What to Pack for Your Garden Route Cycling Holiday

Packing for a cycling holiday takes careful planning, particularly if you are Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa and staying in a different hotel every night, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot pack light.

With a well-thought-out holiday wardrobe, you can cycle in style and still look your best when you head out in evenings, and you might even have room for the odd souvenir, although you might have to keep it to a Table Mountain fridge magnet! It’s all about using the space you have available, and mastering the art of mixing and matching.

Garden Route Cycling Holidays

Here Are Our Top Tips for Packing for a Cycling Holiday

While it is possible to rent most things these days, there are a few essentials that you should consider taking with you on your cycling holiday.

Cycling Essentials

  1. Helmet

They are obligatory in most countries and rented cycle helmets never fit right, so take your own for safety and comfort.

  1. Cycling Shoes

If you are not taking your own bike, make sure the rental company has the right pedals to match your cleats. If not, take your pedals and fitting tool with you too! Top Tip: Pack your shoes and pedals in your hand luggage, if they get lost in transit, you’ll spend the first day of your cycling holiday running around trying to buy expensive shoes.

  1. Sunglasses

Essential for any cyclist, sunglasses not only protect your eyes against damaging UV rays, but they create a barrier between you and any kamikaze bugs!

  1. Water Bottles

If you are renting a bike, chances are that your rental company will provide you with water bottles, but not all companies use new bottles each time. Check with your provider, and if they reuse their bottles, you might want to consider taking your own.

  1. Saddle Bag/Spares Kit

Again, if you are renting a bike from a local supplier, they should supply you with this, but if you are taking your own bike, remember to take everything you need (pump, spare inner tubes, tyre lever, multi-tool etc.) and if you are going on a longer trip, take more than you usually would.

  1. Computer/GPS Bracket

You’ll have this already if you are travelling with your own bike, but if your renting, don’t forget to take the bracket for your WAHOO, Garmin, or GoPro.

  1. Plug Adapter

For aforementioned electronics and your smartphone, camera etc.

Cycling Gear

  1. Cycling Shorts

If you are cycling out and back to the same hotel every day, then you can limit the number of shorts to just 2 or 3 pairs and have them washed onsite, but if you are travelling along the Garden Route, you should consider taking a fresh pair for each day. It may sound a lot, but you’ll be in them for around 7-hours a day, and it is unlikely that the hotel will be able to wash them by the time you arrive.  Handwashing is not an option, they won’t dry overnight, so pack plenty – you’ll be glad you did by the end of the trip!

  1. Cycling Jerseys

You could get away with handwashing lightweight cycling jerseys, specially in hotspots such as Oudtshoorn, but we would still recommend taking at least five jerseys, so you have plenty spares.

  1. Cycling Socks

They are lightweight and easy to squash into the corner of any bike box or suitcase, so take a fresh pair for every day.

  1. Gilet and Waterproof Cycling Jacket

For those fresh morning departures and chilly downhill descents, a gilet is perfect. There is every chance you could encounter a downpour or two during your Garden Route Cycling Holiday, so make sure you have a Pakajak or similar.

  1. Arm and Leg Warmers

Forget heavy tights and long-sleeved jerseys, pack a set of arm and leg warmers instead. It will free-up a huge amount of space in your suitcase.

  1. Cycling Gloves

If there is one item you are likely to forget on your cycling trip, it will be your gloves. Pack them first or forever hold your peace!

  1. Buff/Cap

A buff is ideal for protecting against the wind, and a cycling cap will protect your head from the elements (while looking super-cool!).

Holiday Wardrobe

  1. Smart Casuals

After a day in the saddle, you’ll want to change into something cool and comfortable. Lightweight trousers, skirts, t-shirts, shirts, and smart shorts that you can mix and match throughout your cycling holiday are ideal. The smart-casual dress code will take you almost anywhere in South Africa.

  1. Footwear

Flip-flops are perfectly acceptable in South Africa, but if you want to smarten-up for the evenings, sandals, trainers, and loafers are fine.

