Wales travel guide

Beachcombers, adrenaline junkies, wildlife watchers and knights in shining armour: head southwest. Over a quarter of the land in Wales is dedicated either to national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty, and they’re not there just to look pretty either. You’ve got award winning Blue Flag beaches to sunbathe or go rock pooling; what feels like endless trails for hiking, horse riding and mountain biking; more than 600 historic castles dotting the scenery; and vast swathes of picturesque coastline off which surfers and kayakers can share the waves with dolphins, whales and seals. Simply put: it’s a nature lover’s dream.
There’s a Welsh word, ‘hiraeth’, that loosely translates to nostalgia or homesickness. It’s easy to see how its hills, valleys and coastline might evoke such feelings, even if you’re not from these parts yourself.
Another reason to recommend Wales is the Goldilocks-weather. Most of the year it’s not too hot, not too cold, but just right. And of course scenery like this becomes even more dramatic when it’s overcast. Crossing the Severn Bridge from England into Wales there is a toll to pay, and believe us, it’s worth every penny. Read our Wales travel guide for more details.
Wales is/isn't

Wales is…

paradise for active and adventurous travellers of all ages. Guaranteed to clear away the cobwebs even if you’re only coming for a long weekend.

Wales isn’t…

soggy all year round. In fact, the weather is usually as moderate as other parts of the UK, if a little erratic.

Our top Wales Holiday

Sea kayaking holiday in Wales

Sea kayaking holiday in Wales

Sea kayaking explorations on the Pembrokeshire National Park coastline

From £295 2 days ex flights
Small group travel:
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Hello. If you'd like to chat about Wales or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Wales map & highlights

Like a harmony choir in full swing, Wales is a country of soaring highs and plunging lows. There is the brawny expanse of the Cambrian Mountains that connect with the ranges of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. Then there are the deep valleys carved between peaks, lined with old communities such as Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent where so much of the national culture is rooted. The Welsh coast, particularly that of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Cardigan Bay further north, boasts some of the most sublime beaches in the British Isles, with miles of walking routes and activities such as coasteering and stand up paddle boarding. For a taste of real wilderness, daytrips are possible to nearby islands such as Skomer, Bardsley and Caldey.
1. Anglesey
2. Cambrian Mountains
3. Cardiff
4. Cardigan Bay
5. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
6. Snowdonia National Park
Anglesey

1. Anglesey

Wales’ largest island is off the north coast, connected by bridges to the mainland. Its 200km coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a well maintained path connecting sandy beaches, towering cliffs and picturesque little villages. You can also explore the island by bike, or from the water, with kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and coasteering all very popular pursuits on Anglesey.
Cambrian Mountains

2. Cambrian Mountains

Remote, rugged and blissfully peaceful, the Cambrian Mountains in central Wales are one of the UK’s last true wildernesses. From Pumlumon, on a clear day, you can see as far as Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. Birds of prey soar above moorland ridges, and the few settlements of any size, such as the village of Llanddewi Brefi, retain a distinctive character.
Cardiff

3. Cardiff

The vivacious Welsh capital is a pleasing mix of the ancient – with an 11th century medieval castle at its centre – and the modern – the waterfront restaurants, bars and cultural attractions of Cardiff Bay are a hive of activity. Its south coast location means Cardiff is also an excellent launch pad for day trips into the surrounding countryside, perhaps to see the pretty town of Caerphilly which lies just to the north.
Cardigan Bay

4. Cardigan Bay

You’ve heard of spotting the ‘Big Five’ on an African safari; in Cardigan Bay you can find the ‘Big Three’ of Wales – bottlenose dolphins, harbor porpoises and grey seals. Lined with pretty beaches and seaside resorts, the area offers a variety of landscapes ideal for outdoor pursuits, as well as plenty of cultural attractions including art galleries, museums and the steam-hauled Vale of Rheidol Railway.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

5. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

The only coastal national park in Britain, this ribbon of Blue Flag beaches, cliffs and coves is an immensely popular destination for thrill seekers, from water sports enthusiasts to hikers and mountain bikers. There are relaxed seaside towns where you can enjoy traditional Welsh cuisine, and the hilly countryside is scattered with charming pubs with open fires to warm up on a rainy day.
Snowdonia National Park

6. Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia is another superb area for outdoor activities. There are many great hiking and mountain biking trails of course, but also opportunities for abseiling and rock climbing, horse riding and fishing. Highlights include the vintage railway that takes you up Snowdon, and the quirky Italianate village of Portmeirion, which was the setting for iconic TV show, The Prisoner.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Hefin Owen] [Is/Isn't: Robert J Heath] [Map Intro: Andrew Bone] [Anglesey: Kimmo Penttala] [Cambrian Mountains: David Merrett] [Cardiff: Ker Russell] [Cardigan Bay: Graham Well] [Pembrokeshire Coast National Park: David Evans] [Snowdonia National Park: Reading Tom]
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