The Ultimate Mountain-Biker’s Guide to Stellenbosch

The Ultimate Mountain-Biker’s Guide to Stellenbosch Dirtopia

Brought to you in association with Visit Stellenbosch, this is the Inside Guide to Stellenbosch.

Though Stellenbosch promises a world-class food-and-wine scene befitting Napa and Bordeaux, there’s more to the City of Oaks than sipping cabernet sauvignon on the terrace of a view-drenched wine estate. A vibrant museum and gallery circuit awaits, coupled with exquisite heritage architecture and a slew of artisanal boutiques, adding layers and enhancing the appeal of South Africa’s second-oldest town.

And that’s even before mentioning Stellenbosch’s myriad outdoor adventures, most notably its mountain-biking trails, which snake their way around vineyards, forests and rivers, yielding breathtaking scenes and exhilarating experiences for all who embark on them.

We’ve rounded up the best mountain-biking trails in Stellenbosch, along with places to stay, eat and hang out, to make your visit to this famous Winelands region unforgettable.

Have you been somewhere special in Stellies? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Stellenbosch-bound? Here’s our essential guide to Eikestad

MTB trails in Stellenbosch
E-Bike + garden tours in Stellenbosch
Where to stay in Stellenbosch
Where to eat in Stellenbosch
Walks + hikes in Stellenbosch

MTB Trails in Stellenbosch

Please note The trails are weather-dependent, and might be closed due to heavy rain and/or waterlogging. Please enquire prior to visiting.

Bottelary Hills Conservancy

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Bottelary Hills Conservancy

Well-marked trails take you through rolling meadows, vineyards and farmlands, with six colour-coded routes that differ in duration and difficulty. Some of the harder routes involve steep climbs that require a certain degree of fitness, along with downhills that will be exhilarating for more experienced riders, but a bit too hairy for beginners.
Cost R70 (day permit); R400 – R700 (annual permit)
Contact 083 448 0810, info@bottelaryconservancy.co.za
Where to find it Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch

Banhoek Conservancy

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Banhoek Conservancy
Jacques Marais

The mountains of Stellenbosch loom above you as you cycle through wine farms and across wooden bridges, touching the very slopes of the mountain. The network includes the Banhoek Game Trail (a moderate route that runs from Boschendal, along a stream and through orchards), the Dwarsrivier Valley Trail (a relatively easy route that starts at Old Bethlehem Gate in Kylemore and circles around to the starting point) and the Botmaskop Trail (an eventful journey with some steep ascents).
Cost R50 (day permit); R1000 (annual permit)
Contact 083 325 5840, info@banhoekconservancy.org
Where to find it Old Bethlehem Farm, Skool Street, Kylemore, Stellenbosch

Dirtopia Trail Centre

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Dirtopia Trail Centre

Situated on Muratie Wine Farm, Dirtopia offers bike rental, a restaurant where you can grab breakfast and coffee, and access to the scenic Simonsberg trails, which pass through farms, and lush vegetation, against the backdrop of rolling hills. Mountain bikers may spot a variety of bird and plant species, as well as the occasional tortoise, dassie or porcupine.
Cost R60 (permit, adult); R30 (permit, children 3 – 10 years)
Contact 078 343 3572, info@dirtopia.co.za
Where to find it Muratie Wine Farm, Knorhoek Valley Road, R44, Stellenbosch

Blaauwklippen Road

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Blaauwklippen Road

This beautiful wine estate offers a number of attractions, among them its proximity to the mountain bike trails that run through the wondrous Blaauwklippen Valley. Lush vineyards stretch out to the horizon, where the mountains loom above the tranquil valley, making for a memorable mountain bike ride that will soothe your soul while improving your fitness.
Cost Free
Contact 021 880 0133, info@blaauwklippen.com
Where to find it R44 Strand Road, Stellenbosch

Paradyskloof

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Paradyskloof
iRide Africa

The Paradyskloof pine plantation is the starting point for a network of rugged mountain-biking trails that are rated moderate to difficult, and include some adrenaline-inducing descents that are sure to appeal to daredevil bikers.
Cost Free
Contact 082 417 8962, info@paradysklooffarm.co.za
Where to find it R44, Stellenbosch

E-Bike + garden tours in Stellenbosch

E-Bike to Boschendal

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: E-Bike to Boschendal

This guided tour is rich in history and spectacular views. As you travel from Stellenbosch to Boschendal Farm Estate, you’ll traverse the Helshoogte Pass, the route used by the first Dutch and French settlers. The tour ends with coffee and a meal at the Boschendal Deli, followed by bus transport back to Stellenbosch.
Please note The tour requires a minimum of two people.
Operating times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 1pm
Cost R900 (for two adults); R450 (children 11 – 17 years)
Contact 021 882 8112, info@adventureshop.co.za
Where to find it Ou Landbousaal 1 Noordwal-Wes Road, Stellenbosch
Book Now