  1. Swimwear

If you have booked your Garden Route Cycling Holiday with a reputable company, there’s every chance that there will be a pool at your hotel, so pack some swimwear and a light cover-up, which will also take you to the spa for that much-needed post-ride massage.

  1. Toiletries

You know what you need here, but things you shouldn’t forget to pack include sun lotion (factor 50 recommended for SA), personal medications, insect repellent, allergy sprays, eye-drops, and perhaps most importantly of all, chamois cream!

  1. Small Bag/Backpack

Take a small bag that you can leave on the back-up vehicle with any essentials such as nutrition, medications, rain gear etc.

  1. Underwear & Sleepwear

We’ll leave this category to you, but ladies, don’t forget your sports bras for cycling!

  1. Compression Wear

If you find that compression wear helps after a long day in the saddle, take a set of compression wear and socks with you. You could even sleep in it to save on packing space!

If you are taking your own bike with you, use a Scicon Bag or similar to maximise on packing space. You can put your cycling clothes in zip-lock bags and pack them around your bike, which not only protects your beloved bike during transit but frees-up space in your suitcase!

You can buy everything you could need for your Garden Route Cycling Trip in South Africa, but quality gear costs even more below the equator, so take it with you, and showcase your unique sense of style as you cycle Africa’s most beautiful coastline.

 

 

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Garden Route Cycling Tour December 2019: Amazing Rides, Amazing Hotels!

Garden Route Cycling Tours are the perfect end of season trip for European road cyclists, and with just a week to go until we come to the end of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, now is the perfect time to plan your winter Garden Route Cycling Holiday in South Africa.

With its incredible coastal vistas, rolling hills, picturesque lagoons, excellent beaches, Outeniqua mountain range, and long winding roads, South Africa’s Garden Route is the perfect cycling holiday destination. The 750km stretch from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (or vice-versa) highlights the glorious natural beauty of the region, and you’ll have plenty of sightseeing opportunities along the way.

There are many places you can stop and stay when cycling the Garden Route, and with numerous cycle-friendly properties along the way, there is something to suit every budget, but after a long day in the saddle, we think every cyclists deserves to be wrapped in comfort, and so here are our top boutique accommodation choices for our December 2019 Garden Route Cycling Trip:

The Windermere

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Supertubes Guesthouse

Buffelsdam Country House

cycle the garden route

Brenton Haven

cycling garden route

La Plume

cycle garden route south africa

Gaikou Lodge

cycle the garden route

Whale Rock Luxury Lodge

cycling south africa

If you’d like to Cycle the Garden Route and stay in these amazing accommodations this winter, join us on our 06th December 2019 departure!

 

Garden Route Cycling: New Back To Back Tours for Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020

While entries for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020 are not due to open until next month, many international cyclists are already busy planning their trip to the Mother City to take part in this world-famous cycling tour.

Cycling South Africa

South Africa is a long way to go, especially if you are travelling from Australia, the United States, Europe, or South America, and so it makes perfect sense to extend your stay with a cycling holiday along the Garden Route, but these tours sell out fast, and you need to book early if you are to secure your space.

Cycling the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (or vice-versa), is a demanding road cycling tour for experienced cyclists who are happy to cycle around 100km every day. The scenery in this part of the world is spectacular, as are the cycle-friendly accommodations, and if you love the idea of spending a week with a small group of likeminded individuals, this could be the perfect cycling holiday for you.

Here’s a sample itinerary of Back-to-Back Garden Route Tours organized around the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020. Please note, some bus transfers are included in certain areas to limit the number of kilometres cycled.

