Environment: The scenic setting, mild climate, nature areas, and the rather special Clarens village vibe all contribute to making Clarens a natural choice both for the people who live here and for visitors from elsewhere in South Africa and around the globe. The geological history of the area can be read in the sandstone cliffs which surround Clarens and give Clarens its scenic setting and depending on which geological layer you find yourself you may find crystals (in the black rock at the top of the cliffs, or where, as a result of erosion they have washed down into river beds) or fossils dating back millions of years. The Rooiberge virtually cradle the town, and to the east Mount Horeb at 2449.5 meters above sea level, overlooks the town of Clarens 639.5 meters below. (Incidentally Mount Horeb has a yellow smiley face, smiling down on the town. This is a radio relay station for the Clarens Police Station.)
The natural grassland areas around Clarens are rich in wild flowers which add an extra dimension to the enjoyment of the many hiking trails in the area. (Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve are a regular feature of the Clarens News newsletters. Click here to learn more about the plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve.)
Clarens also has The Golden Gate Highlands National Park on the doorstep: scenic drives, game viewing, hikes ….. and lots more.
Art and craft: Clarens is often referred to as the Art Mecca of South Africa. And given that Clarens has over 20 art galleries and that so many artists have chosen Clarens as their base, this is hardly surprising. Visitors are invited to do the Art Route, or simply stroll from gallery to gallery to enjoy the wide variety of artwork on offer. Many of the galleries and artists offer also offer art courses giving and aspiring artists have a chance to explore a wide variety of media, find inspiration or simply have some fun. Click here to go to the Art page
More and more crafters are now also making their home in Clarens, and you will find interesting articles – many of them made in Clarens – on offer in some of the shops. Crafts vary from leatherwork and glass work, to hand-made knives, candles and soft furnishings.
Adventure: Click here to see the wide range of activities on offer in Clarens. Those wishing to venture further afield (to Lesotho or neighbouring towns) will find a wide range of tours on offer, or alternatively, they can explore the area on their own. (Click here for self-drive routes you can do from Clarens.)
Clarens Village Nature Reserve. The Clarens Village Nature Reserve is within easy walking distance of the town square, and there are well-marked trails for hikers to enjoy. Mountain bikers are also welcome, but need a permit to access the trails. Click here for more information on The Clarens Village Conservancy (which manages the Clarens Village Nature Reserve) and here for news on the Nature Reserve in particular. Click here for more information on hikes available in the area.
Shopping. Shopping in Clarens is the antithesis of the shopping mall experience, and Clarens is edge to edge with interesting shops – many of them stocking items which are not easily available elsewhere in South Africa. Click here to go to the shopping page.
Wine and Dine, stop for tea or coffee, enjoy a beer or grab a snack at one of the delicatesens. Clarens has many excellent restaurants, coffee houses, tea shops, bars and delis. There is something to suit every palate, whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or some hearty pub grub, it’s all here in Clarens. Click here
There are also many interesting places to visit within easy access of Clarens.
Click here for self-drive sightseeing routes you can do from Clarens.