Closest Town: Villiersdorp
Grading: Intermediate | Duration: About 2 hours
Location (Area/Province): Overberg & Southern Cape and Western Cape
Configuration: Return/Circular Combo
Start Point: Farm Office
Access: Permission may be required for some farms. Contact Porcupine Hills
Beware of: Gravel wash-outs
Facilities: Self catering accommodation available. 5 guest cottages and a restaurant.
Cell Reception: Good
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A stunning little getaway, secreted within the undulating landscape between Bot River and Villiersdorp. Porcupine Hills aims to become completely off-the-grid, with wind- and solar power, and producing organic olives and other crops. Predominantly, the farm is being developed as a regenerating retreat, with yoga, meditation and such-like courses and escapes on offer. It is slightly more expensive than other establishments in the area, but the quality accommodation and laid-back vibe more than makes up for it.
On your bike
Porcupine Hills does not feature a huge amount of riding itself, but links to a good couple of hours of riding if you decide to explore the adjoining farms. Add to this an endless network of rural back roads, and you could be in the saddle for a full day.
The routes on the farm are best accessed from the office. From here, continue past the restaurant towards the River Chalets (2km), where you keep left past the cottages on a dirt track. A few hundred metres further, a steep 4×4 track to a viewpoint can kick you onto a steep 1.2km climb.
Grunt up and back down, then stick to the jeep-track, keeping right through the stream bed (4.2km) and up a winding ascent along the opposite ridge. This is rideable (in an extreme sort of way), so groan and bear it until you reach the border fence (6.1km). At the bottom, there is an option to continue over a style onto the next-door farm as well.
If you don’t have permission to continue, bang back down to the River Chalets and hang left to pass below the dam (7.6km). Continue along the track to an old rusted gate (you could go onto the neighbouring property) at 9.3km. At the aforementioned dam, keep left through a gate onto a gruelling and very loose climb into the rocky ridges.
Negotiate around 3-4km of rattle and roll, making your way in a clock-wise direction back to the dam (14.9km). At the Reception Office (16.7km), continue onto the public gravel road, either left or right, to add another 30km-plus to your ride.
Off the bike
A regenerating retreat, with yoga, meditation and escapes on offer, plus stunning hiking trails.
Villiersdorp lies adjacent to the scenic Theewaterskloof Dam, an aqua paradise for any water sport enthusiast. Paddling, swimming, sailing, windsurfing – go and indulge in a day at the dam, or explore the country cafes and farm stalls of this cute dorp at your leisure.
Telephone: +27 (0)74 288 3420
GPS: 34°06’50.0” South / 19°14’18.0” East