The tiny town of Clarens, nestled in the eastern Free State near the Lesotho border, is affectionately referred to as the jewel of the eastern Free State. Established in 1912, the town was named after the Swiss town of the same name, where former South African president, Paul Kruger, spent his exile.
Watched over by the Rooiberg Mountains and the Maluti Mountains a short distance away, the area is home to great art, food, picturesque scenery and thrilling activities for the whole family.
Many visitors from Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein have made Clarens their weekend holiday spot. The town is roughly a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein. The closest airport is in Bloemfontein.
The town of Clarens itself is only 12,68 km², so walking around while browsing the surprising number of great art galleries, crafts and restaurants is the best way to soak up the atmosphere. Despite its size, it has a vibrant, yet charming small-town feel, with a strong community of artists and creatives.
Outside of the town, those watercolour-perfect landscapes beckon. There are a host of experiences for the nature lover and adventure-seeker to choose from.
Adventurers can take their pick from hot air ballooning and mountain biking to abseiling. The Clarens Village Conservancy has many short hiking and walking trails, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. You can also mountain bike here – pop in at Clarens XTreme for details.
Travellers seeking tranquillity, nature and adventure, love to explore Clarens for good reason. Horse riding and hiking are popular. Travellers can also step back millions of years, exploring the region’s geological and palaeontology history. Of all its charms, the area is probably most famous for fly fishing and, according to the experts, it offers the best trout fishing in the country.
What to do in Clarens
Clarens has charm and atmosphere by the boatload. Take a stroll through the tiny town to explore the many galleries and restaurants, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at one of the many adventure-based activities on offer.
Where to stay in Clarens
Where to eat in Clarens