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290km from Bloemfontein
300km from Johannesburg
395km from Durban

Clarens Snapshot

When the Titanic went down in 1912, such was the momentous nature of the tragedy it was even big news on the newly-laid out streets of Clarens. As timing would have it, the prominent rock feature towering over the town had yet to find a name... And so it was that Titanic Rock came to pass.

Unlike the ill-fated Titanic, Clarens has had a more fortunate journey. Today, it's a thriving tourist destination - the Free State's Greyton, if you like, with an attractive collection of sandstone buildings, art galleries, inviting eateries, coffee shops and delicatessens. Clarens has so far managed to retain its arty village vibe, thanks largely to its postcard setting.

With a vast spread of decent accommodation and enough to keep you occupied around the main square and gorgeous Rooiberge, we can see why Clarens is a popular escape for Gautengers and others fleeing the urban treadmill.

Things To Do

  • Trundle around Clarens’ collection of art galleries dotted around the main square. There's a big spread of work, including watercolour, ceramics, sculptures, photography, and functional artworks.
     
  • Toss a coin to decide where to eat next. There's a lot of choice lining the two main arteries, including the popular Clarens Brewery.

  • Hike or bike the area's easy-going and more challenging walking and MTB routes, mostly in the surrounding Rooiberge. A walk up to the Maluti Viewpoint from town makes for a great sundowner trip.

  • Up the adrenalin with an abseiling, climbing, white water rafting or quad bike adventure. There are several outfits in town offering their services.  

  • Satisfy the consumer in you. The town square is a good bet for an hour or two of guilt-free retail therapy.

  • Follow an old wagon trail on horseback on the picturesque Schaaplats Farm, while viewing a variety of wildlife (zebra, blesbok, wildebeest, etc) from the comfort of your saddle.
Getaways in and around Clarens
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From
R400pp

Ongeag

Clarens, Free State

Double-storey sandstone house with dramatic mountain views - 2km from Clarens

Dramatic mountain vistas, decent decor and a setting second to none, Ongeag Guest House is a well appointed double-storey sandstone abode a mere two kays from Clarens CBD. Judging by the happy guest ...

From
R400pp

Peter Bonney Studio Lodge

Clarens, Free State

Luxurious two-bedroom annex apartment in the heart of the village - in Clarens

Here's your opportunity to rub shoulders with a well-known 'hyper-realist' South African artist - and be cosy and comfortable at the same time. Peter Bonney's Studio Lodge (an annex to his actual stu...

From
R300pp

Schaapplaats Farm Cottages

Clarens, Free State

Rambling farm and equestrian centre with three rustic cottages - 7km from Clarens

There’s plenty of history lurking in the walls of the Schaapplaats farmhouse - this rambling farm hails from the days of the Basotho Wars, and the sandstone homestead is believed to have been a ...

From
R250pp

The Nellsbells Cottage

Clarens, Free State

Victorian-style double-storey house - in Clarens

What we like here is the happy mix of rustic simplicity and Victorian-style grandeur. And, looking at its Facebook page, we're not alone in giving the place the Budget Getaways preliminary thumbs up:...

From
R300pp

Alberry Cottages

Clarens, Free State

Large house split into two self-contained units - in Clarens

Centrally located and a mere hop from the action on town square, Alberry Cottage appears to be a firm favorite for those after a clean-cut, no-nonsense Clarens getaway. “Beautiful house in love...

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