Escape To Clarens, The Jewel of the Eastern Free State

Sometimes we just need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and kick back to the relaxed country way of living, and there's no better place to do that than at The Jewel of the Eastern Free State, Clarens. Wondering what to do out there? Then keep reading... 





Where To Eat



Clarens Brewery

Hanging out with great company, sipping on ice-cold draughts and tucking into some delicious grub – what more do you need to make a great outing with your loved ones? And if this is just the thing you're looking for after a long day hiking and being adventurous in and around Clarens, then Clarens Brewery is just the place to refuel, refresh and simply have a good time. This is one of the country’s first brew-pubs, cideries and distilleries, so you can expect to sample and enjoy great beers, ciders and distillate (request for the tasting board to sample a few options before placing your drink order), all while being part of the fantastic craft revolution that is sweeping our country. It is an absolute must-visit when you're in the area.

Clementine's

We all love a fabulous meal, which is why you need to visit one of the best dining options Clarens has to offer. Clementine's is one of the most exclusive restaurants in Clarens, where you can expect excellent food, a great atmosphere and friendly service. The pork belly, oxtail and steaks are all highly recommended. With such great food, you can expect this place to be busy and packed over the weekends and holiday season. To avoid disappointment on your next visit to Clarens (and Clementine's), make sure you book your table at this popular gem well in advance.

Sugar & Cinnamon

Whether you're after a delightful breakfast or something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Sugar & Cinnamon offers all things delicious from pancakes and glorious chocolate cake to home-style meals and good coffee, all with a stunning view of the mountains in the distance. Just a short distance away from Clarens, this is a hidden gem that gives travellers and even locals a great place to relax and enjoy the fresh air out on the countryside. Talk about a great way to start the day.



Where To Shop



The Purple Onion Deli

The Purple Onion Deli is hard to miss – it's situated around the town square (in the Clarens Windmill Centre) with a little windmill spinning away right next to it and the majestic mountains in the background. This quaint shop gives guests an exceptional country deli experience, unlike anything you'd find in the city. They source unique, handmade and special products that are made with yesteryear's recipe, including jams, fudge, coffee, marmalades, cherry items (seasonal), chocolates, pasta, preserves, biltong and much more. And best of all, it's all absolutely delicious.

The Cherry Company

Love everything that smells, tastes and even looks like cherries? Then The Cherry Company will be your cherry heaven! From the moment you walk into the shop, you smell cherries, as the shelves are stocked with all things cherry. And to delight your taste buds (one of my absolute favourites): the cherry liquor. Trust me, if you're nuts about cherries, this is one spot you cannot miss while visiting Clarens.

The Ugly Duckling

Who doesn't love quirky and interesting gifts? If you're looking to shop for something unique for family and friends or want to take something home with you to remind you of your visit to Clarens, then make sure you check out The Ugly Duckling. As their slogan says, it's "the shop that's worth a stop". This store will have everything from unusual gifts and furniture to carpets, mirrors, one-off items, toys, indigenous instruments and souvenirs.

Tobias Art

If you have a flair for all things artistic and creative, then Tobias Art is a must-visit. This spot is a landmark destination for discerning shoppers who are looking for that something 'out of the box'. They have everything from paintings, pottery and pillows to T-shirts, handbags, handmade soap, incense and jewellery. They even have interesting vintage toys in store.



Where To Play



Ficksburg Cherry Festival

If you are frequent visitors to Clarens, then you know all about the Ficksburg Cherry Festival. But if not, then you're in for a treat. Ficksburg is the cherry capital of the world and every year in November, they host the Ficksburg Cherry Festival that attracts many travellers and cherry lovers from across the country. A must during this festival is the Constantia Cherry Farm tour with a picnic and the McKinley Chocolate Tour. This year the festival will take place from 16 to 18 November 2017.

Plenty of hiking trails

Love the outdoors and spending time trekking along trails and exploring? Then Clarens is just the place for you, as it has plenty of hiking trails no matter your level of experience. If you want something quick and easy, then take the Spruit Walking Trail, but if you're looking to up the tempo and the time, then why not take the Kloof Hike that's about 2.5 to 3 hours long!

Outdoor Adventures

If it's adventure you want, Claren Destinations has it. There are plenty of extreme adventures you can experience in Clarens, all you have to do is book and enjoy. They offer a variety of experiences to get your adrenaline pumping, including river rafting, abseiling, paintball, hiking, rock climbing, enduro trails, zip- lining, quad biking, archery, fly fishing, a variety of day tours and even skiing and snowboarding in the colder months.



Where To Sleep



Kiara Lodge

There's a little bit of everything at Kiara Lodge. It makes for the perfect family getaway home as it has plenty of facilities to keep the little ones busy. These chalets are all complete with balconies that offer stunning views and are within walking distance to the dam, playground, swimming pool and restaurant. Also, you won't be too far away from the main street in town, as it's just down the road.

Protea Hotel by Marriott Clarens

This luxurious four-star retreat is nestled close to the Golden Gate National Park and the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Protea Hotel by Marriott Clarens exudes sheer style, luxury and design that blends in with the natural beauty of the stunning little town of Clarens. It boasts 70 luxurious rooms perfect for any occasion, whether you're planning a romantic getaway, team-building endeavor, a business conference or an adventurous weekend escape with the family.

Lake Clarens Guest House 

Apparently, this guest house has even hosted Brad Pitt... If you want 4-star luxury at its finest along, stunning country views and quick and easy access to town, then book a stay at Lake Clarens Guest House. Their luxurious rooms are furnished to make your stay as comfy as possible with queen-sized beds, TVs, fridges, snack basket and a safe, and are all tastefully decorated. And best of all, all bedrooms have an exquisite view of the lake and mountains.