Accommodation , Conferences and Outdoor Activities in Clarens, Eastern Free State
Welcome to Mountain Odyssey. We will help make your stay in Clarens a pleasant and memorable one.
The rates on this website are the rates offered to the public by the guest houses, we do not charge any commission or booking fees from you the guest. Make use of our local knowledge and services to save hours searching the net.
Looking for accommodation in Clarens or activities in and around Clarens? Then look no further. We offer self-catering accommodation or Bed & Breakfast accommodation.
You don’t need to go through all the trouble of searching for accommodation and activities in and around Clarens – sit back, relax and let us help you.
Mountain Odyssey is staffed by dedicated members whose one aim is to ensure that your visit to Clarens will be thoroughly enjoyable and only the first of many.
We offer a one-stop booking service to not only the available accommodation, but also to almost all the activities in and around Clarens.
Situated about 20km from the Golden Gate National Park, 40km from Bethlehem, on the Northernmost point of the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Clarens is an easy 3 to 4 hour drive for city dwellers from Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Durban.
We offer the ideal weekend getaway, with a wide variety of accommodation to choose from, suitable to all tastes, and excellent restaurants to satisfy the culinary tastes of even the most ardent food lover.
Accommodation ranges from self catering, B&B, backpackers and lodges to guest houses, guest farms and country inns.
Situated in the picturesque Clarens Valley in the Eastern Free State Highlands, Clarens is known for its spectacular sandstone mountains and mild climate.
Clarens has recently been acclaimed as one of the best trout fishing spots in South Africa. It is also spectacular horse riding country. Clarens offers the visitor a very wide variety of activities, ensuring that everybody, from nature lovers who simply want to drink in the surrounding beauty to adventure seekers always looking for an adrenaline rush or a new thrill, can count on a truly remarkable stay.
Clarens is not known as the adventure capital for nothing, it has a flourishing tourist trade as well as an established artist community. Clarens is truly an artists haven! Many well known artists live in and around the village, whilst others frequent Clarens on a regular basis.
Clarens is part of the scenic Highlands Route and surrounded by the Rooiberge, and further on by the majestic Maluti’s which borders Lesotho. Everywhere you look you will see our famous sandstone cliffs with multi-coloured layers, which is a unique geological feature of the area.
This formation is also known as the Clarens Formation. Clarens sandstone is a very popular building material in this area and beautiful sandstone lodgings abound.
A prominent rock formation, known as The Titanic, welcomes all who visit the village. Its name dates back to 1912, when Clarens was established. This was also the year of the tragic sinking of the Titanic.
A resident in Clarens, unknown unfortunately, looked at this rock formation and remarked that it looked very much like a sinking ship! The name stuck. Clarens has become known as the “Jewel of the Free State” – an area extremely rich in natural beauty, where visitors come to drink in the peace and tranquility.
Our quaint village is endowed with more trees than most other towns in the Free State province, which paints the village in the most wonderful colours during spring, when all the fruit trees blossom.
In autumn, our stunning Lombard Poplars attract photographers, nature lovers and artists from all over to revel in the colours and capture its beauty on film and canvass. Many Arts & Crafts shops adorn the village, offering visitors a wide selection of original artwork and curios.
Come take a leisurely walk around President Square and up Main Street and browse through the wide variety of curios available, or appreciate the talents of the many artists who display their products in the Arts & Craft shops, or simply sit down at one of the many restaurants and coffee shops and relax with a drink of your choice while taking in the peace and tranquility of our wonderful village.
Close to Clarens is the outlet from the Highlands Water Project, that brings fresh water from Lesotho to feed into the As, Liebenbergsvlei and Wilge Rivers into the Vaal Dam. Water from the Vaal Dam is then abstracted, treated and pumped to the various users in the Rand Water Supply area.
The name Clarens was derived from an attractive village in Switzerland, situated on the Northern shores of Lake Geneva – the second largest fresh water lake in Europe – near Montreaux, where President Paul Kruger spent his last days as a voluntary exile.
It was also the home of Lord Byron, and the Clarens region in Switzerland was immortalized in Rousseau’s Nouvelle H�lo�se. It all started when in 1910 the farm “Leliehoek” was sold, and in 1911 the farm “Naauwpoort”, both to a company who wanted to establish a village in the mountains.
These two farms were then divided into separate stands and sold for the then majestic sum of fifty pounds each. To finalise the negotiations a commission was appointed in 1912 and a decision was made to name the village Clarens in honor of President Kruger’s influence in the area.
President Paul Kruger led a commando of burghers against the Basotho leader Moshoeshoe and defeated the Basotho at the Battle of Naauwpoortsnek in 1866, after 5 burghers were murdered by them in the Eastern Free State on 29 September 1865.
A monument in honor of these 5 burghers was originally erected on the farm Ararat just outside Clarens, but was later moved to Clarens and re-sited on the town square.
This has proven to be an apt name indeed, as the splendour of the surrounding mountains does the original Swiss village more than just credit.
Prices and facilities advertised are subject to change without prior notice