There’s no better way to appreciate the spectacular scenery of South Africa’s Stellenbosch Wine Routes, situated 50 km outside of Cape Town, than from the vantage of your saddle. More than 150 vineyards fan out from the quaint university town and offer some of the world’s best wine experiences. A number of local providers – such as Adventure Shop and Dirtopia – offer bicycle tours that combine the beautiful scenery and sites of historic Stellenbosch with some excellent wine pairings and healthy outdoor exercise, ideal for adventurous individuals seeking to explore the Winelands in a fun, active way.
With its phenomenal scenery encompassing vineyards, olive groves and dramatic mountain ranges, Stellenbosch is a paradise for cycling enthusiasts and mountain bikers alike. Whether you’re looking for adrenalin-pumping downhill, flowing single-track, endurance or tranquil country road riding the range of activities and landscapes is boggling and there’s somethings to suit all ages and fitness levels, including families and corporate groups.
Vineyard Meander through the Winelands
Ideal for those who want to slow down the pace and spend the day absorbing the gorgeous surroundings guided tours will take riders to visit typically three to four estates during the course of the day. Farm roads will guide you through vineyards with dazzling vistas along the way. Dip your feet in rivers and dams along the way and learn about this historically diverse area by experiencing its vibrancy and richness. Bike rental and guided tours are available at Adventure Shop in the center of Stellenbosch town. (www.adventureshop.co.za)
Stellenbosch for mountain bikers
For an action-packed day there are various options. The Dirtopia Trail Centre on Delvera farm (www.dirtopia.co.za), about 10km from town, has a number of tracks that cross wine farms and meadows with some spectacular single tracks. They also rent out mountain bikes and gear for those in need.
Another popular place for mountain biking is the phenomenal Jonkershoek Nature Reserve which has some of the most extensive tracks in and around the Western Cape. The tracks range from easy-to-use jeep tracks to challenging double black tracks including the G-Spot trail which has now attained international status as one of the best rides in the world. Day permits can be bought at Dirtopia.
The wine farms Muratie, Delheim, L’Avenir, Jordan Wines and a few around the Devon Valley have MTB trails allowing cyclists to cycle on their property. Several wine farms offers bike-washing facilities after riding or have a dedicated bike rack. Most wineries have a lovely restaurant that is ideal for those looking to reward themselves with breakfast or an A la Carte lunch.
For more inspiration on the Stellenbosch region, visit www.stellenboschexperience.co.za. The Stellenbosch Experience is an initiative by Stellenbosch 360 and Stellenbosch Wine Routes, in collaboration with Destinate, made possible through partnerships including Spier, First Car Rental and Majeka House.