PRE CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR 2020 GARDEN ROUTE CYCLING TOUR

– 26.02.2020 – Arrive Port Elizabeth
– 27.02.2020 – 50km Warm Up Ride
– 28.02.2020 – Cycle Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay 115km / 71miles
– 29.02.2020 – Cycle Jeffrey’s Bay to The Crags 110km / 68miles
– 01.03.2020 – Cycle The Crags to Brenton-on-Sea 85km/52miles
– 02.03.2020 – Cycle Brenton-on-Sea to Oudtshoorn 75km / 46miles
– 03.03.2020 – Cycle Oudtshoorn to Swellendam 100km / 62miles
– 04.03.2020 – Cycle Swellendam to Hermanus 110km / 68miles
– 05.03.2020 – Cycle Hermanus to Cape Town 85km / 52miles
– 06.03.2020 – Optional 50km Spin Cape Town
– 07.03.2020 – Cape Town Cycle Tour EXPO and Briefing
– 08.03.2020 – Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020 109km / 67miles
– 09.03.2020 – Departure

POST CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR 2020 GARDEN ROUTE CYCLING TOUR

– 06.03.2020 – Arrive Cape Town
– 07.03.2020 – Cape Town Cycle Tour EXPO and Briefing
– 08.03.2020 – Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020 109km / 67miles
– 09.03.2020 – Optional 50km Spin Cape Town
– 10.03.2020 – Cycle Cape Town to Hermanus 120km / 75miles
– 11.03.2020 – Cycle Hermanus to Swellendam 110km / 68miles
– 12.03.2020 – Cycle Swellendam to Oudtshoorn 125km / 77miles
– 13.03.2020 – Cycle Oudtshoorn to Brenton-on-Sea 75km / 46miles
– 14.03.2020 – Cycle Brenton-on-Sea to The Crags 85km / 52miles
– 15.03.2020 – Cycle The Crags – Jeffrey’s Bay 110km / 68miles
– 16.03.2020 – Cycle Jeffrey’s Bay – Port Elizabeth 115km / 71miles
– 17.03.2020 – Departure

These tours include guaranteed entry into the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020, so you can bypass the entry system in October and book your place now!

Cycling the Garden Route: New Video Reveals All

If you are thinking about Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa you probably have a list of questions as long as your arm. How far will we cycle each day? What are the accommodations like? How demanding is the tour? These are all common questions, but unfortunately, no two Garden Route Cycling Holidays are the same, and there are no standard answers.

Some cycling companies offers shortened tours starting halfway down the Garden Route, others offer mountain bike tours, and some even offer e-bike tours (tut-tut!), but if you want to cycle the ‘real’ Garden Route, you need to do it on a road bike, you need to cycle from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (or vice-versa), and you need to prepare for around 100km in the saddle each day!

Cycling the Garden Route is a magnificent experience for keen cyclists, and if you book with a reputable company, you are in for a spectacular ride. You will be cycling on open roads, and you will face roadworks and heavy traffic at times, but if you are confident in your riding abilities, there is no reason why you shouldn’t cycle the Garden Route safely and arrive at your final destination with both wheels intact and a huge smile on your face.

To get an idea of the roads, the scenery, and the type of accommodations you will stay in when cycling along the Garden Route, take a look at this fabulous video taken in February 2019:

On the above trip, your itinerary will look something like this:

Day 1: Cycle Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay

Day 2: Cycle Jeffrey’s Bay to Nature’s Valley

Day 3: Cycle Nature’s Valley to Brenton-on-Sea

Day 4: Cycle Brenton-on-Sea to Oudtshoorn

Day 5: Cycle Oudtshoorn to Swellendam

Day 6: Cycle Swellendam to Hermanus

Day 7: Cycle Hermanus to Cape Town

Some short transfers will be included to limit the mileage between certain sections, but you’ll be doing most of it in the saddle. With guaranteed departures from November to March each year, it’s a great winter cycling holiday, and if you join the ride in February, your Garden Route Cycling Tour will culminate with the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020!

Find out more!

 

Cycle the Garden Route: Guaranteed Departure December 2019

Forget spring, summer has already arrived in many parts of Europe, and with wall-to-wall sunshine, warm temperatures, and a full cycling season ahead of us, now is the perfect time to unhook the Zwift and get out there on the open roads!

Garden Route Cycling Holidays December

There are some spectacular European cycling sportives coming up in the summer months, with the Mallorca 312 in May, the Stelvio Santini in June, the Maratona dles Dolomites in July, and the mighty Öztaler Radmarathon in September, but by October, things start to calm down, and that leaves many cyclists looking further afield.

