Weekend Getaway: Clarens
A mere 3 hours drive from Johannesburg, South Africa Clarens is one of my favourite destinations for a weekend getaway. Situated in the Eastern Free State, surrounded by the beautiful Rooiberge mountains and in close proximity to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, this quaint little town is a popular escape for couples on a romantic getaway as well as families on the lookout for an outdoor adventure. The town offers a variety of accommodation, activities and child friendly restaurants, all perfect for a family excursion. Here is a list of our favourite things to do in Clarens:
Arts & Crafts
The town square in Clarens offers a plethora of art galleries and quaint shops filled with arts and crafts, curios, gifts, decor items, clothing and more. There are also various coffee shops and child friendly restaurants available, so if you love a leisurely day, filled with browsing and chatting to friends and family over a glass of wine or a hot cup of coffee and a delicious meal, this town will not disappoint.
Indulge in Craft Beer
This popular micro brewery, cidery and distillery and brewpub is arguably one of the go to destinations in Clarens and if you are a fan of the craft revolution in our country, be sure to visit Clarens Brewery. They offer brewery tours, beer tastings as well as a German inspired pub food menu and kids get to drink their cherry or apple juice for free.
Play a Round of Golf
If your husband, like mine, would prefer to play a round of golf over a morning of looking at art, then head on over to the Clarens Golf and Trout Estate. This beautiful venue offers tranquil scenery, accommodation, trout fishing dams and a golf course which meanders along a peaceful river.
Photo credit: theclarens.co.za
A Day at the Spa
Aahhhh...my favourite past time while on holiday is definitely a day at the spa and to me there is no better way to bond with my husband than indulging in a day of pampering. And if there are no babysitters available, well, then my husband takes over babysitting duty while I recharge my batteries. Clarens boasts two day spas: Clarens Wellness Day Spa and Body Bliss Day Spa perfect for a day of relaxation.
Horse Riding & Hiking Trails
The natural splendour which surrounds Clarens in simply breathtaking and a great way to explore this area is by taking on a horse, hiking or mountain bike trail. The Ashgar Equestrian Centre on Schaapplaats Farm offers mountain trails for experienced riders (which include game viewing) as well as shorter trails and picnic rides for less experienced riders and children. Birding sites as well as hiking and mountain biking trails are also available on this farm.
Bokpoort Cowboy Ranch also offers horse riding trails as well as hiking and mountain biking trails.
Photo credit Bokpoort.com
Go on an Adventure
To me there is no better way to bond with family and friends than to partake in an adventure together. My sister and I went white river rafting when we were teenagers and although we fought a lot at that stage (as teenagers do) that day (and for many days to come) we were the best of friends. We managed to bond over our mutual delight (and fear) involved in this activity. If adventure activities are your thing, visit Clarens Xtreme Adventures for quad biking, river rafting and abseiling.
Get an Education in Culture
The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is home to the Basotho Cultural Village which offers an insight into the daily lives and history of the Basotho people. Take a road trip to the village to get an education in the evolution of the Basotho culture, taste local beer and food and watch the traditional dances. You will also have an opportunity to buy some of the arts and crafts, pottery, fabrics, beadworks and more made by local crafters.
Tel: 058 721 0300