South Africa’s Western Cape province is one of the most beautiful in the entire country. Most visitors to the region know the scenic Garden Route, but they usually hop in a car to follow the N2 highway that runs the length of it. Although driving is a good way to experience the coastal region, there’s now an even better way to explore the province — on the back of a mountain bike, via a continuous network of isolated, well-maintained trails that you can ride as a multi-day adventure.
The newly-launched Cross Cape cycle route offers one of the best ways to experience this vast tract of unspoiled land and to get a glimpse into the lives of the people who inhabit it, at your own speed.
The route will take fit riders no more than five days, while recreational cyclists can spread it out over as many as 20 days. If completed from start to finish, riders will traverse 460 miles and ascend some 34,000 feet.
There’s total flexibility in terms of starting and ending points, but it officially runs between the Western Cape towns of Stellenbosch and Plettenberg Bay. It takes riders along stretches of coastal land, inland over jagged mountain passes, through forests, remote farms, and small villages, before continuing towards South Africa’s famous wine lands.
There’s no cost to ride the route, and with accommodation, restaurant, and all other essential information clearly listed on the official site, all you need is a good mountain bike, a bit of determination, and a few days to spare.
These are some of the views you’ll get to see along the way.