Winter cycling holidays are widely available for international riders who refuse to pack away their wheels until the first frost appears, and while most of them involve a long-haul flight, it’s a small price to pay for an extension on your 2019 cycling season.

You could take a Road Cycling Holiday in Patagonia or Cycling Adventure in Africa’s Mountain Kingdom Lesotho, but if your idea of the perfect winter cycling trip includes spectacular scenery, fabulous boutique hotels, delicious dining options, and around 100km in the saddle each day, Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa should be your number #1 choice.

Cycle Garden Route South Africa

Garden Route Cycling Holidays have grown in popularity in recent years, but there are many different variations of the route. While the original route stretches some 750km from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (or vice-versa), many tours divert to Oudtshoorn to add a ‘mountain stage’ or two, while others skip Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay altogether and start riding in Wilderness.

If you are going to cycle South Africa’s Garden Route, you might as well do the Full-Monty and cycle the route in its entirety from PE to Cape Town. Your journey will take approximately 7 days and stop at highlights such as Jeffrey’s Bay, Storms River, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Swellendam, and Hermanus before you finally arrive in the Mother City of Cape Town.

If this sounds like your perfect winter trip, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a guaranteed Garden Route Cycling departure starting in Port Elizabeth on 6th December 2019! Check out the video below for inspiration and book your place today…!

South Africa: Cycling the Garden Route Fixed Departures November to April

If there is one cycling holiday that every cyclists should take during their lifetime, it would have to be Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa.

A magical journey on two wheels, it starts in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth and continues all the way to Cape Town covering some 750km over 7 days. Aimed at experienced cyclists who are happy to spend up to 6 hours per day in the saddle, cycling the garden route is definitely demanding, but when you combine great cycling with beautiful scenery, fabulous accommodations, group dinners in local restaurants, and full vehicle support, it makes for an unforgettable cycling holiday.

The actual route that you will take when cycling from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (or vice-versa) varies from operator to operator, but you need to cover the full 750km if you are to say that you cycled the Garden Route. Shorter versions just don’t count, so check the itinerary before packing your bike box!

Having tried and tested several route variations, we’ve come up with what we think it the best Garden Route Cycling itinerary for road bikers, and as our pre Cape Town Cycle Tour Garden Route Trip sells out months in advance year after year, we will now be offering this tour with fixed monthly departures from November 2019.

Garden Route Cycling: The Itinerary

Below is a brief overview of our Garden Route Itinerary.

  • Day 1: Cycle from Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay – a mecca for surfers
  • Day 2: Cycle from Jeffrey’s Bay to Storms River – home of the Tsitsikamma National Park
  • Day 3: Cycle from Storms River to Plettenberg Bay – South Africa’s leading beach resort
  • Day 4: Cycle from Plettenberg Bay to Oudtshoorn – time for some climbing as you head to the Wild West and Ostrich Capital of South Africa
  • Day 5: Cycle from Oudtshoorn to Swellendam – the 3rd oldest town in SA (more climbing!)
  • Day 6: Cycle from Swellendam to Cape Agulhas – where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, before transferring to Hermanus – the Whale Coast
  • Day 7: Cycle from Hermanus to Cape Town incorporating the beautiful Clarence Drive

We use only high-quality accommodations, so you have somewhere comfortable to relax after a full day on the bike, all meals are included from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 7, and there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities along the way.

Next Available Departures:

  • 11.2019
  • 12.2019
  • 01.2020 (Option to Extend to Include Stellenbosch Cycle Tour 2020)
  • 02.2020 (Extended Tour Includes Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020)
  • 03.2020
  • 04.2020

Are you ready to cycle South Africa’s Garden Route? Find out more!

 

Cycling the Garden Route South Africa: Best Places to Stop and Stay

Cycling the Garden Route is perhaps one of the best road cycling tours that South Africa has to offer. Stretching some 750km from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, it is the perfect winter training tour for those who reside in the northern hemisphere, and there is perhaps no better way to get in peak condition for the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour than cycling along this incredibly scenic route.

