Take the most adventurous road-trip from all main centres in South Africa to Clarens!

If you’re looking for a road trip that veers completely from traditional areas around the coast in South Africa, then the Free State, which is the heart-centre of this beautiful country, is the province for you!

Whether you are traveling from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban or Bloemfontein, the N1 National Road will cross Clarens. 

Well actually, there’ll be a turnoff the main highway, but what you find after turning towards Clarens makes the journey an awesome adventure!

There are no beaches, since this is a landlocked province, but what it lacks in beaches is more than made for by wide open spaces anyone can ever hope for.

There’s more. A major part of the seduction that draws road trippers to the Free State and Clarens, aptly called ‘The Jewel of the Free State’, is that this is a haven for artists, whether painters or photographers.

In fact, Clarens is one of the most photographed areas in the Free State for the stunning views and colours born out of being snuggle up against the majestic Maluti Mountains, a short way from the Lesotho border.

The scenery is unforgettable, as the sun moves through the wide open skies colours constantly change, as they do through the seasons.

There is always a wealth of colour spilling from what nature has on offer. From the orange, brow, yellow and browns of autumn to the inspiring flash of colour brought on by spring and summer.

According to top holiday advisors worldwide, Clarens truly is the quintessential retreat from the madness of any city!

So, how far do you have to travel if you’ve decided on an adventurous road-trip instead of hopping on a plane?


Johannesburg:  If you aren’t going to be stopping along the way for picnics, or being intrigued by other sights along the way, going via the N3 and R26 will take you an average of 3 and a half hours.

Bloemfontein: Again, taking into account whether you are taking the direct route without being seduced by what you find along the journey, you’d be looking at about 3 hours along the N1 and N5.

Durban: Same again, if you’re not distracted along the way, Durban is just over 4 hours away via the N3 – what a pleasure a journey like this would be, crossing from lush surroundings to wide open spaces surrounded by beautiful farmland, mountains and rivers.

Cape Town: Yes, we all know that the Mother City is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but, if you want to add yet another great adventure to your visit to South Africa, the Free State and Clarens is a must! 

It’s the most worthwhile 12 hour drive you will ever take across this ‘old’ country!  Truth is, if you really want to make the most of a long road trip like this to get to Clarens, you’re going to get seriously distracted along the way as the countryside changes – so prepare well for this, and it’ll all be worth it by the time you drive into Clarens!

Book your accommodation at Clarens Eddies well before you start packing!!

The most important thing to do, before you start packing up for the trip, is to book your accommodation at Clarens Eddies Bed & Breakfast/Self-Catering!

Besides making the decision to take this road trip, you will find that the team at Clarens Eddies will have prepared the most comfortable, affordable accommodation in Clarens, just for you!

Enter a world of vibrant art galleries, well over 20 restaurants, over 30 exciting activities in and around the bustling Clarens Village Square led by the warm, welcoming team at Clarens Eddies.

This team embodies everything that makes this a road trip well worth taking from anywhere in South Africa!

How can you say no to a holiday in Clarens with a list of things to do like this!

Let’s just start this by pointing out that if you want beautiful, comfortable, clean and affordable accommodation in Clarens, then Clarens Eddies Bed and Breakfast/Self-Catering is definitely the place to lay your head between exciting activities!

It’s close to everything you could possibly want to do, and the hospitality is so great that Clarens Eddies has won awards from two top booking websites for five consecutive years, one local and one international, for Service Excellence!

So, what lies in store for you, aside from the restaurants, gift shops, art galleries, pubs and outdoor markets in quaint, vibrant Clarens Village Square, a stone’s throw away from centrally located Clarens Eddies?

  • Cycling at its best!

With its terrain rich areas and surrounding beauty, Clarens is a well-known destination for cycling enthusiasts.  Whether you are into off-road cycling or cycling tours on smoother terrain, there is a route perfect for every biking enthusiast in Clarens!

  • Motor bikers haven in Clarens!

Since the BMW Motorrad Days South Africa launched in a blaze of glory in November back in 2015, Clarens has also become a prime destination for motor bikers taking road trips to enjoy everything that’s special about Clarens, Lesotho and area.

  • Clarens Brewery.

No visit to Clarens is complete without meeting the passionate team at Clarens Brewery, who put their all into making theirs the best Brew-Pub, Cidery and Distillery, set against the backdrop of the Maluti Mountains!

