Cape Argus Cycle Tour

9 days
from
$2,165 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.9 / 5 from 8 reviews >
Challenging
Learn more
Trip code: 
MSH
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Drop Bars
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–14

Ride the world's largest cyclosportive event set amongst the Cape's spectacular backdrop

With its roots in the late 1970s, the first version of what is now called the Cape Argus Cycle Tour down the Cape Peninsula had 525 entrants. Year on year the number of participants grew and in 2016 there were over 35,000 enthusiastic cyclists taking part in what is now the largest individually timed cycle-tour in the world. The circular route, starting in Cape Town, takes you down 109kms of incredible coastal roads along the Cape Peninsula, past quaint villages and bays as far as the entrance of the Cape Point Nature Reserve before returning to Cape Town. For your time to be officially counted you will need to complete the route in under 7hrs (the fastest cyclists will complete the route in under 3hrs). During the week leading up to the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, we explore the delights of the Western Cape whilst warming up for the big event. We start off by following a large section of the race route itself, enjoying the stunning views of the Cape Peninsula before heading inland through South Africa’s famed wine region. Then it’s onto the semi-arid Little Karoo and on to the resort town, and whale capital of the world, Hermanus. Finally we ride along one of the greatest coastal roads anywhere in the world, the Whale Route, returning to Cape Town in time to register for the Argus.

Highlights

  • Take part in the world’s largest individually timed cycle sportive 
  • Explore the vineyards of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek 
  • Cycle the spectacular Whale Coast between Hermanus and Gordon's Bay

Key information

  • 8 days cycling with 100% vehicle support
  • 100% tarmac roads 
  • Mostly relaxed rides with a few harder climbs
  • Group normally 4 to 14. Min age 18 yrs
  • 8 nights in standard hotels and guest houses 

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local bike hire (available on request)
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Pace:

Approximately 2-6 hours cycling per day

Terrain:

100% tarmac roads with mountain passess 

Day by day breakdown
Day 125.0km/15.0miles
Day 260.0km/37.0miles
Day 370.0km/43.0miles
Day 460.0km/37.0miles
Day 560.0km/37.0miles
Day 680.0km/49.0miles
Day 730.0km/18.0miles
Day 8109.0km/67.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Cape Town; visit Cape Point and ride back to our guest house.

    Land only clients will be picked at our pre-tour accommodation in Cape Town before picking up those passengers on the group flights and heading to the Cape Peninsula. This afternoon we set up our bikes and have a tour briefing before heading out to the Cape Point Nature Reserve where we will walk to the lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope. We will then get on our bikes and cycle back to our Guest House.

    Cycle 25km.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Cycle to Cape Town.

    Today we ride to Cape Town following a large section of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour allowing us to familiarise ourselves with the route but also to enjoy the spectacular scenery. After an initial cycle along the naval road to the top of Red Hill looking out over False Bay, we head on the race route proper. We go via Kommetjie, Misty cliffs, Scarborough and through Noordhoek to the world famous Chapman's Peak Drive. We cycle over the peak to Hout Bay (the bus won't follow us up Chapman's Peak and instead will meet us at Hout Bay). After lunch we continue to Llundudnou and all along the coast to our guest house.

    Cycle 60km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Explore the world renowned winelands near Franschoek and Worcester.

    After an early transfer from Cape Town to Franschhoek we get on the bikes and cycle the Franschhoek Pass with its stunning views. We continue on back roads around the Thee Waterkloof Dam towards Nuy Vallei cycling past the Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve. We transfer the final section of main road to our guest farm.

    Cycle 70km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Cycle the semi arid Little and Grand Karoo to Barrydale.

    Today the scenery changes again as we cross into the semi-arid Karoo. We start with a transfer to Montagu before climbing behind the handlebars and cycling the scenic back roads of the Little Karoo. Our destination is the quiet, old, Dutch village of Barrydale nestled in a fertile valley surrounded by a colourful mix of vines, fruit and wild flowers.

    Cycle 60km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Ride through the hills and over the spectacular Tradouws Pass to Hermanus.

    Heading back towards the coast, today's main highlight is the spectacular Tradouws Pass. As we climb towards the top of the pass, there is an old prison camp which once homed the convicts who built the pass in 1873. From the top the pass is mainly downhill through the Langeberge Mountains. We continue through the small town of Suurbrak, built by the London Missionary Society in 1812. From here we have a short transfer along the N2 highway. We get back on our bikes and cycle through cultivated farmlands to Bredarsdorp. Following a late lunch we transfer to the resort town of Hermanus. Known as the whale capital of the world due to the Southern Right whales which come from late August to November.

    Cycle 60km
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Cycle the Whale Route, one of the world's most spectacular roads.

    One of the most spectacular coastal roads in the world, the Whale Route stretches out all the way to Gordon's Bay. We ride along this road with the Cape Fold Mountains to our right and the Ocean to our left, through Bettie's Bay and ending in Gordon's Bay. From here we get in the bus and transfer back to Cape Town.