Garden Route Cycle Tours

Due to the logistics involved, most international cyclists prefer to book a fully organised small group Garden Route Cycling Tour that includes everything from accommodations and luggage transport, to professional cycling guides, most meals, and a well-planned itinerary. Monthly departures are generally available from November to April each year when temperatures are nice and toasty below the equator, and your trip will usually last around 7 or 8 days.

There are endless accommodation options available along the Garden Route ranging from economical backpackers and B&B’s to luxurious guesthouses and boutique hotels, so there really is something to suit every budget. But, after a long day in the saddle, a little comfort goes a long way, and so here’s some of the best places to stop and stay during your Garden Route Road Biking adventure:

Port Elizabeth: The Boardwalk Hotel

Centrally located in a ‘safe’ part of town, The Boardwalk Hotel in Summerstrand provides the perfect starting point for your trip. With large rooms, friendly staff, and numerous different dining options within walking distance, it is ideal for those who want to relax after their long flight and prepare for the days ahead.

Jeffrey’s Bay: On the Beach Guesthouse

Jeffery’s Bay is South Africa’s surfer’s paradise, and so it makes perfect sense to stay close to the beach while you are here. On the Beach Guesthouse is exactly that – and this lovely boutique property is cyclist-friendly too!

Tsitsikamma / Storms River: At the Woods Guesthouse

There are some great accommodation choices in and around Tsitsikamma National Park, but if you are travelling as part of a group and you need plenty of space to store your bikes and park your support vehicle, At the Woods Guesthouse is a good choice. There’s a great restaurant on site, but if you want to head out for a walk, Storms River Village is just a short stroll away.

Plettenberg Bay: Lairds Lodge Country Estate

By the time you arrive in Plettenberg Bay, you will begin to realise just how popular the Garden Route is! There is a huge choice here when it comes to accommodations, but Lairds Lodge Country Estate stands out head and shoulders above the rest! Just outside of town in Hawkerville, it is a luxury retreat with beautiful rooms, lovely relaxation areas, and a fine dining restaurant. It may sound a little ‘posh’ for cyclists, but after a few days in the saddle, you’ll appreciate the comfort!

Oudtshoorn: Hlangana Lodge or De Zeekoe Guest Farm

We had to list 2 options here as they are both equally as good! Oudtshoorn is South Africa’s Ostrich Capital, and so if you want to try Ostrich meat (a delicious lean protein – perfect for cyclists!) this is the place to do it.  Hlangana Lodge offers great accommodations that are walking distance from town. Their champagne breakfast is one of the best you’ll eat on the Garden Route, although you might want to skip the bubbly if you are to cycle 100km in 40-degree heat! De Zeekoe is situated 7km outside of town in the Garden Route’s Klein Karoo. A fabulous retreat where you can relax, enjoy your surroundings, and take a ‘walk on the wild side’ on one of their fabulous Meerkat Adventure Tours.

Swellendam: Gaikou Lodge

Situated on the Cape Trade Route, Swellendam is recorded as South Africa’s 8th Oldest Town, and you’ll get to cycle through it on your Garden Route Cycling Tour! There’s only one place to stay in Swellendam, and that is Gaikou Lodge. Situated on the outskirts of town at the foot of the Langeberg Mountain, it offers huge rooms (perfect for storing you bike), beautiful scenery, and a fabulous breakfast each morning.

Hermanus: The Harbour House Hotel

No visit to South Africa’s Whale Coast would be complete without at stay at the Harbour House Hotel. It’s right on the seafront, and just moments from shops, supermarkets, and the best restaurants in Hermanus.

Cape Town: The Winchester Mansions, The Hyde Hotel, or The New Kings Hotel

As you would imagine, Cape Town is bursting with hotels and so the options are endless here, but if you are looking for a good quality, cyclist friendly hotel on the Atlantic Seaboard (best place in Cape Town for cyclists), the Winchester Mansions, the Hyde Hotel, and the New Kings Hotel are your best options.