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, sea kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. For a taste of real wilderness, daytrips are possible to nearby islands such as Skomer, Bardsley and Caldey.
Beautiful beaches

1. Beautiful beaches

If it’s beaches you want then you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Pembrokeshire. One of the most attractive is Abermawr Beach, remote and pebbly until the tide recedes to unveil golden sands, and with a gorgeous bluebell wood nearby. On the other side of the peninsula from Abermawr there is the vast Newgale Beach, far windier and so an ideal spot for surfing and kiteboarding.
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.
Cardigan Bay

3. 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, harbour 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.
Long distance walking trails

4. Long distance walking trails

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path gently undulates its way around nearly 60 beaches as it stretches for 300km from St. Dogmaels to Amroth. Running inland, there’s another long-distance route from Prestatyn to Chepstow past historic towns and some of Wales’ most glorious rural scenery. If you don't have time to complete a whole trail, a walk along a section of either makes for a fine day out.
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 mountain bikers. There are relaxed seaside towns where you can enjoy traditional Welsh grub, the hilly countryside is scattered with charming pubs, and walkers will love the scope of trails from short treks to long-distance.
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 once the setting for iconic TV show, The Prisoner.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Wales or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Hefin Owen] [Beautiful beaches: PreseliVenture] [Cambrian Mountains: David Merrett] [Cardigan Bay: Graham Well] [Long Distance Walking: Alex Liivet] [Pembrokeshire Coast National Park: David Evans] [Snowdonia National Park: Reading Tom]