The best cycling routes in Cape Town and surrounds

Cycling has fast become the most popular sport in Cape Town. Be it for professional or enjoyment purposes, this enduring sport can take place on the road or on a mountain anywhere in Cape Town. Depending on your cycling preference (road or trail), you can complete these routes at your own pace, overlooking some of the most beautiful and scenic attractions in the Mother City. Some of these trails require more strength, while others are relaxing and free-flowing. If you enjoy breaking out into a sweat, socialising with like-minded cycling enthusiasts and cruising through nature, you’ll have a ball.

If anything, it’s an opportunity for you to swap out your vehicle for the day and cycle through the city and surrounding areas for the enjoyment of it. Here are a few incredible routes to consider on your next cycle:

Cape Point National Park (Distance: 30 km)

Fancy riding out in nature? Riding through Cape Point National Park is a real treat. You’ll be able to witness eland, bontebok and puff-adders on your journey through dusty roads that are surrounded by fynbos. This route leads you to the Cape of Good Hope where you can act as a tourist in your own city and unwind in the beauty of your surroundings. If you’re feeling peckish along the way, you’ll be able to stop off and enjoy lunch at various restaurants and coffee shops on the Cape Peninsula route.

Hillcrest XC Trail (Distance: 7 km)

Mountain bike fanatics will love the Hillcrest trail as it offers beginners a challenge and professionals a more scenic riding experience. Once you’ve climbed up and around the quarry, you’ll be able to see picturesque views of Table Mountain and the Durbanville Wine Valley. The higher you go, the more technical your ride can be, but if you cut down through a piece of singletrack above the farm, you can follow the route towards the Kloof Forest. Luckily, from the forest downwards, you’ll be able to experience an exciting downhill drop which will give you the rush you’ve been looking for. This route leads back down to the farm’s restaurant, and if you choose to cycle further, you’ll arrive at other wine farms in the area.

Camps Bay to Hout Bay (Distance: 22 km)

For those who have visited Camps Bay and Hout Bay in person, you’ll understand the natural beauty of these ocean-facing views. Now, imagine cycling past the ocean and breathing in that familiar and calming ocean breeze. Incredible! From the beachfront of Camps Bay past Clifton, Lion’s Head and Suikerbossie, you’ll experience the energy that Cape Town has to offer. And, if you’re looking for something more energetic, carry on past Hout Bay to Chapman’s Peak Drive for a more enduring experience. Either way, this 22 km ride is peaceful, soothing and well worth the experience.

Meerendal (Distance: 10 km)

If you want to enjoy a sunrise or sunset cycle in and amongst the vineyards, Meerendal Wine Estate is the luscious green landscape you’ve been searching for. From the old, traditional farmhouse to the dam, vineyards and wine cellar, there are countless little routes to explore on your ride. The beauty of the Durbanville Wine Valley is that all the trails interlink to one another. By joining a cycling club such as Tygerberg MTB Club, you will be able to explore these grounds regularly and find the climb you enjoy.

Durbanville Hills (Distance: 40 km)

As mentioned, all the mountain biking routes in Durbanville link together. This Durbanville Hills option in particular covers D’Aria, Bloemendal, the Majik Forest and eventually the Tygerberg Nature Reserve. All of these routes are surrounded by the abundance of nature and beauty that the town has to offer. And, if you’re a keen bird watcher or plant enthusiast, you’ll be able to spot many rare species along the way too.

Jonkershoek (Distance: 10 km)

This route is outside of Cape Town in the Stellenbosch Winelands region. Located on the slopes of the Jonkershoek mountain foot, you can expect a hill climb and trail of 10 to 45 km distances. Depending on your fitness level, you’ll be able to experience different areas of the mountain, but if you’re a beginner rider, it is advised that you take the shorter routes to avoid burnout mid-ride. Also, if you do choose to explore this beautiful valley, make sure you go when the ground is dry as it is known to be quite slippery. This classic route includes uphills and downhills, offering riders the best of both worlds.

Tafelberg Road (Distance: 10 km)

Road cyclists will enjoy this route as you’ll get to climb winding gravel roads from Rhodes Memorial to Kings Block House. On route, you’ll get to experience stunning views of Table Bay and False Bay which is well worth the stop-off (and selfie) at the top of the hill. As you transcend down the hill, along the Tafelberg Road, you will pass the Table Mountain cableway and Signal Hill Road. Be careful as this route is steep.

Final words

As you can see, there are plenty of spots to take your bicycle out on a ride in Cape Town. But, before you can set foot on these routes, you will need to ensure that you have the correct equipment to keep you safe. As much as cycling is fun, you need to take the correct precaution to prevent any accidents from happening. You can purchase the correct equipment in-store or at online bicycle shops in South Africa and surrounds, where a professional will be able to guide you according to your fitness level. Once you’re set up with your bike, equipment and clothing, you’ll be ready for an exciting outdoor experience.

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