Clarens is a small town in the eastern part of South Africa’s Free State province. Affectionately known as the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State”, it’s a famous location for locals and tourists. The town is teeming with things to do, whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure. Sample the local cuisine, explore the magnificent Golden Gate Highlands National Park, or enjoy exhilarating experiences. This teases what the town and surrounding area offer. Are you ready to discover the top 20 things to do in Clarens?
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Great Things to Do in Clarens
1. Mt Horeb Manor
This family-run, upscale B&B resides in a beautiful garden. It’s a great place to stay for a romantic or family vacation. Mr Horeb Manor offers its guests seven refined rooms with views of the mountains or gardens. The manor also has a two-bedroom suite available for a little more space. Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the property, so you can stay connected even while on vacation. Families are welcome at Mr Horeb Manor, and children 16 years of age and older will also enjoy their stay.
Address: 139 Roos Street, Clarens
Contact: 076 392 2605
2. Clarens Golf & Leisure Estate
Are you looking for relaxing things to do in Clarens? Look no further than the Clarens Golf & Leisure Estate. The estate offers breathtaking views, an array of activities, and plenty of opportunities to relax and recharge. The centrepiece of the Clarens Golf & Leisure Estate is, of course, its 18-hole golf course. The course is situated on a cliff, offering stunning views of the area. Are you not a golfer or need a break from the links? There are many other activities to enjoy on the estate. Take a dip in the pool, hit some balls on the tennis court, or explore the hiking trails.
Opening times: The estate is open daily from 08h00 to 17h00 on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 08h00 to 16h30 on Tuesday and Friday to Sunday.
Contact: 058 256 1270 / 058 256 1319
Address: Unnamed Road off R711, Clarens
Also Read: The 20 Best Spas in Johannesburg
Tucked away in the picturesque town of Clarens is a hidden gem waiting to be found by foodies. Gosto is a Portuguese restaurant with a menu that will tantalise your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Expect an authentic Portuguese meal made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. If you’re looking to experience Portugal without leaving South Africa, this is the place for you! Some highlights from the menu are prego beef rolls, Gosto’s full chicken, and crackling pork chops.
Restaurant times: Gosto is open daily from 12h00 to 22h00.
Menu: Gosto Menu
Address: Market Straat Oos Straat, Clarens
4. Clarens Town Square
Are you looking for a charming place to stroll while discovering things to do in Clarens? Then look no further than Clarens Town Square. The square is a park surrounded by various shops, cafés, and art galleries. Clarens Town Square is the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring. Take a tour through the park, admiring the lush green space, mountain views, and several monuments highlighting the town’s history.
Opening times: 24 hours
Address: Between Market Street, Main Street and Van Zyl Street, in Clarens
5. Highland Coffee Roastery
This micro-roastery and café offer artisanal coffees and pastries. Highland Coffee Roastery takes excellent care and pride in roasting their 100% Arabica coffees to perfection in small batches. Relax with a cup of freshly roasted, freshly ground, and perfectly prepared coffee and enjoy the beautiful views. Try one of their single-origin coffees or the espresso and mountain blends. Besides the delicious beverages, don’t miss out on their light meals and desserts, such as carrot cake or almond croissants.
Opening times: The roastery is open daily from 07h30 to 16h30 from Monday to Saturday and 07h30 to 15h30 on Sunday.
Address: 354 Van Zyl Street, Clarens
Contact: 058 256 1136
6. Mont d’Or Clarens
Nestled in the hills of Clarens, this tranquil hotel offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and golf course. Mont d’Or Clarens is just a short drive from Surrender Hill and Golden Gate Highlands National Park. This hotel is a superb base for exploring all the things to do in Clarens. The Mont d’Or Clarens has everything you need for a relaxing getaway. Choose from a selection of classic rooms with flat-screen TVs and en-suite bathrooms. Guests also get access to a casual restaurant and spa offering massages and facials. Wi-Fi is available in public areas, and there’s on-site parking and breakfast. Conference and event facilities are also available.
Address: 502 Sias Oosthuizen Lane, Clarens
Contact: 058 256 1224
7. Baris Monger
We are excited to introduce Baris Monger, one of the best delis in town! All their products are made on the farm. From cheese and condiments to breakfast and lunch items, there’s something for everyone. Their cheese and wine tastings are the perfect way to sample their delicious offerings. Espresso-based beverages are the ideal way to start your day. Their toasted sandwiches or tartines make a delicious lunch option. And remember dessert! Their cheesecake and farm-made ice cream are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Opening times: Baris Monger is open on Monday and Wednesday to Saturday from 08h30 to 16h00 and Sunday from 08h30 to 13h00.
