Few coastlines are as primed as Cape Town’s for a rewarding run. Bathed in sparkling light and refreshed by sea breezes, the city’s shoreside routes are spectacularly picturesque. Above them, a suite of mountain paths offers endurance training and spectacular views. Here, we present the most charming running routes in Cape Town, from short jogs to longer tracks, all easily accessible from The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.
At the north-western tip of Cape Town lies the lively V&A Waterfront. Two scenic running routes call this exciting harbour stretch home: one is two and a half kilometres, the other five. The runs themselves are easy-going, with well-planked boardwalk and stone walkways underfoot. Yet the experience is made not by the terrain but by the view. The Waterfront is an enthusing mix of pastel-hued antebellum architecture and sleek contemporary developments, with Table Mountain to one side, Robben Island on the other. For the most popular Cape Town running route, arrive in the early evening, when the centre’s many lights spill out like marbled ink into the harbour’s lapping waters.
The Pipe Track
The Pipe Track spans from Kloof Nek to the hills above Camps Bay and Bakoven. Though starting in the heart of town, the trail quickly abandons its urban origin and plunges into the gorgeous Twelve Apostles mountain range. Few running routes in Cape Town are as liberating. Coastal breezes sweep up from the bays below, while the rustle of bush scrubs and milkwood trees is meditative. All the while, a gorgeous view over Cape Town is your faithful running companion. The experience, though blissful, is no easy jog. From Kloof Nek to the Woody Ravine Trail and back is almost 10 kilometres—an ideal challenge for the determined.
Lion’s Head to Signal Hill
This esteemed trail is arguably Cape Town’s most premier running route. Spanning a little over eight kilometres, the path progresses from Signal Hill car park and hugs the base of Cape Town’s signature Lion’s Head peak. Throughout the circular run, the view is a rotating carousel of Cape Town’s many majestic districts. Meanwhile, the terrain is easier than that of the Pipe Track, making it a scenic starter option for less experienced joggers who want to experience the unique hillside trail.
Sea Point Promenade
Framing Cape Town’s coast, the Sea Point Promenade is a waterside runway ideal for easy, short runs and longer timed trials. This pedestrianised pavement spans practically the entire city shoreline, and runners can join at any point and pound its smooth paths for as long as they please. The route attracts large numbers of keen joggers but the sweeping coastal views and gentle rumble of waves more than compensate for the populated paths.
The Tafelberg Road snakes just over six kilometres up the side of Table Mountain. Starting just past the cable car entrance, the road is tarmac, and, despite an initial climb, remains fairly even given its hillside location. The road is free of cars, so the only traffic you’ll have to worry about are cyclists and local dog-walkers. The views throughout Tafelberg are the best you could ever conjure of Table Mountain: on temperate days, witness low-lying clouds periodically blanket its crest. For the most romantic run, rise early in the morning as the slumbering mountainside mists gradually rise with the golden Cape sun.
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa for nearby access to Cape Town’s running routes and views over its incredible landscape.