Valley

Rosie Hewitson
Written by
Rosie Hewitson

Known for its picturesque vineyards, fine wines and 300-year grape-growing heritage, South Africa’s Franschhoek Valley is the perfect destination for wine-lovers. 

Sure, it might not get the same kind of recognition that Burgundy, Bordeaux or La Rioja enjoy, but it does have one over on its snobby European siblings: the Franschhoek Wine Tram. 

Built in 1904 as transport for the region’s farmers, trams ran on the historic line all the way through to the 1990s, before being revived in 2012 as a neat way for tourists to sample the delights of the Cape Winelands without one unlucky individual having to be designated driver. 

With eight different lines stopping at 24 different estates, passengers can travel around the region on a vintage double-decker tram, with an open-air tram-bus to pick them up at each station and deposit them right at the entrance of the vineyard.

Wine-lovers can choose between the curated wine experience, which features talks, tours and tastings at selected vineyards, and a hop-on-hop-off experience allowing them to spend as much time as they like at each stop along their chosen route, sampling the delicious plonk and gorgeous grub at as many as six different vineyards in one day. 

After Covid restrictions put a stop to the boozy trips last year, the tram will be back up and running again from 13 July. Wine-derful! Already on Skyscanner looking for flights to Cape Town? Check out the different routes here, and start booking your post-vaccine getaway now.  

Now take a look at these new European sleeper trains that are basically luxury hotels on wheels.

Headed to the USA? Sip wine and explore on this vintage train ride through Napa Valley

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