Reitz, Thabo Mofutsanyana

Lying almost halfway between Bethlehem and Frankfort on Route 26 in the Free State, Reitz is described as a peaceful village. Despite its apparent isolation, it lies only two hours' drive from Johannesburg and has thus made it on to Gautengers' weekend getaway lists. Besides, anywhere that hosts a 'Bielie Mielie Festival' is worth a visit!

Reitz is a quaint little village that is extremely pleasing on the eye. For this reason, and the fact that it maintains a relatively low profile (other than the Bielie Mielie Festival in February - a festival celebrating mealies in a predominiantly maize-farming community) makes it extremely enticing.

Reitz is also only 45 minutes' drive from the already extremely popular village of Clarens (just the other side of Bethlehem) and it is the urge to find a similar classic village in the heart of the Free State that sends people into this unspoilt and completely peaceful countryside to find their own bolt hole.

And who would not want sunshine practically all year round, expansive rolling hills, wide open golden plains and an outdoor lifestyle as a space in which to escape. One of the main draw cards of the Free State is its interesting little towns and villages that are at once interesting and rich with historical value.

And the Bielie Mielie festival is one of a number of annual festivals that are so characteristic of the Eastern Free State - the Cherry Festival in Ficksburg, the Wheat festival in Bethlehem and the Asparagus festival, again in Ficksburg, which is, after all the asparagus region of South Africa.

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