Wales boasts a distinct identity, steeped in history and modern culture alike. From dynamic cities to breathtaking countryside - including three national parks - there is much to captivate the visitor here. Magnificent mountains, lush valleys and a coastline to rival that of anywhere in the world.
Snowdonia is the largest and perhaps the most famous of Wales’s three national parks. Thousands travel to this beautiful landscape to visit its lakes, mountain bike trails and stand on the summit of the country’s highest peak, Mount Snowdon. Whether travelling on foot or by train on the historic Snowdon Mountain Railway, it’s well worth the 1085m climb, offering stunning views across the sea to Ireland.
To the south of the country, the heather-clad mountains of the Brecon Beacons invite more outdoor enthusiasts for walking, hiking, caving and horse riding. This beautiful national park is also home to many towns, farmers markets and Michelin starred restaurants.
For dazzling beaches, watersports and wildlife galore, look no further than the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. National Geographic Traveler magazine in America recently rated this area one of the top two coastal destinations in the world - and deservedly so. Its 186 miles of wonderful walks make up part of the Wales Coastal Path, the world’s first uninterrupted route along a national coast. This 870 mile path takes in history, heritage, countryside and towns.
Aside from the draw of the national parks, Wales attracts thousands of visitors to its many lively and traditional coastal towns too. Llandudno, Caernarfon and Conwy to the north are three popular destinations where ancient castles and prominent landmarks sit amongst busy shops and restaurants.
There are many tourist destinations along this northern stretch of coastline, not least the spellbinding Isle of Anglesey and Llyn Peninsula, famous for its unspoilt countryside and preservation of the Welsh language and culture. Popular holiday resorts litter this area, not least Abersoch, which was recently named one of the best places to live in the country.
There is no doubt that visitors to Wales are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit and stay, especially along its rugged and captivating coastline.
But away from the country’s natural beauty, there is plenty in the way of culture and heritage to experience too, especially in the nation’s capital city of Cardiff. With its revitalised waterfront including the Wales Millennium Centre, it is well worth a slot in your itinerary.The city’s medieval castle is built on top of an ancient Roman fort and sits amongst the streets and arcades of the bustling Castle Quarter. There is also a host of museums, parks and family attractions to entertain the visitor.
Not too far away is the coastal city of Swansea, situated just a short drive from the popular tourist destination of the Gower Peninsula. However, with its own award winning beaches and buzzing city centre, there is lots to do in this city alone. For history buffs there are many museums to explore, not least the Dylan Thomas Centre, celebrating the world famous poet’s life and works.
From glorious countryside to vibrant towns and cities, Wales will always leave the visitor wanting more.