Steep and winding, the aptly named Helshoogte Pass (Hell’s Heights) links Stellenbosch with the Drakenstein Valley – home to Franschhoek and a few smaller and lesser-known villages such as the old mission settlement of Pniel.
The road, also known as the R310, winds its way past vineyards and wine estates and offers spectacular views. Wineries with views, and restaurants, worth mentioning are Delaire Graff and Tokara on the Stellenbosch side; and descending into Franschhoek, Hillcrest Berry Orchards make for a pretty stop-off where you can enjoy freshly baked scones served with a wide variety of the farms’ berry jams. At the bottom of the pass on the Franschhoek side, Boschendal estate, which is one of the oldest estates in the country, is well known for its picnic baskets and beautiful gardens.
The route is also popular with cyclists – but is definitely not for novices.