Day 1 Mid afternoon tour introduction and bike fitting.
Arrive at the George, South Africa airport and we will arrange your transfer to the guesthouse in Wilderness. George has many flights a day from both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Wilderness is just a 10-minute ride from the airport. Let us know if you would like to arrive a day early to get over jet lag as our guesthouse is in a wonderful location on the Indian Ocean with miles of beach to enjoy. Meals begin with a welcome dinner on Day 1.
After breakfast, we will transfer to a quiet road just west of Mossel Bay on the Garden Route. There is very little traffic and the road is fairly flat, making it a great place to adjust to South Africa riding on the left side of the road. Our route takes us to the Garden Route Game Lodge, which is set against a backdrop of the majestic Langeberg mountain Range. The Garden Route Game Lodge is a private reserve that hosts an incredible variety of wildlife: Zebra, wildebeest, springbok, eland, impala, ostrich, rhino, hippo, lions, elephants, giraffe, buffalo and cheetah. We will arrive by bike in time for a late afternoon game drive before sunset and dinner. And no worries, this is a malaria-free area so no pills are needed.
Ride: 32 km, Ascent 150 m, Descent 300 m
Just after sunrise is the perfect time to view animals on our morning game drive. Following the game drive, we return to the lodge for breakfast. Then, we will depart by vehicle to the start of our ride that takes us over the historical Tradouw Pass to the breathtaking scenery of Tradouw Gorge. We finish our ride in the quaint town of Barrydale, an important fruit and wine region nestled in a fertile valley bordered by the Langberg and Swartberg mountain ranges. Our lodging tonight is in a charming country inn.
Ride: 36 km, Ascent 525 m, Descent: 220 m
Beginning in Barrydale, we ride over a mountain pass to Montague. The scenery changes dramatically as we pass through the Klein Karoo, a semi-desert region renowned for its spectacular vegetation – aloes, milkbush, concertina plant and succulents. South Africa is well known for its great number and diversity of plant species, and we will see many of them during our rides. We will visit the village of Montague and then continue to our lodging by vehicle. We will be staying at the Nuy Valley Guest Farm, a hidden gem in one of the most beautiful valleys of the Cape Winelands District. There, we will have an afternoon wine tasting before a scrumptious dinner at the farm.
Ride: 62 km, Ascent 672 m, descent 715 m
We start out riding the back roads from Nuy Valley to Villersdorp, then we transfer by vehicle to Franschhoek where we spend 2 nights in a lovely guesthouse. Settled in 1688 by French HTHuguenotTH refugees, Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and its name in Dutch means “French Corner.” Some of the original HTCape Dutch-style farmhousesTH can still be seen today and there are a number of renowned wineries in this valley. Dinner tonight is at one of the famous wine estates.
Ride: 30 km, Ascent 500 m, descent 500 m Additional riding available in Franschoek after lunch
Today you have several options. Option 1: Have a rest day, walk around Franschoek, enjoy lunch at a sidewalk café and take in the scenery. Option 2: Take a ride in our support vehicle to Stellenbosch, the wine capital of the region. En route, you will make a stop to see the Nelson Mandela memorial before continuing to Stellenbosch for lunch. Option 3: Ride one way into Stellenbosch, join us for the lunch and transfer back to Franschoek in the support vehicle. Option 4: Go the full distance and ride out and back from Franschhoek to Stellenbosch where you will enjoy the food, wine and chocolate. We return to the guest house in Franschhoek for the night.
Ride: one way ride to Stellenbosch – 33 km, or out and back ride to Stellenbosch – 66 km, Ascent and Descent – 700 m
After breakfast we transfer to False Bay for a spectacular ride along the Indian Ocean. This is a beautiful stretch of coastline cycling where baboons are often seen along the road. The entire ride is one postcard view after another. We end our ride near Gordon’s Bay, and transfer to Simons Town, one of the prettiest towns on the Cape Town peninsula. In Simons Town, we will walk along the coastal path to visit the famous colony of African Penguins. These flightless birds roam freely around the area, so you can get relatively close to them. This is a truly special experience. Our lodging is in Simon’s Town in a wonderful B&B with views of the bay below.
Ride: 35 km, Ascent and Descent – 350 m
For the next 2 days we will be riding the most scenic portions of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the world’s largest timed bike race that occurs each year in mid-March. The dates of our bike tour are set to avoid this race and we will have far fewer riders on the road. Beginning in Simon’s Town, we ride south along False Bay, enter the Cape Point Nature Reserve and continue to the Cape of Good Hope, the most southwestern point of Africa. This is a day to savor, with so many scenic stops to photograph the spectacular scenery. Ostriches, antelope and baboons may also be seen along the way. Our ride continues through the lovely seaside villages of Scarborough, Misty Cliffs and Kommetjie before reaching Monkey Valley Resort, a spectacular locattion that overlooks the Atlantic coastline. We will be spending 2 nights here.
Ride, 70 km, Ascent and Descent – 750 m
Today is the grand finale ride and you will not be disappointed! We start from the resort and ride north along the Atlantic coast on the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive to the town of Camps Bay. After a break, we will be returning on the same road to the Monkey Valley Resort. The scenery is spectacular in both directions, with splendid views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic. You can choose to ride the entire 60 km route take a transfer whenever you would like. We return to our lodging at the Monkey Valley Resort for our Farewell Dinner.
Ride: One way: 25 km, Ascent and Descent – 375 m, Out and Back, 50 km – Ascent and Descent – 750 m
After breakfast we will arrange transfers into Cape Town and to the Cape Town airport. For those of you wishing to spend some time in Cape Town after the trip, we can offer suggestions for lodging.