- Free State
The jewel of the Eastern Free State
Clarens is situated in the Free State Province of South Africa.
This sleepy village lies close to the entrance of the Golden Gate National Park, at the foot of Mount Horeb in the Maluti Mountains. Clarens has an aura of peace and tranquility, with just enough entertainment and activities not to be considered dull. This picturesque spot is endowed with more trees than most other Free State towns and has become one of the most popular holiday towns in the Eastern Free State. A mere 300 km from the main centres of Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Durban make it an ideal weekend getaway for city dwellers.
For the art and adventure of it
Many well known artists either live in or frequent the village on a regular basis, making it somewhat of an artist’s haven with many art galleries to visit. The Artists’ Amble is a route that takes in the local art galleries, run by and supplied by local Artisits.
Clarens also offers an abundance of nature loving activities such as horse riding, golf, fly fishing, hiking, white water rafting, caves to visit, pony trail into Lesotho and skiing in nearby Lesotho in winter. Ask any store for the local community magazine “The Speckled Bean” which has loads of information activities in Clarens.
There is plenty of accommodation in Clarens in the form of guesthouses, self-catering establishments, B&B’s, lodges and backpackers.
Things to do and see
- Golden Gate National Park
- St Forts Hiking Trails & Mushroom Rock
- Blou Donki Art Gallery
- Basotho Cultural Village
- Surrender Hill
- Art & Wine Gallery on Main
- Artefunto Contemporary Art Gallery
- Dinosaur Trail
- Schaapplaats Bushman Paintings
- Ash River Outfall
- Fertility Caves
- Clarens Brewery
- Clarens Golf Course
Rainfall occurs mainly in the mid-summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels. Winter nights can drop below freezing.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between -2˚C and 16˚C.
There are domestic and/or international flights into Johannesburg's O R Tambo Airport, Durban's King Shaka Airport or Bloemfontein's Bram Fischer Airport on a daily basis and car rental companies are available for easy access to Clarens. All three cities are approximately a three to four hour drive away.
February – Clarens Craft Beer Festival: Top performing SA Bands, excellent food and of course over 70 hand crafted brews on offer.
November – Cherry Festival: Possibly the most important event in the Free State, showcasing some of South Africa’s top entertainers to approximately 22 000 visitors.
President Paul Kruger died in exile in Clarens in Switzerland on 14 July 1904 and the village of Clarens in the eastern Free State, founded in 1912, was named in his memory.
The village lies beneath sandstone hills and close to the battlefield where five men of Paul Kruger's Transvaal Commando were killed in the Basuto War of 1866.
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