Closest Town: Hermanus
Grading: Moderate to Difficult | Duration: Green (6.5km) 30-60 minutes; Blue (15km) 1–2 hours; Red (25km) 2–4 hours; Black (35km) 3–5 hours
Location (Area/Province): Overberg & Southern Cape and Western Cape
Configuration: Circular and return options
Start Point: Merry Pebbles resort
Access: From Wine Village or Euodia Cycles
Beware of: Slippery tree roots in winter along forest sections
Facilities: Bicycle shop, toilets, restaurants at start
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‘Heaven & Earth’ sounds like a pretty good place to start with an MTB stop-over, right? If you’re travelling from (or to) the Mother City, you’re looking at an easy journey on either side, and a superb ride to boot. Get on your bike and come and explore this beautiful valley with its awesome views, stunning wineries and awesome tracks.
On your bike
Starting from the Hemel and Aarde Village, the route follows the tar road into the valley – look out for the route markers on the left dropping into single track along the river winding into the valley. This is flat with a slight drag up till the Camphill turnoff. Here you turn left and follow the gravel road. The BLACK route will zigzag up a challenging climb, but is well worth the climb if you want to enjoy some of the ever increasing singletrack between the bluegums. The GREEN route also returns home from here via some awesome non technical singletrack all along the Onrus River.
The BLACK, RED and BLUE routes will continue climbing into the valley past CAMPHILL, where the black route once again goes for a lung busting loop (again well rewarded with newly opened jeep tracks). Once you enter Volmoed say good bye to the BLUE route, which winds its way back via Plaaskombuis (a popular breakfast stop) along the river in flowing single track towards the start.
The BLACK and RED routes will continue climbing up the valley on the banks of the Onrus River Gorge. Watch out for stunning waterfalls and once you hit the top of the climb you may want to take a break at SUMARIDGE for a wine tasting. The RED route winds further down the valley past BOUCHARD FINLAYSON, HAMILTON RUSSELL and SOUTHERN RIGHT wineries all the way home.
The BLACK route meanders through vineyards and berry farms all the way to MOGGS COUNTRY KITCHEN where a lovely cup of coffee and scones awaits. After this welcome breather, the route continues past wineries such as Newton Johnson, La Vierge, Bouchard Finlayson, Hamilton Russell and Southern Right. There are some breathtaking views, awesome single track and jeep tracks and be on the lookout for some whales once you hit the top of Rotary Drive. You can also pop into Euodia Cycles for all your cycling needs.
Off your bike
Visit any of the many restaurants and coffee shops in the Hemel en Aarde village. During the whale season (July to November) be sure to do some whale-watching. For the more adventurous there is sea kayaking, quad biking, paintball, tree-top slides and shark cage diving. All these activities can be booked at Euodia Cycles.
GPS 34°24’39.1” South / 19°12’00.6” East