Bethlehem, Promised Land of the devout Free State settlers, who founded the town in 1864 in a valley watered by the Jordaan River and overlooked by the Maluti Mountains. The Voortrekkers built their town using sandstone hewn from the surrounding cliffs, creating a legacy of outstanding craftsmanship, enduring monuments to their faith.
These early conservationists had the foresight to leave the land along the banks of the river untouched and today, Bethlehem encompasses two unspoilt nature reserves: Pretoriuskloof Nature Reserve & Bird Sanctuary in the town, and Wolhuterskop Game and Nature Reserve on the outskirts.
Of major agricultural import, the Bethlehem District is South Africa's largest exporter of roses and currently produces over 50% of the country's wheat crop.
A wide range of recreational facilities can be enjoyed in Bethlehem: from scuba diving and yachting on Loch Athlone ; cycling, hiking and horse riding in the nature reserves; to gliding and skydiving in Bethlehem's skies. One of the local museums even exhibits a steam train.
To relax, experience a tantalising taste of life in early Mississippi by patronising the charming floating restaurant, housed aboard a replica of a Union Ocean Liner.