The beautiful mother city has much to offer, from fine cuisine and wine to stunning beaches and exquisite hiking spots. Hiking is a popular fitness activity, and why wouldn't it be when you can have a great time out with friends and enjoy beautiful views, that just keep getting better the higher up you go. There are multiple hiking trails in Cape Town and the surrounding areas. We have selected the top 5 hiking trails you have to experience.

1. Lion's Head

Lions Head A classic Cape Town hike, displaying magnificent views. Hiked by locals and tourists, Lion's Head can be climbed between 2-3 hours. You will encounter some climbing (chained ladders), so be warned. However, there is an alternative route that only adds an additional 30 mins to your trip if you are not up for a climb.

2. Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point A scenic hike that can take you anywhere from 2 hours until 2 days... depending on what route you want to take. Hiking along Cape Point, you have access to wonderful diverse views from fynbos to empty beaches, shipwrecks and if you are lucky, you may even spot some whales splashing around!

3. Platteklip Gorge

Platteklip This hike is ideal for those wanting a good workout and for some wanting a less strenuous hike - you can always take the cable car down (just be aware of the operational times to ensure you don't miss your lift down). The journey should take you around 3 hours, unless you are a ridiculously fit trail runner, then it may only take you an hour.

4. Skeleton  Gorge

Skeleton Hike your away up from one side of the mountain to the other while enjoying the fynbos flora and the shade (at certain parts) of the indigenous trees. This hike starts at Kirstenbosch Gardens and will take you between 2 - 4 hours. This hike is not for the fainthearted and is suggested that you have good overall fitness, as certain parts are rocky and slippery.

5. Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools Cool off in the rockpools at Crystal Pools! This mellow hike is perfect for those wanting to spend a day out in nature - while having the option to stop and swim at their leisure. The hike will take you about 3 hours. It is important to know, you can only hike here in summer - 1 November to 30 April and you need to book 2 working days in advance. 

When you go hiking, we recommend you let people outside of your hiking group know where and when you are hiking. @Safteymountian is a good resource for you to use. This is a free safety tracking service, comprised of volunteer search and rescue personnel. You can check in with them via a WhatsApp group. If they don't hear from you, they will send a message. If you are in an emergency, they will send a search party to find you. If you'd like to explore more hiking destinations around Cape Town, check out the Inside Guide's suggested trails.