E-Bike to Franschhoek

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: E-Bike to Franschhoek

Traversing Jeep tracks and mountain-bike trails, this route passes through the Banhoek Conservancy, offering riders the opportunity to spot wildlife such as the blue wildebeest. After the ride, you’ll be treated to lunch and wine on a Franschhoek farm, and have the chance to explore the village before travelling back to Stellenbosch by vehicle.
Please note The tour requires a minimum of two people
Operating times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Cost R2 400 (for two adults)
Contact 021 882 8112, info@adventureshop.co.za
Where to find it Ou Landbousaal 1 Noordwal-Wes Road, Stellenbosch
Book Now

E-Bike from Stellenbosch to Hermanus

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: E-Bike to Hermanus

Enjoy an epic adventure – on a bicycle or an E-Bike – from Stellenbosch to the seaside town of Hermanus, with stops at Franschhoek and Elgin along the way. The route takes you through farmlands, vineyards and rustic villages, and includes pre-planned meals, and overnight stays in guest houses, farm cottages and campsites.
Cost R3 800 (two-day bike tour); R5 790 (three-day bike tour)
Contact 021 882 8112, info@adventureshop.co.za
Where to find it Ou Landbousaal 1 Noordwal-Wes Road, Stellenbosch

Bike Rentals and Tours

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Bike Rentals and Tours
@laurasworldza

If you prefer the freedom to explore at your own pace rather than as part of a guided tour, Adventure Shop lets you rent bikes and E-Bikes so you can traverse Stellenbosch at your leisure. Cycle along the oak-lined streets of the town centre, and ride through the mesmerising scenery of the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, and the valleys and vineyards that lie at the foot of the Stellenbosch Mountains.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Cost R300 (bike rental per day); R500 (E-Bike rental per day)
Contact 021 882 8112, info@adventureshop.co.za
Where to find it Ou Landbousaal 1 Noordwal-Wes Road, Stellenbosch
Book Now

Middelvlei Wine Estate E-Bike Tour

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Middelvlei Wine Estate E-Bike Tour

This guided ride allows you to hop from one wine farm to another, along well-marked routes that take you through the most lush scenery while ensuring a safe, easygoing ride. Visit Rustenberg and Lanzerac Wine Estate where you’ll be able to enjoy wine-tasting or browsing the deli (on your own account).
Operating times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am; 1pm
Cost R590
Contact 079 490 2389, bookings@vinebikes.co.za
Where to find it Lanzerac Wine Estate, Vinebikes Trail Centre
BOOK NOW

Winelands E-Bikes tours

MTB Trails Stellenbosch: Winelands E-Bike Tours

Feel the wind in your hair as you glide through the Stellenbosch Winelands – without breaking a sweat – on an exhilarating E-Bike tour. You’ll get to cycle around the historic centre of town and into the magnificent Jonkershoek Valley with a guide, who will then take you to two wine farms for a spot of wine-tasting, noshing and retail therapy. The tour takes around three hours, and is suitable for the entire family.
Operating times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 12.30pm; 1.30pm – 5pm
Cost R885 (adults); R350 (children 5 – 9 years)
Where to find it Lanzerac Wine Estate, Vinebikes Trail Centre
Book Now

Foodie walking tours

Foodie Walking Tours Stellenbosch
@ct.culinary

These guided tours allow you to experience the flavours of South Africa’s second-oldest town, sampling home-grown teas, biltong and droëwors, award-winning cheeses and wines, and artisanal bread as you go. During the tours, your guide will regale you with historical and culinary tales, concluding with a heritage lunch platter at the town’s oldest hotel.
Operating times Monday – Friday, 10am – 12pm; 2pm – 4pm
Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Cost R795
Contact 072 989 3438, info@bitesandsites.co.za
Where to find it Red Apron at Visit Stellenbosch Office, 47 Church Street, Stellenbosch Central
Book Now

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden Tours

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden Tours Stellenbosch

Located on Mulberry Farm, whose majestic hills and luscious gardens are home to over 60 stunning sculptures created by feted local artist, Dylan Lewis, the seven-hectare Sculpture Garden is also home to a wide range of indigenous fynbos, buchu and erica.
Please note Visit by appointment only.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 8.30am – 5pm
Cost R180 (adults); R120 (students and pensioners); R1 100 (private guided tours, available on request)
Contact 021 880 0054, reservations@dylanart.co.za
Where to find it Mulberry Farm, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch
Book Now

