Helshoogte Pass between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
Helshoogte Pass on the R310, links the winelands of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, and is a “must do” scenic route for any visitor to the Cape Winelands. Built in 1854, it is one of the oldest passes in the Cape and passes through towering mountains, fruit farms and vineyards and the historic village of Pniel.
Pniel is worth a stop. It was initially established as a mission settlement for the landless and homeless slaves released after slavery was abolished in the Cape in 1842. Quaint houses, a beautiful old church built in 1843, monuments and graveyards sheltered by oak lined streets can be visited. There is also a tour on offer from the locals.
Helshoogte Pass is also popular with cyclists although the climb is steep and it is not for the faint hearted, but the views from the top are well worth the effort and the downhill is obviously a lot easier.
You can join the R310 either from Stellenbosch, or from the R45 that links Stellenbosch with Franschhoek and Paarl.
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