Meeting this team is a treat in itself. They’ll educate you on every aspect of how they brew their awesome craft beers and distil their own very special gin!  There’s yummy food and snacks thrown in to round out the experience.  If you make sure to get to Clarens in February, you’ll be heading for a really special craft beer festival!

  • Cherry picking in November!

Imagine it, picking fresh, plump and ripe cherries at Ionia Cherry Farm, yet another magical spot backed by the Maluti Mountains, close to Ficksburg!  The whole experience, which happens in November, is made even richer as you take tours through the orchards and listen to the background history of this beautiful farm!

  • White water rafting for the brave!

Take your pick of Grade 3 and 4 rapids on the Ash River, half or full day, in huge six man rafts…and make sure to take advantage of the discounts on offer for groups, families and children. This is an all-year-round activity, and if you’re worried about being cold after the white water, don’t be.

The team at Clarens Eddies will make sure you’re warm by providing electric blankets, fluffy duvets, heaters and the space to get warm in front of a roaring fire at your private villa!

Add to all of these activities a whole lot more, such as:

  • Hot Air Balloon rides
  • Horse riding
  • Hiking of every level from easy to tough
  • The beauty of the Katse Dam and the Drakensberg Mountain Range
  • Pony trekking in Lesotho
  • Fly Fishing
  • A visit to a traditional Basotho village to enjoy a full display of the talents of this ancient tribe
  • Lions Rock – watch what the rescue of big cats from appalling conditions has done to make their lives worthwhile again
  • Dinosaur trails…by now you must get the message, there’s just a whole lot to Clarens that makes it the holiday destination of a lifetime!

Please don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy all of this from the comfort of Clarens Eddies by getting your bookings in early – the sheer class of this affordable accommodation in Clarens is just not worth missing out on!

How to Prepare for Your Hike Through the Clarens Mountains

You’ve booked your accommodation and you working out your itinerary for your duration of your trip. With so much on offer within this region, you must spend at least a day or two in the mountains hiking the different trails and taking in the very best nature has to offer. We’ve put together a list of some tips you can take into consideration when preparing for your time in the mountains.

Spend Time Planning the Trails You Want to Take

With having a wide range of mountain to cover, there are several trails for you to explore. Here are some of the most common trails you should try while staying here:

The Spruit Walking Trail – An easy walk to get you started on your day of hiking, you should consider taking the Spruit Walking Trail. This is an easy route along a stream. You will also navigate through some of the Oldwood forest and one of the popular plantations. Only 1km long, it will be a quick walk.

The Mallen Walking Trail – This route offers a more challenging route and ranges between 1 – 3 km long. You’ll start the walk at Berg street near the tennis court. As you navigate up the trial you’ll reach a path which overlooks the Maloti and Red Mountains.

Scilla Walking Trail –  Offering guests some of the most picturesque views during the months of September to November – you’ll be able to see masses of the blue Scilla flowers blooming. This moderate walk covers 2.5km of ground and can be completed in one hour.

Maluti Viewpoint – If you plan correctly, this walk should be done in the late afternoon while the sunsets. This route can be found along the Scilla Walking trail and its difficulty has been described as easy and will only take you 30 minutes. The starting point of this trail can be found on Hill Street.

Ensure You Have Sunblock and Water Packed In

As part of your planning, make sure you have enough sun block packed in and apply it regularly, so you don’t end up with sunburn. Hydration is also an important factor when hiking and it’s for this very reason you should make sure you have sufficient water packed in.

Pack A Small Picnic Bag

Many of these walking trails are short and whether you plan to just continue walking or turn around to complete other routes, you’ll need to stop for food at some point. What better way to take in nature by having a picnic in the mountains? This gives you the perfect opportunity to stop on every trail and have a break.

Wear Comfortable Clothing and Shoes

To ensure you’re able to make the most of your time out in the mountains, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Depending on the time of day you plan to start and end, you should keep a warm jacket and a scarf with you as it can get quite cold. When choosing your shoes for the day, ensure they have sufficient support and grip underneath them in case the path is damp.

For a day activity like this, planning is essential. If you follow these basic tips, you’ll be guaranteed a good time. If you’re looking for more information on any of the routes, you can reach out to the Owner at Clarens Eddie’s for further assistance.