Popular Cycle Routes Around Franschhoek

Popular Cycle Routes Around Franschhoek

Cycling is one of those simple pleasures in life. You can take your cycling at a slow pace, allowing you to see, hear and smell the land around you in a different way, or you can inject a level of the extreme into your cycling to dominate tricky terrain and reach new heights.

However you like to pedal, Franschhoek makes a fine host for such an activity. In this blog post, we’re going to be sharing with you some of the best and most-loved cycling routes this slice of South Africa has to offer.

We’re catering for all types of cycling fans, from leisurely pedallers to off-roading mountain bikers, so sit back and relax and read on with anticipation for your next Franschhoek getaway.

Berg River Dam Cycling Trails 

You can reach the stunning Berg River Dam in just under 15 minutes by car when travelling from The Coach House.  

This large conservation area surrounding the Berg River Dam makes for many exciting cycling trails – there is a trail for every type of rider. All you need is either a day or annual permit and you’re ready to go.

Full Monty Biking Trail

Duration: 4-5 hours | Distance: 48km

To experience the whole Berg River Dam and everything the gorgeous Franschhoek mountains have to offer, the Full Monty is the trail for you.

This is an easy way to spend half a day filled with adventure, containing incredible views, hours of riding bliss and a fair share of calories burnt. This trail is a dream come true for the daring mountain biker, including such elements as:

  • Tough and rocky terrain
  • Challenging climbs
  • Various tracks
  • Hike-a-bike river crossings
  • Awesome Downhills
Franschhoek Berg River Dam

If you dare to take on this biking trail, be sure to pack plenty of food and make good use of the river crossings to replenish your water supply. Though don’t be too scared to take on this trail, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and call it a day before reaching the end.

Dam 360

Duration: 1.5-2 hours | Distance: 18km 

Mountain biking in Franschhoek doesn’t get much better than this, is the opinion of ours, our past guests and even locals.

At first glance, you’ll notice this track’s flat profile, but don’t let that fool you; there are plenty of challenges along this route that will force you to dig deep and keep on peddlin’ if you wish to ogle the awe-inspiring views of the dam.

On this Berg Dam cycling trail, you may be lucky enough to spot some local wildlife, including fish eagles, klipspringer, and snakes!

Taking on this cycling route will bring you across washed-out river crossings and the opportunity to cycle at dam level. Though be warned, some areas are partial to the odd flooding, so check with locals before venturing out during rainy seasons.

Matoppie Contour 

Duration: 2.5-3 hours | Distance: 14km

This is one of the oldest mountain biking routes in Franschhoek and it’s going to be the easiest ride available at the Berg River Dam.

So if you’re more of a leisurely rider, but still want to witness marvellous views and feel the gentle South African breeze rush against your cheeks, this trail may be best for you.

Don’t get us wrong, the track is short yet can get rocky in places and pay attention to washed-out segments. There are a handful of great stopping places where you will be treated to an array of diverse flora, including the rare Blushing Bride flower.

To finish off your day of cycling in Franschhoek along this route – that’s ideal for novice riders and beginners – enjoy a fun downhill to the end.

Matoppie Mast Climb 

Duration: 2-3 hours | Distance: 20km

The Matoppie Mast Climb is known as one of Franschhoek’s most iconic climbs and will take you to the highest peak possible along this Berg River Dam cycling trail network.

This trail is mostly loose jeep tracks that will test your ability. As an extra incentive to carry on, once you reach the very top of the mountain, the views are breathtaking – a 360° view of this naturally astonishing area.

Your Franschhoek bike tour is incomplete without experiencing this climb for yourself. After you’ve had your fill of towering views, some more loose and fast areas of track will lead you back down.

Don’t miss a particular turn-off that will allow you to cycle around the mountain on a lovely single trail. Even without that, you will still experience stunning views of the village and the Berg River Dam.

Skerpenheuvel/Snake Alley Loop

Duration: 2-3 hours | Distance: 19km

For this trail, we advise beginners to take care. This route is called ‘Skerpenheuvel’ which means ‘Sharp Hill’. Immediately, you will learn the reason behind the name with a steep climb up the mountain.

Cycle routes in Franschhoek don’t get much better than this one, that’s for certain. It offers the daring mountain biker a little bit of everything, such as:

  • Steep climbs
  • Fast downhills
  • Sweeping views of the Berg River Dam
  • Waterfalls to refresh you
  • Rocky terrain
  • Calm jeep tracks

This route is also known as ‘Snake Alley Loop’ as you will eventually be taken into the belly of the Franschhoek mountains (known as ‘Snake Alley’ by locals).

Just as your excitement levels will reach about maximum, you will end your adventure with a calm and gentle ride back down to the starting point.

Your Own Franschhoek Cycling Wine Tour 

When you stay at The Coach House, all you need for your own Franschhoek cycling wine tour is a bike and a map. There are so many wonderful wine estates that are just a stone’s throw away from your accommodation for your wine-tasting experience on two wheels.

These world-famous Franschhoek wine estates are just under 5km from us.


In Summary 

A Franschhoek bike tour, with or without the addition of wine tasting, is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one we recommend all of our guests partake in.

Will you be staying with us soon? If you are, then live-in managers, David and Jenny are at your service to help make your trip to Franschhoek one to remember for a lifetime.