On and off road guided cycling through the Western Cape, South Africa
Welcome to the Fair Trade Cycling Adventure! Your adventure starts two nights at Parker Cottage, Cape Town enjoying Table Mountain, the Old Town, and the V&A Waterfront. You’ll be collected by your guide and driver, Chris Hannival, from Cape Town International Airport. On your first morning, Day 2, we’ll set up your bikes with a fitting and a short ride around town through Woodstock and the Atlantic Seaboard. On Day 3, you’ll do your first cycle tour around the Cape Peninsula ending up at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands that night. That’s the warm-up ride of 130km.
On Day 4, we leave Newlands and we ride 75km to Stellenbosch via the West Coast and stay overnight at the Oude Werf Hotel, enjoying the delights of staying right in the centre of one of South Africa’s oldest cities. There’s a lunch stop at Durbanville Hills Wine Estate. On Day 5, we have another short ride of 75km up the Helshoogte Pass through Pneil, stopping for lunch at the Val de Vie estate, followed by Wellington and finally coming to rest at the splendid rural tranquility of Bartholomeusklip Farm.
The following day, Day 6, we cycle from Bartholomeusklip, over the spectacular Bainskloof Pass. We’ll enjoy a lunch at the Bersig Estate Bistro, ending off at The Tulbagh Hotel for our overnight. On our last day, Day 7, you’ll enjoy the exciting off-road cycle routes at Boschendal Farm, graded from easy to extreme from 10km – 40km. After some time for lunch, a shower and a change, you’ll be taken back to Cape Town International. We can customize the trip to your preferences at any stage: you can include e-bikes, more or less guiding, different accommodation choices or shorter rides as you see fit.
On your first day, relax after your flight and take some time to acclimatise. You'll enjoy the village of Tamboerskloof (where Parker Cottage is situated) for its quiet but central location: take a stroll down to Kloof Street for a coffee and browse in the bookshops and art galleries. There's an opportunity to visit Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront or the Old Town or perhaps take a paragliding flight from Signal Hill over the Atlantic Ocean.
CYCLING (DAY 2)
On your second day, you’ll be collected from Parker Cottage by Chris Hannival of Hannival’s Tours and taken to iRide Africa in Mowbray for your bike fitting. We’ll then do a short ride back to Parker Cottage stopping off in Woodstock, the Old Town and the Winchester Mansion Hotel for lunch. The afternoon is free in case you’d like to visit Table Mountain or the V&A Waterfront.
3 Carstens Street, Tamboerskloof
Tel +27 21 424 6445
The Vineyard Hotel
Today you’ll start your ride from Parker Cottage and head south along the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range (the western side of Table Mountain). You’ll ride all the way along the western coastline of the Cape Peninsula, riding up and down the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive and through the seaside villages of Kommetjie and Scarborough. The ride is 132km.Today you’ll start your ride from Parker Cottage and head south along the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range (the western side of Table Mountain). You’ll ride all the way along the western coastline of the Cape Peninsula, riding up and down the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive and through the seaside villages of Kommetjie and Scarborough. The ride is 132km.
If there’s time, we’ll take a detour into the Cape Point park and cycle right to the ‘tip of Africa’, before stopping for a well-deserved lunch at The Black Marlin near Simonstown. Your accommodation for the night is just a little further on at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands (Constantia). With over 200 years of history within its walls, The Vineyard is situated in six acres of attractive landscaped parkland on the banks of the Liesbeek River. This beautiful building is most unusual for its time in that it was built then a very long way away from Cape Town itself and over two stories in a Regency (rather than a Cape Dutch) style. It was the original home of Lady Anne Barnard but on conversion into a hotel had extensions designed by highly acclaimed architects Jack Barnett and Revel Fox. It is filled with works by leading South African artists and offers rooms ranging from single to family suites, both mountain and courtyard facing.
There are two restaurants with reputations in their own rights at the Vineyard: “the Square”, a great favourite for breakfast and dinner, as well as a popular sushi bar and Myoga Restaurant which offers a modern fusion style of cooking. Myoga is open for lunch and dinner and the Square for breakfast and dinner. The hotel offers its guests two swimming pools - one outdoor, surrounded by loungers and one heated indoor pool. You’ll be pleased to hear that after a long day in the saddle there is a world-class spa on site too.
Colinton Road, Newlands
Tel +27 21 657 4500
Oude Werf Hotel
Today you’ll take a much shorter ride along the West Coast, which is the coastline that stretches north from Cape Town. You’ll stop off for lunch at the delightful Durbanville Hills Winery, now a major exporter of wine across the planet. After a bit more time in the saddle, we’ll head south again to the historic Winelands ‘capital’ of Stellenbosch which happens to also be a university town. The centre is a maze of beautiful tree-lined streets, cafes, restaurants, antique shops and small owner-managed stores.
