Visitors to the Cape know all about the treasures of Constantia, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek; three exquisite wine destinations, packed with internationally renowned wine estates and Michelin starred restaurants. Their younger sister, Wellington, while much smaller in size, is also starting to turn heads.
In the Bovlei Valley, a few kilometres from the agricultural town and nestled at the base of the Hawequa Mountains, are a handful of blossoming boutique wineries producing excellent red wines, that also offer visitors a rare atmosphere of total seclusion and tranquillity.
Serenity aside, the main reason we at Cape Vélo are in love with Wellington is its abundance of excellent single track and gravel riding! In recent years, the area has upped its cycling kudos, due to its inclusion in the ABSA Cape Epic, an annual mountain bike stage race, covering 700 kilometres over 8 days that has attracted elite professional mountain bikers from all over the world.
In an attempt to unify the region’s cycling efforts, Wellington recently launched the Wild Boar Trails, which offers 4 routes of spectacular, purpose-built single track and jeep trails as well as gravel roads. Routes range from 17-56km and vary in technical difficulty.
For road cycling enthusiasts, Ride Wellington offers an equally appealing day out in the saddle in the form of the historic Bains Kloof Pass. Built in 1854, the pass was masterminded, designed and constructed by Scotsman, Andrew Geddes Bain. It became the official ‘Gateway to the North’ for those seeking fortune at South Africa’s diamond and gold fields. The pass has been issued national monument status and on the steady 7km climb to the top, cyclists are rewarded with unrivalled views of the vineyards below, as well as a chance to take in the sights and smells of the region’s indigenous flora and fauna.
If you’re interested in a weekend cycling escape to Wellington, Cape Vélo offers 3-day customised packages that offer the chance to explore the area on your bike, taste the local wine, and put your feet up in a luxury winelands’ hotel or guesthouse.