Clarens, The Jewel Of The Eastern Free State

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Clarens is just a short hop, skip and jump away from Joburg. It is an utterly enchanting, special little haven with much to do, see and eat.

Clarens, situated at the foothill of its attractive feature, the Maloti Mountain, offers beautiful natural surroundings. If you’re looking to take a break from the hyperactive crazy of Jozi, book a weekend and drive out to this gem of a place. Here are some ideas of what you can get up to in this spot. It’s also perfectly fabulous to just amble around doing nothing, except deciding where to get your next piece of cake or colourful work of art.

Visit The Clarens Brewery

If you love beer, this is an awesome spot for you. Sip away on some fantastic brews at the well-known Clarens Brewery. This microbrewery is filled to the brim with delicious craft options, but don’t fret if you’re not a beer drinker – the brewery offers a range of ciders, too. They’ve also got a food menu to satisfy your stomach – items range from German sausages and meatball rolls to cheese platters and hot chips served with mayo, delish!

Indulge In A Spa Treatment

Clarens Wellness Day Spa is the perfect place to indulge in a little me-time. They use the fabulous Africology and boast a range of divine signature treatments, as well as a variety of packages that are sure to send you into a state of bliss. They offer packages for couples, as well as for kids, so you can pay the spa a visit with the whole family.

Experience Fine Dining At Clementines

Clementines restaurant is nothing short of fantastic. If you visit Clarens during peak holiday season, it’s best you make a booking for this spot as it’s quite popular and for good reason – their food is excellent. If you decide to pay them a visit, you should definitely try the oxtail stew … it’s a must!

Go For A Hike

If you love the outdoors, it’s definitely recommended that you take a hike along one of the many trails to choose from … if you’re up for a challenging, adventurous hike, the Cannibal Trail is for you. With overnight facilities in a cave, historic rock art and more, it’ll linger in your memories for years to come. An easier option is The Mushroom Rock Trail, a two-hour hike that offers many rest spots along the way. At the top of the hike is the Mushroom Rock, a great picnic spot where you can relax and take in the beautiful views.

Enjoy Art And Wine

Clarens is known for being an artsy town that oozes creativity. Works by Gregoire Boonzaier, J.H. Pierneef, Pieter van der Westhuizen, Aviva Maree and more are on display. The venue also sells a wide range of South African wine so be sure to pop in, view some stunning art and take a bottle or two away with you.

Go Horseback Riding

Why not go on a horseback riding adventure? Just four kilometres out of Clarens, Bokpoort offers just that – in fact, it’s what they specialise in. This family-farm has been around since 1865 and overlooks the whole of the Clarens Valley – so be sure to take your camera along with you. If you’re not really into horseback riding, Bokpoort also offers mountain bike trails, clay pigeon shooting, trail running, team building and archery!

Be Extreme

If you thrive on adrenaline, you’ll love Clarens Xtreme. This adventure company offers all kinds of heart-pumping activities like white water rafting, quad biking, paintball, abseiling, MTB trails and much more. They also offer a shuttle to AfriSki, which is a ski resort in Lesotho! It’s just a two-hour trip out of Clarens.

Basotho Cultural Village

Experience authentic Basotho culture at Basotho Cultural Village. Visitors to the village will be taken on a tour, will get to taste traditional food and traditionally brewed beer, and will find out how arts and crafts are created. They also offer accommodation should guests wish to experience Basotho hospitality.

Dinosaur Tour

If you’re interested in dinosaurs, you have to take this tour. The tour begins with a talk about the geology and paleontology of the area, where you will learn about what Earth was like during the dinosaur era.

Hop In A Hot Air Balloon

View Clarens like never before as you float above it on a hot air balloon. Don’t forget to bring your camera along for this trip, as you’ll have oh-so-many photo ops. After your trip, enjoy a delicious breakfast in the village of Clarens.

Compiled By: Melissa Jane Cook. Source By: Sue Van Winsen.