Discover Clarens, “The Jewel of the Eastern Free State” in South Africa

Clarens South Africa

Why Clarens is called “The Jewel of the Eastern Free State”

Clarens South Africa
Flickr by gogginsowrld

When visiting the enchanting place of South Africa, you should never miss the serene life experience of Clarens. This town is described as “The Jewel of the Eastern Free State” as it offers a sentimental value which captures everything about South Africa.

Clarens is located in foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State province of South Africa. Free State is the current borders and the only one of the four original provinces of South Africa. The small town of Clarens is surely the place to be if you’re looking for an exquisite African adventure and thrill.

In this article, let’s explore the wonders of Clarens, South Africa and discover its unique culture, rich history, and why it is termed as the Jewel of Free State.

History of Clarens

In 1910, a farm called “Leliehoek” was bought to establish a village. After the finalizing the negotiations, they name the village “Clarens” to give honour to President Paul Kruger. Together with a commando of burghers, Paul Kruger defeated the Basotho at the Free State-Basotho War in 1865. He spent his last days in Clarens, Switzerland, and so the village was named after a Swiss town.

What’s in Clarens?

As the Jewel of the Free State, Clarens remains the quintessential country retreat that is a purely charming weekend bolthole for Gautengers who are city-strained. The tree-lined streets, quiet, craggy backdrop limestone, sandstone character homes, thriving art galleries, quaint guest houses, restaurants, and several bustling village squares.

All of these combinations describe how Clarens became the jewel of the Free State.

What to do in Clarens?

Clarens, South Africa has a lot to offer to the visitors that would make them enjoy their South African visit. 17 kilometers from Clarens is the only and most famous landscape in the Free State, the Golden Gate Highland National Park. Known for its cliffs, caves, rocks, and wildlife such as mongooses, zebras, and eland.

Along Durban’s spectacular Golden Mile, this sandy beach that is popular for its safe swimming known as the North Beach. One of the finest water sports in Durban, this is best for vacation goers who are planning to visit Clarens that is 389 kilometers from Durban.

Below is the list of fun activities that you can do while you’re on the Jewel of the Free State.

The Clarens Brewery

Clarens Brewery
Flickr by Coda

If you’re one of those people who love to drink beer, then visiting the Clarens Brewery will surely give an experience of a lifetime. This brewery is well-known for its wide range of beers that are deliciously crafted to satisfy the drinkers. If you’re not a beer drinker, however, they also offer ciders, so don’t worry.

Beers aren’t also their specialty, they also got food menu for your stomach from meatball rolls, hot chips, to German sausages.

Go for a hike

Clarens Rocky Outcrop

If you’re a thrill-seeker, hiking in Clarens gives every hiker a wonderful experience. There are numerous trails to choose from. For example, if you’re up for an adventurous hike, you can go for the Cannibal Trail. In this trial, you can visit historic rock art, caves, and so much more.

For first-time hikers, you can also opt for the Mushroom rock trail which an easy 2-hour hike. You can enjoy the wonderful view of the stunning Mushroom rock and picnic on the grass while seeing breathe-taking views.

Enjoy the wine and art

Clarens is well-known for its wonderful collection of arts and captures the South African artist’s creativity. There are many ranges of art galleries you can visit in the jewel of the Free State and view the exquisite arts of Pieter Van der Westhuizen, GregoireBoonzaier, Aviva Maree, J.H. Pierneef, and so much more.

While you’re in there, you can also enjoy a bottle of wine that is sold on the different venues.

Go Horseback Riding

Visiting Clarens, South Africa is not completed without trying to visit the different ranch for horseback riding. One of the famous places to enjoy horseback riding is on Bokpoort which is about 4km outside of Clarens. This family-farm has a rich history in the Clarens Valley.

So, be sure that you take a camera with you to capture the stunning view of the valley. They also offer numerous activities such as clay pigeon shooting, archery, team building, and mountain bike trails.

Relax in a spa treatment

After a long day and experiencing different activities in Clarens, ending the day with me-time is perfect. You can enjoy and relax with several Spa salons like the Clarens Wellness day spa. They offer are a range of treatments based on the Africology products. These will surely give you a boost on the next day of your adventure and exciting activities in Clarens, South Africa.


The wonderful place of Clarens obtains the term jewel of the Free State for many reasons, from the authentic culture, wonderful places, wines, and beers, rich history, to several fun activities.  This place captures the creativity and wonder of South Africa and Clarens is truly a phenomenal place to visit.


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