The picturesque little town of Stellenbosch, lies surrounded by the Stellenbosch Mountains, in the heart of Cape Winelands (50km east of Cape Town). The 2nd oldest town in South Africa, it boasts some of the most beautiful surviving examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture in the Cape. The historic town centre of Stellenbosch and many of its neighborhoods have flat, quiet roads, perfect for easy cycling. The town is best explored by bike – you can stop anywhere to shop, have coffee or visit a museum and bicycles are always welcome! Regarded as the mountain biking capital of SA, Stellenbosch is home to a network of over 500km of mountain bike trails.
Zoom in on the map above and click each route to find out more details and access gps tracks, cue sheets, voice navigation and offline maps!
Local cycling initiative, Stellenbosch Fietsry, have mapped some wonderful cycle routes in and around Stellenbosch. Aimed at tourists and commuters, the routes are relatively flat and are perfect for easy, smooth cycling and city bikes! You can also get a hard copy of The Stellenbosch Cycling Map at all local cycle shops, Stellenbosch 360 in Market Street, hotels and guesthouses.
- The Historic Route (6km) and Campus Route (5km) showcase the heritage of town and key attractions.
- The 5km Eerste Rivier Route follows a safe cycle path along the Eerste Rivier through the historic town.
- The 7km Jonkershoek Scenic Route runs up the Jonkershoek Valley with a large section of the route on a separate shared path. Once you enter the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve there are a plethora of MTB trails, gravel and forestry roads to choose from. On the other side of town a 4km route runs westward to Middelvlei and to the south a 7km route runs through to Mont Marie.
- Further a field the Helshoogte route connects Stellenbosch to the neighbouring towns of Pniel and Franschhoek. A favourite route for road cyclists with some challenging climbs through magical scenery.
- For those looking for adventure cycling. Stellenbosch is also the start/end destination for the Cape Cross Cycle Route, an epic 750 km route that runs through the heart of the Cape all they way to Plettenberg Bay!
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRIALS
Surrounding the town, a network of some 500 km of MTB trails extends from privately-owned wineries to nature reserves. Information on MTB routes, maps and permits can be obtained from the various trail operators in the area. Many of the trails can be easily accessed from the town via scenic cycle routes, which all end up at a restaurant, café or winery in beautiful surroundings. Some of our top picks are:
- Jonkershoek MTB Trails – Sprawling mountains and lush fynbos dominate the landscape with a plethora of MTB trails, gravel and forestry roads to choose from.
- G-Spot & various trails managed by STF – one of the darlings of South African mountain biking. A smooth ride with plenty of berms and jumps.
- Helderberg MTB Trails – professionally built trails catering for riders of any skill level set on a private farm within the foothills of the Helderberg.
- Dirtopia – Trail Centre & Trail Lodge, base for Delvera Farm MTB Trails, L ‘Avenir – Nooitgedacht Trails & Simonsberg Trails.
- Boschendal MTB Trials – a mix of well-maintained single track, mountainside jeep track and some farm road with the majestic Simonsberg towering above and views across the Franschhoek valley.
- Hazendal MTB Trials and Bike Park – Designed to be fun for riders of all ages and abilities, the MTB park has a variety of track options and features to hone riding skills. Hazendal is also an ideal starting point for riders who want to experience the Bottelary Hills MTB trails.
- Bottelary Hills MTB Trails are located in the Bottelary Hills Conservancy. The rolling hillsides feature vineyards, farmland, conservation areas and trails comprised of farm roads, jeeptracks and numerous singletracks. While never too technical there are challenging climbs and a variety of distances on offer for riders of all fitness levels. The trails can also be accessed from Jordan Wine Estate.
BIKE SHOPS, RENTALS & TOURS
For those visiting the town, there are a variety of local businesses and bike shops, offering bike rentals and/or guided cycle tours from sightseeing tours to multiday adventures that explore the surrounding mountains and winelands. For those looking to improve their mountain bike skills or be guided on new trails, there are also a range of MTB skills courses on offer.
- Ride In – A wonderful bike friendly cafe and B&B nestled in the Jonkershoek valley. Also offering MTB hire, guided rides, bike repair & shower facilities for after your ride.
- Bikes n Wines – Guided Cape Winelands Tours exploring the wine, beer, art and food. The Winelands tours combine both mountain biking and exclusive wine tastings. We offer 1/2-full day tours. Bike rentals included.
- Stellenbosch Trail Fund (STF) – Trails – Bike Rental – Guides – Trail Building
- The Adventureshop – Stellenbosch based adventure tourism business. Offering guided Bike tours, and multi day E-Bike tours through our spectacular scenic area with mountains, rivers and great wine estates.
- Cape Velo – Bespoke guided cycle day tours, cycling holidays and bike rental.
- Biking in the Bosch – Skills clinics for men and women. Learn how to get the most out of your bike and the trail.
- BMT – A bike shop, tours, rentals in the heart of Stellenbosch
- Matie Bikes – Stellenbosch University dedicated bike rental scheme for both staff and students – aimed to grow commuter cycling.
- Masons Bike Inn – Bike shop & secure bike parking /storage facilities in the town centre
STAY, EAT, DRINK & EXPLORE
A food and wine lovers paradise, in Stellenbosch you can find everything from fine dining experiences to friendly neighbourhood cafes. Explore our directory of all things bike friendly in Stellenbosch. We’re constantly adding to our list of favorite bike shops, coffee shops, restaurants, museums, scenic vistas, playgrounds, ice cream parlours, breweries, wineries and places to stay!
Stay over at one of Stellenbosch’s bike friendly accommodation venues. Whether you’re camping out or looking for a luxury hotel that welcome bicycles, you’ll never have to leave your two wheeled friend at home again! Bike friendly venues offer secure bike storage and a range of bike friendly services e.g. offer complimentary bikes or bike rentals for guests. Click here for our accommodation directory.
Stellenbosch can be easily accessed by road or rail. Combining bikes and Metrorail trains is a great way to travel to Stellenbosch and beyond. Cyclists can take their bikes on Metro rail trains during off-peak hours (09h00- 15h00 and 19h00- until last train run), on weekdays and all day on the weekend. With the cost of carriage currently being +R20 per bike for any one direction (in addition to your ticket price).
SUPPORT LOCAL CYCLING INITIATIVES
Power better cycling in Stellenbosch by supporting and/or becoming a member of any of the great non-profits below!
Ride responsibly: Please be vigilant and always aware of your circumstances while cycling, especially on access routes to mountain bike trails. Preferably ride in a group or with other people. When in town, lock your bike securely with at least a u-lock or make use of safe parking facilities such as at Mason’s Bike Inn or the Botanical Gardens, where there is security.
© Photographs by Stellenbosch Cycling, Cape Cycle Routes, Stellenbosch Trail Fund