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens Stellenbosch
@lindmaster

In the historical centre of Stellenbosch, this, the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa serves as a home for various animals, such as squirrels and birds and offers reprieve for locals and visitors, but its main purpose is research and education. Gardenistas will enjoy the beauty of the indigenous and exotic plants.
Please note Picnics are not permitted. The gardens are closed on certain public holidays.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Cost R15; R10 (seniors); free (Stellenbosch University students, staff and members of the Friends of the Botanical Garden)
Contact 021 808 3054, subg@sun.ac.za
Where to find it Neethling and Van Riebeeck Streets, Stellenbosch Central

Where to stay in Stellenbosch

River Manor Boutique Hotel

Where To Stay Stellenbosch: River Manor Boutique Hotel
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: River Manor Boutique Hotel Lodgings
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: River Manor Boutique Hotel Bedroom

A mere five-minute stroll from the buzz of Stellenbosch’s historical centre, this beautiful boutique hotel combines classic decor with an old-world charm that suits its small-town location perfectly. A wonderfully peaceful ambience washes over you as you enter the two adjoining manor houses, where friendly staff, immaculate interiors and picturesque gardens await.
Child friendly? No
Pet friendly? No
Number of rooms 18
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R900 per person sharing per night (depending on season and room type)
Where to find it 6 – 8 Die Laan, Stellenbosch
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Bonne Esperance

Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Bonne Esperance
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Bonne Esperance Lodgings
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Bonne Esperance Bedroom

This Victorian-era guesthouse, among trees and foliage on a quiet street corner, is loved by locals for its rich history. Built in 1901, the charming home has had many owners over the years, collecting wonderful stories and anecdotes along the way. Once a family home and student boarding house, it’s since been converted into a contemporary B&B, offering the perfect mix of historical charm, modern luxury and attentive service.
Child friendly? Yes, for children 6 years and older
Pet friendly? No
Number of rooms 25
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R1 316 per room per night (depending on season and room type)
Where to find it Corner of Neethling and Van Riebeeck Street, Stellenbosch
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Summerwood Guest House

Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Summerwood Guest House
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Summerwood Guest House Lodgings
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Summerwood Guest House Bedroom

Dating back to 1904, this beautifully restored Edwardian villa – in the heritage-rich leafy suburb of Jonkershoek – combines its rich heritage with modern creature comforts. The garden boasts a large swimming pool and beautiful indigenous trees, where guests are transported to a quaint, comfortable oasis – only a short stroll from some of the town’s top attractions. What’s more, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve hiking and mountain-biking trails are are mere 5km from the home, making this a prime spot for adventure lovers.
Child friendly? No
Pet friendly? No
Number of rooms 8
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R1 000 per room per night (depending on season and room type)
Where to find it 28 Jonkershoek Road, Stellenbosch
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Mont Angelis

Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Mont Angelis
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Mont Angelis Accommodation
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Mont Angelis Lodgings

Teagan Cunniffe

Quiet dusty roads, lush vegetation, horse paddocks and towering mountains… this is the breathtaking Blaauwklippen Valley, where Mont Angelis is quietly ensconced. Nine beautifully renovated guest cottages that were once original farm dwellings offer a scenic reprieve from the bustle of Stellenbosch’s buzzy town centre, while still being close enough for action-seekers.
Child friendly? Yes, for children 6 years and older
Pet friendly? No
Number of cottages 9
Sleeps 2 per cottage
Cost From R1 500 per cottage per night (depending on season and cottage)
Where to find it Upper Blaauwklippen Road, Stellenbosch, Western Cape
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Twice Central Guesthouse

Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Twice Central Guesthouse
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Twice Central Guesthouse Pool
Where To Stay Stellenbosch: Twice Central Bedroom

A mere five-minute walk from bustling Dorp Street, this beautifully renovated guesthouse is owned by three friends with an immense passion for décor, food and hospitality, evident in the ever-changing gourmet breakfasts, attentive service and wonderful attention to detail within the rooms. As the name suggests, its central location offers an inside look into Stellenbosch culture, while its contemporary yet comfortable interiors hold all the appeal of a peaceful Winelands getaway.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Number of rooms 7
Sleeps 2 per room
Cost From R1 000 per night (depending on season and room type, includes breakfast)
Where to find it 7 Hamman Street, Stellenbosch, Western Cape
MAKE A RESERVATION

