There are many places in the world where one can enjoy a cycling holiday, but if you are looking for truly challenging road biking tour along one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, South Africa’s Garden Route could be the perfect trip for you.
A stunning 755km stretch from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, the Garden Route features on most South African travel itineraries, but if you want to see more than just the most popular attractions, such as Tsitsikamma National Park, Plettenberg Bay, the Knysna Heads, and Oudtshoorn, one of the best ways to do so is on your bike.
While there are many different variations that one can take, you really should attempt to cycle as much as the route as possible if you want to say that you have cycled the ‘real’ Garden Route, but that means many hours in the saddle, and so this trip is only suitable for experienced cyclists who know what they are letting themselves in for!
Many people choose to cycle the garden route in the week before the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour to get them in peak condition for race day, but with guaranteed monthly departures available from November to May, you can cycle this incredible route throughout the warmer summer months below the equator.
So, want to know what to expect on your 8-day Garden Route Cycling Tour? Here’s an idea of what your daily itinerary will look like…
Day 1: Arrive Port Elizabeth
After building your bike and shopping for any last-minute energy bars and repair kits, join your fellow riders for a welcome dinner at the Boardwalk entertainment hub.
Day 2: Cycle from Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay (Approx. 115km)
Your road cycling adventure along the Garden Route will start today with a 115km ride along the coast from Port Elizabeth to Surfers Paradise – Jeffrey’s Bay, where you will dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Cycle from Jeffrey’s Bay to Storms River (Approx. 110km)
After an early breakfast, your second day of cycling will take you to Storms River and the Tsitsikamma National Park, where you can walk along the suspension bridges and enjoy sundowners overlooking the ocean.
Day 4: Cycle from Storms River to Plettenberg Bay (Approx. 85km)
A slightly shorter ride today, you cycle from Storms River to Plettenberg Bay, one of the most beautiful parts of the Garden Route. After checking in to your hotel, you can head down to the beach for an hour or two before returning for a delicious 4-course dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Transfer to Wilderness – Cycle to Oudtshoorn (Approx. 75km)
After breakfast today, your journey will start with a 1 hour transfer from Plettenberg Bay to Wilderness, where you will begin one of the most challenging days of your Garden Route adventure. The route may only be 75km long, but there are some testing climbs along the way, and during peak summer months (January to March) you could be subjected to temperatures exceeding 40°C.
Day 6: Cycle from Oudtshoorn to Ladismith – Transfer to Swellendam (Approx. 100km)
Another challenging day, but perhaps not as tough as yesterday, you will cycle approximately 100km from the Ostrich Capital of Oudtshoorn to Ladismith, where you will hop on the bus and transfer to Swellendam for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Cycle from Swellendam to Stanford – Transfer to Hermanus (Approx. 120km)
Another long day, but one that you will most definitely enjoy, you will cycle approximately 120km from Swellendam towards the coast and the small riverside village of Stanford. To avoid competing with traffic on the extremely narrow roads here, you will hop on the bus and transfer the short 20-minute ride to Hermanus, the Whale Capital of the world, where you will dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Cycle from Hermanus to Gordons Bay – Transfer to Cape Town (Approx. 85km)
After 7 long days in the saddle, your last day will take you along the magnificent coastline from Hermanus to Gordons Bay, in what will ultimately be one of your best rides – ever! You will then transfer approximately 2 hours to Cape Town, where you can celebrate your achievement in South Africa’s Mother City.
Interested in a Road Cycling Tour along the Garden Route? Find out more!