Address: R712, Clarens
Contact: 073 048 5785
More Awesome Things to Do in Clarens
8. Clarens Retreat
Nestled in the picturesque mountains, discover the ideal getaway for anyone looking to escape the buzz of city life. With incredible views and easy access to local amenities, this guesthouse is perfect for anyone looking for things to do in Clarens. Just a 3-minute walk from Blou Donki Gallery and 2 km from Titanic Rock, this simple guesthouse offers stunning views of the mountains that are perfect for any Instagram lover. Each room has a flat-screen TV and a kitchenette with a minifridge, microwave, and tea and coffee-making facilities. Upgraded rooms also include seating areas and fireplaces.
Address: 411 Main Street Clarens (the various units are spread along Main Street)
Contact: 083 262 5104 / 082 443 8419
9. Clarens Xtreme Adventure Company
Are you looking for a fantastic adventure that will create lasting memories? Look no further than Clarens Xtreme Adventure Company! Not only will you have an unforgettable time, but you’ll also be supporting a company that cares about its guests. At Clarens Xtreme, you can conquer your fears and try something new. There are endless possibilities, from various adventure sports to cultural tours and family vacations. No matter what you’re looking for, you will find it at Clarens Xtreme.
Opening times: Clarens Xtreme is open daily from 09h00 to 17h00.
Price: You can request a price list.
Address: 531 Sias Oosthuizen Street, Clarens
Contact: 058 256 1260
10. Il Castello Boutique Hotel
Enjoy all that the Il Castello boutique hotel offers while exploring things to do in Clarens! Their luxury Waterford House is ideal for a romantic getaway. At the same time, their San Rock guesthouse is excellent for families or groups. In addition, the hotel’s Limoncello restaurant offers a delicious Italian dining experience. Lastly, their outstanding staff will ensure your every need is catered for. So make sure you take advantage of the warm welcome at Il Castello Boutique Hotel.
Address: 29 Hill Street, Clarens
Contact: 058 256 1543 / 079 500 1914
11. Clarens Kloof Dam
A day spent at the Kloof Dam in Clarens is a guaranteed good time. The dam is perfect for fishing, swimming, and picnicking. The dam is stocked with bass, trout, and yellowfish, so there’s no shortage of options. If you’re looking to cool off, the Kloof Dam is the perfect spot. There are several picnic tables located around the dam, so it’s easy to find a place to set up your blanket and enjoy a meal with friends or family. Just remember the sunscreen! Kloof Dam is easy to get to, even if you’re on foot, and is a short 5-minute walk from the parking area. Just be sure to obtain a permit before you go!
Opening times: Daylight hours
Address: Clarens Nature Reserve
Contact: 082 881 6251
12. Patcham Place B&B
Find a charming bed and breakfast in the Maluti Mountains’ stunning foothills. Patcham Place B&B is excellent for those wanting some tranquillity while discovering things to do in Clarens. With only five rooms, this modest bed and breakfast offers a more intimate setting than your average hotel. Each room is decorated with modern flair and comes complete with all the amenities you need for a comfortable accommodation experience, including Wi-Fi, a TV, and a heated floor. And what’s more, every room has a balcony or patio with breathtaking views of the mountains.
Address: 262 Church Street, Clarens
Contact: 082 416 3687
13. Clarens Brewery
Clarens Brewery is one of South Africa’s first brew pubs, cideries, and distilleries, set in the foothills of the magnificent Maluti Mountains. The company has a fun-loving team that brews, serves, and enjoys excellent beers, ciders, and distillates. Clarens Brewery is part of the fantastic craft revolution sweeping our country. The brewery handcrafts full-grain ales using the finest malts and hops sourced locally and internationally without compromising quality. They have been brewing since 2006 and have eight ales in their standard range, complemented by various seasonal ales and festival specials.
Opening times: Monday to Thursday from 10h00 to 19h00, Friday to Saturday from 10h00 to 22h00, and Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00.
Menu: Clarens Brewery Menu
Address: Shop 1, Rosemary Centre, 326 Main Street, Clarens
Contact: 058 256 1193
14. Clarens Wellness Day Spa
In today’s hectic world, taking time to relax is more important than ever. So escape the buzz of everyday life and enjoy some well-deserved pampering at Clarens Wellness Day Spa. They offer treatments that will leave you feeling rejuvenated while you discover things to do in Clarens. Treatments include facial therapy, body therapy, massage therapy, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and tinting. And what better place to unwind than the picturesque Clarens, nestled at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains?
Opening times: The spa is open from Monday to Saturday from 08h00 to 17h00 and on Sunday from 10h00 to 15h00.
Price: Treats range from R100 to R900.
Address: 410 Main Street, Clarens
Contact: 082 887 1503
15. Artist’s Café Clarens
The Artist’s Café is a family restaurant that provides superb country cuisine in a pleasant atmosphere. The café is fully licensed and has a kids’ menu. Mellow music and original art throughout the building will interest adult customers. The shady playground with farm-style décor and play toys, including a complete antique red tractor to climb on, will keep the children happy. Add friendly staff, and you have the ideal place to put your feet up, make yourself at home, and relax in the fresh mountain air.