Where to eat in Stellenbosch

Guardian Peak

Where To Eat Stellenbosch: Guardian Peak

Overlooking a seemingly endless slice of the Stellenbosch Winelands, Guardian Peak is a laidback destination, whose spectacular setting is straight out of a movie. A capacious alfresco seating area creates the backdrop for quality bistro-style meals and top-drawer wines. Steak is the most popular main, and for starters the salt-and-pepper squid and venison carpaccio come highly recommended, not to mention baked cheesecake and chocolate fondant for dessert.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Wednesday – Saturday, 6pm – 9pm (depends on lockdown regulations and curfew)
Contact 021 881 3899, info@guardianpeak.com
Address Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

Longtable Restaurant at Haskell Vineyards

Where To Eat Stellenbosch: Longtable Restaurant at Haskell Vineyards

A stone’s throw from the vineyards, the setting at Longtable is one of the most impressive in Stellenbosch. Spacious outdoor seating yields uninterrupted vineyard and mountain views and a decidedly relaxed atmosphere. Chef Cornelle Minie (previously head chef at Babel) boldly fuses various cuisines and flavours in her small plates, which, combined with the view and excellent service, make this unassuming gem a must-visit.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 9.30am – 6pm (depends on lockdown regulations and curfew)
Contact 021 881 3895, info@haskellvineyards.co.za
Where to find it Haskell Vineyards, Annandale Road, Lynedoch, Stellenbosch
Book Through DinePlan

Gåte at Quoin Rock

Where To Eat Stellenbosch: Gåte at Quoin Rock

This much-talked-about restaurant at Quoin Rock Wine Estate offers magnificent views from its perch on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains. Inside, a contemporary and sophisticated 50-seater space awaits, with head chef Jack Coetzee at the reins.
Opening times Wednesday + Sunday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Thursday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Friday + Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 5.30pm – 8pm (depends on lockdown regulations and curfew)
Contact 021 888 4750, gate@quoinrock.co.za
Where to find it Quoin Rock Wine Estate, Knorhoek Road, Knorhoek Valley, Stellenbosch
Book Through DinePlan

Rust en Vrede

Where To Eat Stellenbosch: Rust en Vrede

Surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens dotted with sweet-scented rose bushes and towering oaks, the warm and welcoming tasting room at Rust en Vrede is the ideal setting for a wonderful day out with friends and family. While the estate’s fine-dining restaurant in the adjacent building offers a more formal experience, the tasting room is the perfect place for a laidback country-style meal accompanied by some of the country’s top wines.
On the menu Chalmar sirloin, with French fries and a garden salad, Norwegian salmon with baby potatoes and asparagus, and a pepper-crusted Chalmar fillet.
Good to know No reservations, first-come-first-served.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm (depends on lockdown regulations and curfew)
Contact 021 881 3881, sales@rustenvrede.com
Where to find it Annandale Road, Stellenbosch

The Vine Bistro

Where To Eat Stellenbosch: The Vine Bistro

Housed within a state-of-art building at Glenelly Estate, this warm and elegant bistro sets the tone for a leisurely lunch. If the sun is out, sit under the pergola at one of the long tables on the deck and enjoy beautiful views of the vineyards and surrounding hills. On chilly days, gather in the elegant wine-tasting area above the restaurant.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Friday + Saturday, 6.30pm – 8pm (depends on lockdown regulations and curfew)
Contact 021 809 6444, bistro@glenelly.co.za
Where to find it Glenelly Estate, Lelie Street, Ida’s Valley, Stellenbosch
Book Through DinePlan

Walks + hikes in Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch on Foot

Explore the area’s oak-lined avenues, while admiring the charm of Cape Dutch architecture and listening to tales about the town’s three-century-old history.

Adventure Shop Hikes

Hike the most popular trails in the area with a guide, namely The Waterfall (6.5km); Sossyskloof (7.2km) and Panorama (17km) trails.

Porcupine Trail at Waterford Estate

Learn more about the rich diversity of the Cape’s indigenous fauna and flora with these three trail routes that vary in difficulty, duration and fitness required. Enjoy a light lunch and a selection of three wines after.

Kayamandi Walking Tour

This walk starts and ends at the Ikhaya Trust Centre in Kayamandi, during which your guide will fill you in on the history of the area, before taking you through the township. You’ll also visit community shops, businesses, schools and attractions.

Stellenbosch Vlakte on Foot

The tour delves into the history of apartheid through stories of families that were forcibly removed from the centre of Stellenboch in 1964. It weaves through Stellenbosch and includes a visit to Luckoff museum.

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 07 July 2021