Overview-Southernmost cycling

The Southernmost cycling holiday is a 7 day Bikepacking tour exploring the Agulhas Plain at the southern tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The route covers interesting villages with friendly, unassuming people, unspoilt nature, unique fynbos and birds, stunning views and an interesting history of shipwrecks, fishermen and Khoikoi beach nomads

TypeBikepacking
LocationBetween Stanford & L’Agulhas, South Africa
Group size1+ people
Duration6 nights
GradingModerate/challenging grade
Day StagesAverage 45 km
Distance271 km (6 days)
TerrainCountry roads
HotelsCottages/guesthouses
MealsBreakfast, where available
CostAvailable on request
DatesOct to April is “High season”

  • Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Rates & incl
  • Travel info
  • More info

The Southernmost cycling holiday is in the Agulhas Plain. It is in the southern Overberg (“Over the mountain”) region of the Western Cape, South Africa. The route is along country roads through farmland, nature reserves and charming villages at the tip of the African continent where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The rugged, windswept coastal plain is geographically striking, with a rich natural and cultural heritage

Highlights

Villages

Charming historical villages such as Stanford, Napier, Elim and Agulhas

Coast and Plains

Ride along interesting rocky and ruggedly beautiful coast and through inland sand plains, farmland, vineyards, wetlands and dunes.

National Park

Experience the Cape Agulhas National Park, which covers about 21 000 ha. It has more that 9000 species of flowering plants and the coastline supports a rich marine and intertidal life, with breeding sites of rare birds such as the African Black Oystercatcher. The focus is on some of the most splendid examples of lowland fynbos and lowland fynbos on limestone soils - considered endangered and restricted largely to the southern Overberg.

Flora

The Overberg area is the smallest plant kingdom in the world with the greatest number of different species. Of the nine thousand species, some can be found nowhere else. The Strandveld Agulhas Plain is unique and significant by international conservation standards due to its rich biodiversity. The Cape Floral Kingdom consists mostly of fynbos and renosterveld. Of the 800 Erica species in the world, more than 80 % grow in the Cape Floral Kingdom. Interesting plants in this habitat include the mountain bluebell, the flame red Bredasdorp lily, the granny bonnet and the Cape everlasting.

Views

Stunning views, beautiful beaches, pebble bays, rock pools. Whale watching from September to November.

Conservation

The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (SMA) is an initiative by 25 private landowners and local communities to collectively manage certain land for conservation.Some 46,000 hectares of often critically endangered habitat on the Agulhas Plain is protected. The primary goal is to protect and use the land sustainably- to find the balance between environmental integrity, human well being and economic efficiency within the area.Biodiversity and wetland conservation is promoted as well as sustainable farming practices. One of the initiatives was to re-introduce buffalo to the Agulhas Plain for the first time in more than 200 years. Now, with their numbers steadily increasing, the Agulhas Plain has once again become a source of disease-free buffalo.This collaboration between landowners and local communities is the first of its kind in South Africa. UNESCO has expressed interest in the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (SMA), as a working example of its Man and the Biosphere programme.

Shipwrecks

The coastline is renowned for shipwrecks, and streets and businesses in Cape Agulhas bear the names of some ill-fated ships. These include Meisho Maru, St Mungo, Brederode, Nossa Senhora dos Milagros, Juno and Martha. Some 250 ships have been wrecked here over time.

History

The country's second oldest working lighthouse was built at L'Agulhas in 1848. Other historical features include the 200 year old fishermen's village at Kassiesbaai and fisherman's cottages at Hotagterklip. You can also explore fish traps and other valuable historic and cultural legacy left by the Khoikhoi beach nomads who lived along this coastline for centuries.

Day 1: Arrival at Stanford for overnight. Stanford is one of the best preserved villages in the Overberg. It is popular for its rural tranquillity, leafy streets and historical buildings.
 

Day 2: Ride to Napier, known as a village with narrow streets, quaint architecture and charm. Given the road conditions and likely challenges due to the weather (heat, wind etc) the ratings of the ride is Moderate/Challenging. The distance can be shortened to to cater for the fitness of the client. Overnight in Napier. Distance: 50 km – Whole Day- Moderate/challenging

Day 3: Ride from Napier through the Ruens, Bredasdorp, along the Agulhas Plain in the direction of the southernmost town, L’Agulhas. Overnight at Agulhas Guest farm or Bredasdorp. Distance 53 km – Whole Day- Moderate/challenging

Day 4: On this day you ride along two oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic. First along the Indian Ocean side. Then after having visited the lighthouse and the lighthouse museum to the Southernmost tip of Africa and along the Atlantic Ocean to the Agulhas National Park. Overnight at Agulhas Rest Camp. Distance 44 km – Whole Day- Moderate

Day 5: Ride through the National Park and look out for shipwrecks, fynbos, coastal and wetland birds. Some areas have pretty deep sand and the state of the tide plays a role. Consult your Route Manager Overnight at the Black Oystercatcher cottages or Strandveld Vineyards. Distance 41 km – Whole Day- Moderate

Day 6: Visit Elim, the oldest village in the Strandveld. The picturesque village with thatched roof cottages was founded as a self-supporting Moravian Mission station in 1824. Overnight at Farm 215. Distance 49 km – Whole Day- Moderate

Day 7: Ride to Stanford. End of tour. Distance 34 km- Easy

We have selected a panel cottages and guesthouses for your Southernmost cycling trip. Your booking will be made according to availability

Bella Vista Country Place
Bella Vista Country Place
Peace Valley Guest House
Peace Valley Guest House
Agulhas Guestfarm
Agulhas Guestfarm
Agulhas Rest Camp
Agulhas Rest Camp
Strandveld Cottages
Strandveld Cottages
Black Oystercatcher Cottages
Black Oystercatcher Cottages
Farm 215 Fynbos Suite
Farm 215 Fynbos Suite
Stanford River Lodge .v01
Stanford River Lodge

Rates

Rates for Southernmost cycling available on request
A minimum of 2 people per group per day
 
Included
6 nights accommodation in selected guesthouses plus breakfast, where available
Detailed Route directions
Information about the area
 
Not included
Items not listed above, eg
Transport to and from Stanford
Other lunches, snacks, drinks with meals
Bicycle and equipment rent
 

How backpacking works ?