    Cycle 90km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Optional morning ride; afternoon race registration.

    This morning we have the option of taking a short ride to do final checks on the bike before tomorrow's big day. In the afternoon we go out and register for the race and can spend some time taking in the atmosphere and browsing the stalls.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Race day, ride the Cape Argus Tour

    Today is the big day! Starting from the centre of Cape Town the cycle tour will take us along the M3 to Lakeside where we join Main Road. We continue through Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek. From there we take the coastal road to Simonstown and then go past the entrance to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. We continue to Scarborough and Oceanview before getting to Chapman's Peak and up Suikerbossie, finally arriving at Green Point.

    Cycle 10km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Cape Town.

    Today is a free day to explore Cape Town some more, do a bit of shopping at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, or possibly visit Robben Island. The tour ends in the afternoon.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

British passport holders and most European and Commonwealth Passport holders do not require a visa to travel to South Africa. Please note that all travellers to South Africa who do require a visa are required to have a minimum of 2 blank consecutive pages in their passport i.e. a left hand page and a right hand page to enable an entry visa to be issued.

Please note that new regulations from the 1 June 2015 mean that any child under 18 travelling to South Africa needs to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate with the names of both parents.

If a child under 18 is only travelling with a single parent, they will also have to have an affidavit, no less than 3 months old, from the absent parent confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory but some vaccinations are recommended. These include typhoid, yellow fever,hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) andinfluenza.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners are included.

The tour leaders do all the shopping and meal planning for each group. Each tour has a cool box for cold drinks. We will supply the following drinks: fruit squash served with breakfast and tea or coffee served with breakfast and dinner. All other beverages will be at your own expense.

Weather

The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate characterised by dry warm summers and mild winters. March is the end of summer with average high temperatures generally around the mid-20s and average lows around the mid-teens. The weather is generally sunny, and wind is generally not too much of an issue during this time of year.

MSH

Is this trip for you?

This is a road cycling holiday.

Activity Level: 5 (Challenging).

Average daily distance: 54km (33 miles)

Number of days cycling: 8 with full vehcel support, apart from the day of the event when there are mechanical support areas and feed stop along the route.

We recommend using a drop bar road bike or hybrid bike fitted with slick tyres. Both types of bike are available to hire through Exodus or you can bring your own.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Guesthouses

You will spend 8 days in standard hotels and guest houses. All the properties offer en suite bathrooms.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

African sunset

From the volcanic slopes of Kilimanjaro to the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains, Exodus has cultivated an ar

Exodus has been specialising in offering incredible, life-changing moments to our travellers for over 40 years; now,

  • Reviewed March 2017
    lucretia battle

    BOOK NOW FOR NEXT YEAR

    Another great trip from Exodus

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery was stunning, the people the whole experience WAS SENSATIONAL

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders , Layla and Bevan were amazing , knowledgeable, helpful and their choice of places to eat at nights were sensational . Picnic lunches were excellent too, well thought out and catered for everyone .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Plenty of hills ,steep decents , wind and heat even for the aussies it was hot - take suncreen

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    looking forward to next year , take plenty of sunscreen , as a whole this trip is excellent and well worth doing More than once
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Stuart Mceachan

    Cape Town Cycle Tour

    Great riding with lovely people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Coastal rides are truly amazing. Worth it for these alone.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very competent and capable. Amended the route on some days to cope with the windy weather.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of sun cream. Its hot ond you are exposed to the fierce sun all day.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Claire Mills

    Awesome (new favourite word after this trip)

    If you want to do a cycling sportive abroad that will in all likelihood, be one of the best things that you will ever do, then book this trip (but leave space for me as I want to go back!). Absolutely amazing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be actual cape Town Cycle Tour itself as I was on an absolute high all the way round (my cheekbones were hurting by the time I'd finished as I grinned for the whole 109km) and afterwards - wow. Everyone is out cheering you on, playing music, the atmosphere is electric. Other highlights were pretty much the rest of the trip - lying outside looking at the Milky Way, ride to Gordon's Bay, hill climb up to Signal Point and the views over Cape Town and the descents - awesome!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bevan - wonderful. He can certainly ride a bike which really helped with the training, very good organisational skills, his local knowledge of which wine to select is excellent, pretty nifty with the braai, one of the best guides I've had on an Exodus trip....what more can I say!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    take ear plugs as one of the places has very thin walls. Don't take more than one book as you won't read it, def need factor 30 as the sun was pretty strong, and take your own bike if at all possible (not a prob if you're direct with BA - around £120 return) - there is NO off road so your bike is safe!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go and do it - one of the best things you'll ever do!
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Adrian Pickering

    Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour

    A great 10-day trip through the stunning interior and dramatic coastal roads of South Africa. The cycling was testing but thoroughly enjoyable throughout. The trip was supposed to culminate with the Cape Argus 104km road race but nature intervened and wild fires meant the race was curtailed to a leisurely 47km.......no problems after a few 100km days in the saddle over the previous days. I will be back to do the whole race next year!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The coastal road from Hermanus to Gordon's Bay, followed by the optional 'Special K's' up to the top of a short, sharp hill. Gin and tonic never tasted so good!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. Peter and Andy were attentive and generous hosts, making sure each day was testing, informative, nutritious and fun. Peter was an excellent leader, thoroughly knowledgable and more than adept at imparting information regarding his country and its beautiful environment. Andy worked hard to ensure the bikes were serviceable and we were well fed. Both were fun to ride and relax with - thanks, fellas.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is challenging but achievable if you have a reasonable level of fitness. The emphasis is on cycling rather than tourism, so be prepared to fall off the aeroplane, build your bike, strap on the Lycra and be half way to Cape Point a few hours after landing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were blessed with a small group, which was different from other Exodus Trips I have been on, but this worked very well indeed. The only reason I haven't rated this trip with 5* is the curtailed road race, but this was outwith the control of the tour leader. If Peter and Andy lead next year's trip then I'll definitely be back.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Gordon Dewar

    MSH - Cape Town Argus Cycling Tour

    A fantastic break with great scenery, superb food & drink and most of all excellent cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although the Argus was curtailed, due to Bush Fires, it represented a wonderful end to the Trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter Albert was probably the Best Guide I have been on with Exodus. He adapted the itinerary to cope with bush fires, heatwaves, high winds & rain. His knowledge and passion for the Area really shone through. He was ably assisted by the Driver Edny, who provided, friendly and efficient Service whenever required.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take clothing for all conditions, especially the strong sun as it catch you out. Also ride at your own pace, it's your Holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definitely consider doing this Trip again, which is about the highest praise I could give it!
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Jo Kitley

    Cape Argus Cycle Tour

    A fantastic road biking trip in a beautiful part of the world, providing an excellent balance between cycling and seeing and experiencing the fantastic scenery, culture and food that the Western Cape offers. Every day was different, with both coastal and rural cycling and a couple of mountain passes thrown in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although the Cape Town fires meant that the Cycle Tour route was shortened and modified, it was still a fantastic experience to participate in this epic event.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Peter, was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the places we visited. We were a small group of 4 and he really tailored the trip to suit our needs. On many of the days the itinerary was modified to incorporate extra miles on the bike and our interest in wine tasting was also adequately addressed!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although not physically challenging, the weather was hot and some of the days were long (out and about for 12hrs +) because of everything we wanted to do - a trip to a winery, 90+km on the road and sampling the excellent local cuisine. For this reason a good level of fitness and stamina is required for this trip.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Stephanie Small

    Cape Argus Cycle Tour

    An excellent week of cycling in some stunning scenery, which is topped off with taking part in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour on the final Sunday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be the Cape Argus Tour itself which is wonderfully supported on closed roads by thousands of local people. The Tour claims to be the largest timed cycle event in the world. Its well organised and the marshals and food stations were really helpful. But apart from the Tour, the day when you ride from Hermanus to Gordon's Bay along the Whale coast is one of the best roads I've ever cycled on - rolling, fast, and stunning views. It helps that was sunny too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tallus was an experienced guide and made sure we were well looked after. He even organised an experienced local who had done the Tour before (his dad!) to come and chat about the event the night before we rode the Argus. There is also a support vehicle which you can use if you want to take a break from the bike anytime during the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are keen road cyclist already it is really worth taking your own bike out. The hire bikes were ok, but with such lovely smooth fast roads it was just such a pleasure to ride my favourite bike from home. The "Essential Info page" implies there is off road sections but there were none on our trip. A road bike was fine for this trip. The trip notes still say "wind is generally not too much of an issue during this time of year" - this is not true! The Cape can be very windy with strong sou'easter. But this didn't spoil the riding.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The week before the Tour was a great warm up for the legs (about 60 to 70Km a day) for those of us based in the cold UK during the winter (the Argus runs early March). The riding is well paced all week with plenty of stops. I met many people at the airport flying in with bikes to "do the Argus" on their 4th or 5th or xth year -now I know why, this event is addictive. I plan to go back again. This really should be on your bucket list of great places/events to ride in the world.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Andy Ross

    Cape Argus Cycle Tour

    South Africa's Cape region is quite simply an incredible place for cycling, with great roads and the most spectacular scenery! This holiday combines this with the chance to ride what must be the greatest cycle event anywhere in the world. A superb trip!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the Cape Argus race itself. It was well organised and the route itself is just stunning. There was also lost of local support on the climbs which helped me get to the top on more than one occassion.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader Talus was good and organised everything well, he gave us good support on the rides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off by the idea of the event. There are some serious professional rider at the front but the majority of people are just up for the challenge of completing the 109km ride at their own pace. It is very much like the idea of something like the London marathon, but on bikes!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This really is a one in a lifetime experience, get signed up for the trip!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 03 5492918