The Oude Werf which is right in the heart of the old centre combines a centuries-old heritage as South Africa’s oldest continuously operating hotel with luxury contemporary comforts and intimate hospitality. Whilst it has over 50 rooms and suites it feels like you’re staying in a much smaller establishment. Enjoy classic Cape flavours and vintages at the superb restaurant (which is interestingly a popular choice with locals, not just residents) and the vine-covered courtyard. The pool area is particularly interesting being framed on the one side by the newer block of rooms and on the other by the original building.
30 Church street, Stellenbosch
Tel +27 21 887 4608
The cycling today takes you north from Stellenbosch up the Helshoogte Pass which is a long but highly worthwhile climb to reach the summit. After this, if there is time we’ll cycle on to Franschhoek for a look around this lovely town and either stop off there or at Val de Vie which is more on our way north. After the city stays of Cape Town, Newlands and Stellenbosch, you’ll find Bartholomeus Klip to be another world of utter tranquillity. It’s an upmarket destination, below a spectacular mountain range and comprises a working farm with wheatlands, flocks of sheep but also a game reserve with buffalo and a tortoise breeding project. The contrast between the two worlds of conservation and agriculture is as far as we know unique in South Africa and makes for a fascinating visit. There is ample walking, canoeing and birdwatching right from your front door or you can use the splendid surroundings to switch off and relax. There are only five rooms in the farmhouse so there are never more than ten guests staying at a time.
You are welcome to make the house your own, perhaps in one of the reception rooms where an open fire crackles in the winter months, or on the broad verandah that winds around the house and catches the late afternoon sun. There are four double rooms with bathrooms in the beautifully furnished farmhouse and one separate suite outside, with its own secluded verandah looking over the veld and up to the mountains. Finishes everywhere are luxurious and stylish, with crisp cotton bedding and elegant fabrics.
The restaurant at BK deserves special mention. Resident Chef Louise Gillett’s imaginative fusion of traditional South African and classic recipes, made mostly from a variety of local ingredients, produce an ongoing feast of delicacies, all day long, from breakfast over brunch and lunch to high tea and dinner.
Elandsberg Nature Reserve, Riebeek Valley
Tel +27 22 448 1087
We leave Bartholomeusklip today, heading south back through Wellington to cross the Bainskloof Pass. If the weather’s fine, we’ll take a dip in one of the cool mountain pools along the way. Our lunch stop is the Bistro at the Bergsig Estate which is just after the downhill section of the Bainskloof Pass.We leave Bartholomeusklip today, heading south back through Wellington to cross the Bainskloof Pass. If the weather’s fine, we’ll take a dip in one of the cool mountain pools along the way. Our lunch stop is the Bistro at the Bergsig Estate which is just after the downhill section of the Bainskloof Pass.
The Tulbagh Hotel’s buildings date from the late 1800s and in fact so does most of the street: two of the hotel’s rooms look out on to this beautifully preserved streetscape. You’ll be delighted to hear that there’s also a spa on site. You’re staying in the Honeymoon Suite which has been created inside the original carriage house of the building: expect open thatch ceilings, two fireplaces and an intimate lounge area. The hotel offers three pool areas, free Wi-Fi throughout and an in-house beauty therapist. All areas have air conditioning and there are cosy wood-burning fires for winter evenings.
The Tulbagh also offers two in-house sustenance options: their Karee Wine Bar offers local draught beers, craft gin cocktails and a wide selection of local wines. There is a tapas menu, with a South African influence, and gourmet pizzas from the wood fired oven and also the Olive Terrace Bistro offers à la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The emphasis is on sourcing local fresh seasonal produce, the menu changes weekly, and is an eclectic celebration of South African and international cuisine, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The bistro has cosy fireplaces for winter, and a beautiful terrace and courtyard for summer al fresco dining.
22 Van der Stel Street, Tulbagh
Tel +27 23 230 0071
On your last day, you’ll be collected from The Tulbagh Hotel and driven to Boschendal for your last ride of the trip.
Boschendal has so much to offer it’s at first a little overwhelming: apart from the obvious wine tasting and wine sales, they offer a dining option and an informal café (both of which are simply excellent) along with a delicatessen, over 200km of mountain biking trails, lush and verdant gardens, picnics on the ample lawns under shady trees as well as concerts and events all year round. You could stay forever!
We’ll be renting mountain bikes directly from Elrico who runs the mountain biking concession at the estate: there is a large variety of trails from an easy 6km to a bone-rattling 40km Black XXL run so take your pick! Elrico can also guide you on any of the trails. After your ride, there are great showering facilities and of course the pick of Boschendal’s eateries for refreshment. Your driver Chris Hannival will be available to take you back to the airport.
Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek
Tel +27 21 870 4200
Fully accredited (Fair Trade in Tourism) accommodation on the entire trip: all transport (including bicycles) provided by ethical and sustainable companies