Clarens is surrounded by some of the best scenery in the country. Four distinct seasons provide a visual feast of breathtaking landscapes drawn from nature's palette.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park is just 15 km away and is deservedly one of the area's major attractions featuring remarkable rock formations and cliffs, horse riding and numerous walks and hikes. There are 2 tarred loop roads near the camping site that offer exquisite views of the scenic Eastern Free State Highlands.
Beyond Golden Gate, toward Qwa Qwa, is the Basotho Cultural Village, which features exhibitions of traditional architecture, crafts and a resident Sangoma.
The Fouriesburg route is a scenic marvel of rolling farmlands and sandstone outcrops that are a photographer's heaven. From Clarens you will pass Surrender Hill, the famous Boer War surrender site battle site. This is where captured arms and ammunition were burnt and until this day nothing will grow here. On your left is the Old Mill Drift turn-off (tarred) which follows the Little Caledon River along our closest border with Lesotho, a scenic and interesting drive giving a glimpse into Lesotho's typical rural village life. Turn left on returning to the main road to carry on to Fouriesburg, the popular Oranje wedding venue is on the left hand side.
Fouriesburg is a low-key agricultural village with beautiful sandstone buildings and old-world courtesy. A visit to the Info Centre is a must. Situated on the north side of the historic NG Church, it is a treasure trove of mementos, gifts and information of and on the area. Take time to explore the local farm goods and craft shops and stock up on homemade produce, or stop for a bite to eat at one of the friendly pubs or coffee shops. Nearby, Meiringskloof offers easy to medium hikes where you can see the huge holkrans (sandstone overhang). Underground tunnels, eroded by water over the centuries, were used as a hiding place by the Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War.
From Fouriesburg you can easily access the towns of Ficksburg, Petrus Steyn, Paul Roux, Senekal and the quaint Rosendal. An 8km drive will bring you to the Caledenspoort Border Post, the closest access point into Lesotho from Clarens, and the quickest route to the Afri-Ski Lodge, but don't forget your passports.
Dams offering day fishing permits include Craigrossie on the Golden Gate Road and the Townlands Dam situated on the outskirts of Clarens. De Moelen (Golden Gate road) offers day tickets for a section of the Little Caledon River.
There are numerous hikes around Clarens that offer wonderful views of the village and surrounding area. The variety of birdlife that abounds in the area offers twitchers many hours of sightings set against a spectacular backdrop. Bookings for most activities can be made through Mountain Odyssey, a booking centre situated at the entrance of Clarens opposite the Caltex Petrol Station on the corner of the square.
Please note that Clarens has no banks, although there are ATM facilities conveniently positioned around town. The closest banks are situated in Bethlehem (35 km) as are the chemists. Please bring vital medications with you on your visit as there are only a small chemist as well as the normal range of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines available at the cafes and mini-market.
The weather can change quickly and it is advisable that you carry warm clothing when travelling in the area.