Refer to How our cycling holiday works for details about a Bikepacking holiday.
 

Grading

Overall rating of Southernmost cycling is Moderate/challenging. You do not need to be ultra-fit but certainly able to cycle between 50 and 70 km per day and able to cope with undulating countryside and some hills. The route takes you along dirt roads, often with corrugations and occasionally with deep sand or gravel. Some sections are unsurfaced tracks.  See Cycling grades for more details about Moderate rating.

Day 1 - arrival: Day 2 - Moderate/challenging: Day 3 - Moderate/challenging: Day 4 - Moderate: Day 5 - Moderate: Day 6 - Moderate: Day 7 - Easy

Additional options

The Southernmost area offers a range of attractions and activities that can be added to your itinerary if you have specific special interests.

Our Route Manager can assist with bookings and advice.

When to book Southernmost cycling 

The holiday can be booked any time of the year but the best time of the year to visit the area is when summer is drawing to a close and the tempestuous southeaster dies down to a little breeze.

Climate

The region has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The climate is extremely mild, with no temperature or rainfall extremes. According to South African National Parks, the mean annual air temperature is 15°C, while the annual rainfall varies between 400- 600mm, with 60 – 70% of the precipitation occurring between May and October. Sea temperatures average between 21°C in summer and 14°C in winter. The region is the coldest during June when the mercury drops to 7°C on average during the night. Prevailing winds blow from the southeast in the summer and the northwest in the winter.

Getting there

For international visitors:
Fly to Cape Town International airport and drive from Cape Town to Stanford by car (130 km). Transfer can be arranged, if necessary
Route from Cape Town:
Driving from Cape Town take the N2 towards Somerset West . Drive through Somerset West towards Caledon. Take the R43 turnoff to Hermanus and follow this road through Hermanus to Stanford.

What to take

Wearing a helmet while cycling is mandatory and bicycles need to be equipped with basic repair kit. These items can be provided with bicycles rented via us. Bring your own if you prefer so. If you decide to bring your own, a MTB is the best choice (not a road bike or hybrid). GPS and/or cellphone and maps for navigation.

Wear thin layers of clothing. Fast drying and hard-wearing synthetic fabrics are ideal as a base layer. A thin fleece or sweatshirt is ideal as the next layer. Also take a lightweight waterproof jacket (breathable and windproof material is best). Sport shoes are fine for cycling and for when you stop off to visit places on foot. For your daily needs, you are advised to have a day-bag, a plastic bag to line your day-pack (to protect the contents from rain), sunglasses, sun block, a water bottle, plastic picnic box (for transporting lunches), first-aid kit, an extra plastic bag for litter. 

Pack options for carrying your gear on your bike, such as some of the following: front and rear racks with panniers, saddle bags, frame bags, handlebar bags, top tube bags and a light trail backpack. Food and water, a small stove, fire starting supplies, a tent and sleeping bag (for emergency), lights on your bike and a torch for your tent, repair kit with at least a flat kit, inflation, chain tool, multi-tool and extra chain links, extra first aid supplies, cable ties, duct tape and straps. Make sure that you are aware of exactly where water can be found each day and note that mobile phone is not available in some areas. Consult your Route Manager.

Insurance

We recommend that you arrange appropriate holiday insurance giving you cover against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.

Route description

Our detailed route notes and -description allow you to ride self-guided and at your own pace amid splendid scenery. We provide a file which can be imported to a gps or cellphone for navigation. In addition you will also have a map and cue sheets. As soon as we have finalised your booking we will specify your accommodation schedule. (We are using different guest houses from time to time). Going self-guided is simple and convenient with our Route guide. It allows you to set out when you like, stop where you want and visit sites en route that are of interest to you. Our notes include information on monuments, places of interest along the way and suggested stops for lunch, wine tasting etc. The Route guide will be given to you on the date of your arrival. 

Availability and Booking

To enquire or reserve a date, go to: Availability request

For general information: Contact us, or

email: info@trailsandtravel.co.za, or

Booking process and -conditions - Go to  How to book

Map of Southernmost region

Gallery

Pictures of the Southernmost Cycling can be viewed in Southernmost Gallery.

Attractions

L'Agulhas- Southernmost Point
L'Agulhas- Southernmost Point
Agulhas Lighthouse
Agulhas Lighthouse
Shipwrecks
Shipwrecks
Stanford Village
Stanford Village
Napier
Napier
Elim
Elim
Elim Wine
Elim Wine
Fynbos
Fynbos

Reviews

Comments by guests who have experienced a self-guided walking/cycling holiday offered by Trails and Travel in South Africa- "Overall, the holiday was invigorating- You certainly went out of your way to make the whole time memorable- We are recommending it to our walking community in the States- Fantastic walks, wines and accommodation" For details, go to Reviews

Some guest comments about the Southernmost tour: ......" a great destination for cyclists. It is a place of stunning natural beauty and a destination where you really get off the beaten track and experience the local culture. The accommodation is of a very high standard."

More about the Southernmost region

Southernmost Cycling is a self-guided cycling holiday to explore the Southern tip of Africa in the Overberg area.

The Southernmost Cycling holiday was structured to offer the best of the area. For more information about the area, go to Read more

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Walking and cycling holidays South Africa

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