Café opening times: The café is open on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 08h00 to 16h30, Tuesday from 08h30 to 16h00, Friday from 08h00 to 19h00, Saturday from 07h30 to 19h00, and Sunday from 07h30 to 16h30.
Address: Main Street, Clarens
Contact: 058 256 1404
16. Highlands Mountain Retreat
If escaping the bustle of daily life is what you expect from things to do in Clarens, look no further than Highlands Mountain Retreat. These eight wooden log cabins, situated 2200 metres above sea level, offer stunning views of the Maluti Mountains. They’re also spacious and perfect for wintertime thanks to their design that retains warmth. Kilometres of hiking and mountain biking trails nearby, perfect for exploring the stunning scenery. For more relaxation, take a yoga class in their on-site studio or enjoy a massage at their spa.
Address: Golden Gate National Park, Clarens
Contact: 058 255 1000
17. Roter Hahn
Are you looking for a German-style restaurant with excellent meals and a wide selection of beers? Do you want to enjoy a spectacular view while you eat? Then it would be best if you visited Roter Hahn. From sausage platters to schnitzel and mouthwatering desserts, there’s something on the menu for everyone. And if you need help deciding what to order, don’t worry; the staff is always happy to make recommendations. In addition, Roter Hahn offers an impressive selection of German beers and a rotating selection of local and international craft beers. Of course, Clarens is already one of South Africa’s most beautiful towns. Still, Roter Hahn takes it to the next level with its stunning mountain views.
Restaurant times: Roter Hahn is open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 09h00 to 19h30, Friday and Saturday from 09h00 to 20h30, and Sunday from 09h00 to 14h30.
Menu: Roter Hahn Menu
Address: Corner of Roos Street & Van Zyl Street, Clarens
Contact: 058 256 1888
18. Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Discover one of the country’s most appealing tourist hotspots while looking for things to do in Clarens. The park is home to various wildlife, including zebra, eland, kudu, and buffalo. It is also a haven for bird lovers, with more than 200 species recorded in the park. But what makes Golden Gate Highlands National Park truly iconic is its golden-hued sandstone cliffs and outcrops. To make the experience unforgettable, choose from some accommodations offered in the park, like Highlands Mountain Retreat and Golden Gate Hotel and Chalets (more on that below).
Opening times: 24 hours
Price: SA adults pay R63, and children pay R31. For SADC Nationals, adults pay R126, and children spend half. International adults pay R252, and children pay half.
Contact: 058 255 1000
19. Clementines Restaurant & Bar Clarens
If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Clarens, look no further than Clementines Restaurant & Bar. This quaint little spot is tucked away in the corner of the village, but don’t let that fool you – it’s one of the best places to eat in Clarens. The menu caters to upmarket country dining, with an assortment of excellent dishes. From mouthwatering starters to divine main courses and decadent desserts, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste at Clementines. And if you’re visiting Clarens on the weekend, make a reservation – this place is always in high demand!
Restaurant times: Clementines is open from Tuesday to Thursday from 11h30 to 14h30 and 17h00 to 20h00, Friday from 11h30 to 14h30 and 17h00 to 21h00, Saturday from 11h00 to 14h30 and 17h00 to 21h00, and Sunday from 11h00 to 14h30 and 17h00 to 20h00.
Address: Corner of Church Street & Van Zyl Street, Clarens
Contact: 079 355 1298
20. Golden Gate Hotel and Chalets
Now for the final item on our list of things to do in Clarens. Situated in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Golden Gate Hotel and Chalets offer a relaxed and comfortable stay. With stunning views of the mountains, this hotel is perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The rooms are well equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, and the suites offer even more luxury. The chalets are perfect for families or groups, with fully equipped kitchens and private patio areas. There are also plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your stay, including tennis, hiking, and biking. And be sure to try the delicious food at the hotel restaurant!
Address: Golden Gate National Park, Clarens
Contact: 058 255 1000
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Clarens well known for?
Clarens is a beautiful town in the Free State province of South Africa. The location is known for its excellent climate and spectacular sandstone mountains. Discover one of South Africa’s most picturesque spots. It has recently been recognised as one of South Africa’s best trout fishing waters.
Is Clarens worth visiting?
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from Durban, Clarens is a great option. Just a four-hour and 40-minute drive from the city, there are plenty of things to do in Clarens. Several restaurants serve local fare, and there are a few art galleries and shops. And if you’re looking to get out into nature, there are plenty of hikes to choose from, including the popular Rooiberge hike.
Picture: Antoinette Plessis / Unsplash
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