Clarens, the jewel of the Free State

I’ve got news for those of you who might have thought that the Free State is just a blob on the map, the necessary “middle” of our country. This province boasts with a few well known jewels. One of these being a town called Clarens. Clarens is known for its spectacular sandstone mountains and wonderful climate; it is one of the most charming spots in South Africa. and has recently been acclaimed as the best Trout Fishing waters in South Africa. They also have stunning horse riding country, with this being their best kept secret.

When visiting this town you’ll find yourself surrounded by mountainous splendour. The Rooiberge is the range encompassing the village, whilst further on towards the southeast, the mighty Maluti’s stand proud in shades of purple and blue. All around is the sandstone cliffs with their multi-coloured layers – this horizontal strata is a unique geological feature of the area, and is known as the Clarens formation. Many homes in the Clarens Valley are made from Clarens Sandstone.

A specific rock formation was named after the titanic after the resemblance was noted by one of the residents. This happened after the supposedly unsinkable, sank. People around the world couldn’t stop talking about this tragedy which includes the people of Clarens. The titanic, like a sentinel, warm-heartedly welcomes all those who come and visit.

If, like me, you were wondering where this town got its name from…here’s the story.

President Paul Kruger had a big influence on this part of the Free State.  He went into voluntary exile in a town called Clarens in Switserland, a quaint little town, resembling much of this area in the Free State. To the people living amongst the beautiful surrounding sandstone, this seemed to be the perfect name for their town.

A walk through the town will please many different enthusiasts. You’ll be able to visit the numerous art galleries, shops and restaurants in the village. You’ll also be able to soak in the tranquillity of this town partially owing to the tree filled sidewalks. Clarens is endowed with more trees than most other Free State towns. The sight of willows and fruit trees in spring and Lombard poplars in the autumn turns this town into a main attraction, event, attracting many photographers, artists and nature-lovers alike. This town has a variety of outdoor activities available, such as walking, climbing, cycling, horse riding, fishing, golf, tennis, white river rafting, paleontological hikes, rock art hikes and game drives. The popular Golden Gate National Park is near Clarens, where you can go for scenic drives or on various hiking trails.

If you are a non-believer, you will find that seeing is believing. I dare you to come and experience this tranquil town filled with the richness that natural beauty has to offer.

Looking for accommodation while traveling?

SMS any `town name` in South Africa for example 'Bethlehem' to '36000' and we will return the details of 3 randomly selected establishments for accommodation in 'Bethlehem' to you. Note: Terms and conditions apply and messages charged at R3.00

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