The Southernmost cycling holiday is a self guided 7 day cycling 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
Type Self-guided cycling Location Between Stanford & L’Agulhas, South Africa Group size 1+ people Duration 6 nights Grading Moderate/challenging grade Day Stages Average 45 km Distance 271 km (6 days) Terrain Country roads Hotels Cottages/guesthouses Meals Breakfast each day Cost Available on request Dates Oct – April is “High season”
The 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
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.
ItineraryDay 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 NapierDistance: 50 km – Whole Day- Moderate/challenging
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
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
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
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
Ride to Stanford End of tour Distance 34 km- Easy
We have selected a panel cottages and guesthouses for your trip. Your booking will be made according to availability
Rates & Tour info
RatesRates available on requestA minimum of 2 people per group per day
Included6 nights accommodation in selected guesthouses plus breakfastGuesthouse to guesthouse luggage transfers along the route where necessaryDetailed Route directionsInformation about the area
Not includedItems not listed above, egTransport to and from StanfordOther lunches, snacks, drinks with mealsBicycle rent
Overall rating 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
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 go to the Southernmost area
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.
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.
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).
It is important to be comfortable when cycling. The best is to wear thin layers of clothing. Fast drying and hard-wearing synthetic fabrics are ideal as a base layer. These allow your skin to breathe and wick the moisture away from your skin to the next layer, avoiding the chill which cotton T-shirts can cause. 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, camera, an extra plastic bag for litter and a mobile phone. 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.
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.
Our detailed route notes and description allow you to walk self-guided and at your own pace amid splendid scenery while we transport your luggage.
As soon as we have finalized your booking and hotel schedule we will forward your Hotel guide by email. This will specify your hotel schedule and provide directions. (Different hotels/guesthouses are used from time to time) The second component of your route description is your Route guide. This specially prepared guide includes route notes, maps and GPS references. Self-guided cycling is simple and convenient with our Route-and Hotel guide. Cyclists can set out when they like, stop where they want and visit sites en route that are of interest to them. The Route guide will be given to you on arrival
Availability and booking
To reserve a date, forward : Availability request
To book- Go to How to book, or
Tel.: +27 (0) 21 852 5937, Fax.: +27 (0) 86 618 3448
Map of Southernmost region
Pictures of the Southernmost Cycling can be viewed in Southernmost Gallery.
Comments by guests who have experienced a self-guided walking/cycling holiday offered by the operators of WalkingHolidays.co.za 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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