In my previous post on Clarens (which you can read here), I covered a general overview of the place and our trip. In this post, I will share details on the eats, sleeps and activities!
Clarens is a very tourist-oriented town and as a result, accommodation options are abundant and varied. However, as mentioned earlier, given its proximity to the cities of Joburg and Durban means that people are constantly holidaying in Clarens and hence, you may need to book well in advance if you want the accommodation of your choice.
Clarens is immensely pet-friendly and there are a lot of places to choose from, when you are traveling with your four-legged friends.
Cottage Pie – We stayed here and I don’t want to bore you again with the details as I have already mentioned it in my earlier post. Mia had a wonderful time running around the gardens but if you are a large group and need more than one room, I would not recommend staying here. It would b better to look for a cottage. What I really liked about this B&B was that the hiking trail actually started right from their front yard! So we could just walk into the Nature Reserve without having to drive or walk long.
Some of the other pet friendly places we considered, but could not find availability at:
Waterford House – looks lovely and if I ever go back, this will be my first choice!
For more pet-friendly options and general Clarens accommodations, I found the below mentioned websites really useful:
http://www.travelground.com/accommodation-in/clarens (just select the pet-friendly on the left-hand)
Restaurants and eateries
You will not be short of eating options in this town. From fine dining to small bistros, from pubs to bakeries and pizzerias, Clarens will keep you satiated when it comes to food! A list of pet friendly eateries we visited:
Clementines Restaurant – we dined here on our first night and the given that it was recommended to us by a local, we went with high expectations. Although the food was good, it was nothing outstanding to be honest. We enjoyed ourselves and the service was great. Since we had Mia with us, we sat outside in their pretty courtyard which was lit up with fairy lights and lamps. Really cute!
The Post House – located right on the Main Street, a nice place to enjoy the outdoors and people watch with a cold glass of beer. Food is ok and the service is warm and friendly.
The Courtyard Bakery & Cafe– A great breakfast place recommended to us by a local. They make fresh pies, quiches and breads.
Amigos Mexican Restaurant – The food here is a bit over priced and the Mexican flavours just about ok. However, their jalapeno poppers were really great. The margarita was a bummer – served with a cherry and no salt rim and the tequila shots came with a pineapple as they had run out of lime (ahem). I would recommend sticking to beer and light bites at this place.
Vito’s Restaurant – We enjoyed the food the most here. Delicious pastas, great pizzas and awesome prawn curry that you can savour while enjoying a great view of the mountains. Highly recommend eating here.
278 on Main – another great breakfast place. Red walls, beautiful mosaic tables and freshly made muffins and coffee; a great way to start the day I’d say!
Some other places to eat are:
Sugar and Cinnamon
Things to do:
Art and Curio shopping – Clarens is an art lover’s paradise. You can find some great art at very attractive prices. Even if you not a collector, just walking around town, and checking out the several art galleries, is a great way to spend the day. Along the sidewalks, you will also find small pavement stalls selling hand-made animal replicas, things carved out of stones and products styled out of metal scraps.
Hiking trails – the Clarens Nature Reserve has several hiking trails that are clearly marked. There are short ones as well as long ones stretching over a few hours. There is also a beautiful dam and a small waterfall. Dogs are allowed inside this reserve.
River rafting – for the more adventurous, rafting in the Ash river is a must do. Several companies operate in the area. The one we used was Clarens Xtreme and were not disappointed. Rafting takes 3/4 hours so plan accordingly and book in advance.
MTB trails, quad biking, putt putt, zipline, etc., are some of the other activities offered in the area.
Besides hiking and river rafting, our group really did nothing much. We were just happy to walk around twon, grab a few drinks here and there and eat until our stomach’s ached! A perfect holiday according to me.