The iconic Cross Cape Route stretches over 700kms between Plettenberg Bay in the north and Stellenbosch in the south. Curated by Cape Cycle Routes (an initiative of the Western Cape Government) the route offers numerous stopovers in quaint and friendly small towns as well as majestic landscapes along the Garden Route, Klein Karoo, Cape Overberg, and Cape Winelands.
The route is mostly made up of well-graded gravel road ensuring a smooth trip. Along the way riders will have the opportunity to meet friendly locals and experience the rich and diverse culture the region has to offer, from local Cape and Xhosa cuisine to the rich and unmistakable taste of the Cape’s finest wines. But it’s not all feet up and relaxing: each section is challenging and will test your cycling prowess through decent climbs and energy taxing passes both off-road and on.
When you embark on the Cross Cape cycle route, you’re opening yourself up to a multitude of invigorating and unique experiences. The smell of fynbos, the feel of cool ocean breezes, the sights of wide open spaces, the sounds of wildlife and the tastes of local culture will move you like no other journey can.
That’s why the Cross Cape cycle route is no ordinary journey. It’s a journey through the senses. Being immersed in your surroundings means you can see, touch, taste, hear and feel all that this captivating landscape has to offer. With each turn of the pedal, you’ll find yourself closer and closer to the authentic heart of the Cape. This route is open 24/7/365, free of charge. You can download a detailed printed map from the Cape Cycle Routes website, pick your pace, plan accordingly, and go for a ride. For a full GPS track and detailed turn by turn navigation view our map below.
- The lush indigenous forests and golden beaches of Knysna and the Garden Route.
- Challenging climbs through scenic passes.
- The dramatic semi-desert landscapes of the Klein Karoo region with fascinating flora and wildlife.
- Historic rural towns of Oudtshoorn and Swellendam.
- Fertile valleys, rolling hills and flowing rivers of the Cape Overberg.
- The quaint, oak-lined village of Greyton – with superb cuisine and craft beer, with some lovely accommodation to boot.
- The smooth, mostly tarred roads of the Cape Winelands with 2 iconic passes, Franschhoek Pass and Helshoogte Pass.
- The gorgeous little town of Franschhoek with a plethora of coffee shops and pastry bistros.
- The Bike Friendly town of Stellenbosch – known as the Mountain Biking capital of South Africa!
- Best time to go. The cooler months of Spring and Autumn are the best time to go.
Accommodation. Use our directory to find bike friendly accommodation options in the region.
- Water & Food. Take lots of water, especially when cycling through the remote semi desert Karoo area where water is scarce. Food and supplies can be found at various shops and restaurants along the route, but stock up for the longer sections of the route.
- Gear. Take warm clothes for the evenings and sun protection for the day. We found that cycling in a loose long sleeve cotton top is a good way to keep the sun off.
- Navigation. Take a good printed map showing the area in detail. There is not always mobile reception so you can’t rely on GPS navigation. Visit the Cross Cape Route to download a pdf route map.
- Road Conditions. You will be riding primarily on roads with no bike lanes and car and truck traffic. You should be comfortable riding in some amount of traffic. Please ride responsibly and stay alert.
- Tours and Group Holidays. View tour operators in the region.
- Transport. Find Transport service providers
Cross Cape Route – for print version of the map and additional information
Ride the heart of the Cape… The Cross Cape is an epic cycle route across the Western Cape, taking cyclists from the coastal Garden Route to the arid Klein Karoo, through the Overberg and on to the Cape Winelands.