You'll feel amazing
Walking or wheeling with the sea close by is an absolute tonic.
Slowing down, breathing in the fresh air, listening to the hush of the waves, taking in glorious coastal views. What could be more therapeutic? It's the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of modern life and some people find it genuinely life changing.
You can do as much (or a little) as you want
Walk the Wales Coast Path from start to finish and you'll have covered nearly 870 miles! Some hardy folk walk or ride all the way around it. But there are short smooth sections ideal for toddlers and buggies - with more parts of the path being made more accessible too. There are all manner of longer sections ideal for day walks of varying difficulty, from short strolls to serious stomps.
You don't have to walk
Walking is the first activity that comes to mind, but much of the Wales Coast Path is accessible for wheelchairs, bikes, trikes and buggies. These sections are wide, flat and relatively smooth. They cover some glorious bits of the coastline, like the Millennium Coastal Path from Llanelli to Pembrey Forest, the Mawddach Trail between Dolgellau and Barmouth and seafront proms like Rhos on Sea, Llandudno and Llanfairfechan.
There are lots of Wales Coast Path cycling routes too. Or how about hopping onto a saddle of a different kind? Parts of the path are bridleways, so you can explore on horseback. Some super fit people even choose to run the coast path. However you choose to travel, please do share the path responsibly!
There's unique heritage to explore
If you're trying to convince kids to get out and walk, what could be better for an adventure than a clifftop castle? There are moody battlements at Llansteffan perched above the Tywi estuary, mighty Caernarfon with its majestic towers, Criccieth high on its headland, Conwy with its huge town walls and many more.
Other remains are older, like the Roman ruins at Holyhead and the Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres neolithic burial chambers. And places of spiritual significance include the tiny sailors' chapels Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt, St Govans at Stack Rocks and St Trillos at Rhos on Sea. Far bigger are the serene cloisters and soaring aisles of St Davids cathedral, the ancient walls of Penmon Priory and St Dogmaels Abbey.
You can spot all sorts of wildlife
There's an incredible variety of birds, mammals, flowers and cetaceans to see too. Whether you're a proper twitcher or just enjoy spotting birds, you'll be spellbound by the puffins of Skomer, gannets around Grassholm Island, peregrines soaring above Cardigan Bay, stonechats along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and starling murmurations around Aberystwyth.
The waters off the Wales shoreline are home to dolphins and seals at certain times of year. The section north from Aberporth is also wheelchair-friendly, so it’s a good all-access dolphin-spotting point. Or you can hop aboard a sightseeing boat in Cardigan Bay to get a little closer. Keep your eyes peeled at places like Cemaes Head and Strumble Head and you may even see whales, basking sharks, orca and sunfish.
There are unique plant ecosystems too. Like the peat bog of Cors Fochno in the Dyfi Biosphere home to rare fungi in Autumn and unusual carnivorous plants. Extensive sand dune systems dot the coast at places like Harlech, Kenfig, Oxwich and Merthyr Mawr. Here you'll find orchids in Spring and gentians and ladies' tresses in Autumn.
There are beaches for everyone
The coastline in Wales is incredibly varied. Wide crescents of sand perfect for family beach holidays, cosy harbours with fishing boats bumping against quays, perfect spots for catching epic waves, secret coves, lots of accessible beaches and seaside resorts with bustling proms. You really can find the right beach just for you.
Among the beaches in North Wales there's the idyllic coastal village of Porthdinllaen on the Llŷn Peninsula, the bright lights of Llandudno's north shore and the hidden cove of Porth Padrig on Anglesey. The beaches of West Wales include the spectacular sands and dunes of Three Cliffs Bay, the booming surf of Newgale and the rock pools of Ferryside. South Wales beaches offer up the bright lights of Barry Island, the golden sands of Rest Bay and the Art Deco elegance of Penarth with its lovely old pier.
There are vibrant towns en route
Whilst there are many stretches of the Wales Coast Path that are wonderfully wild, there are lots of lovely spots to stop a while too. Some of our most attractive and atmospheric towns are strung along the coastline. You can stay the night and use them as a base to explore the path, or stop by for a bite and a drink along the way.
Friendly harbour towns like Tenby, Aberaeron, Cardigan and Solva have seafood and beaches that are sparkling and fresh. Historic spots protected by mighty castles like Caernarfon, Harlech, Cricceith, Llansteffan, Chepstow and Beaumaris are ideal for a wander. Artistic communities like Borth and Abergwyngregyn always offer the warmest of welcomes. There are plenty of eateries serving tempting food and local shops sell everything you'll need for the perfect picnic.
Read more: Vibrant towns on the Wales Coast Path
There's great food to sample
This close to the sea, you can be sure the fish and shellfish is sparklingly fresh. So once you've tramped or pushed your way along the path, reward yourself with the catch of the day for lunch or dinner. There's plenty to suit all budgets from the amazing seaweed breads and crab sandwiches at Café Mor in Pembrokeshire and super crisp fish and chips at The Shed in Porthgain, to mussels and lobster thermidor at Salty's in Tenby and fine dining at Bryn Williams' bistro in Porth Eirias or Pryd o Fwyd in Ferryside.
If you want to pack a picnic there are delis and markets bursting with perfect sandwich fodder. Cardigan, Cardiff, Swansea, Pwllheli, Aberystwyth all have bustling markets. Artisan bakeries like Bara Menyn Bakery in Cardigan can supply the perfect roll too. And if you're feeling creative there are lots of places made for a beach barbecue to round off your day.
And don't forget the ultimate beachy treat! A homemade ice cream. With a rich heritage of Italian immigration, Wales is home to many lipsmacking gelaterias: Parisella's in Conwy, Joe's in Swansea and Cadwaladers at Criccieth and various other spots along the coast to name a few.
You can sleep in a tent or a four poster bed
From budget to luxury, there are plenty of sleeping options. Wilder sections of the path inevitably have fewer places to stay, so do plan ahead and know where you'll be resting your head (and your feet).
There are clifftop campsites with amazing views like Three Cliffs and groovy glampsites like Preseli Glamping. There are all kinds of self-catering coastal cottages. B&B accommodation ranges from great value bunkhouses like the funky beachside sleeping pods at Ty Cwch and dorms at Platts Farm in Llanfairfechan to luxury rooms and veggie cuisine at Llainfran Farmhouse and sea views and cosy comfort at The Burrows.
For some serious snoozing, nod off to tranquil harbour views at Harbourmaster hotel or luxuriate in a four poster room at Bodysgallen Hall. Foodies should try the tasting menu at two Michelin-starred Ynyshir. And if you fancy some pampering after your exertions, try a massage in the Spa at St Brides.
Read more: Luxury Wales Coast Path accommodation
There are lots of resources to plan your trip
If you want to get planning your walk along the Wales Coast Path the official Wales Coast Path website is a great place to start. There are lots of guidebooks with detailed descriptions and maps too. Download the Wales Coast Explorer app as well - it helps you identify wildlife, flora, explore heritage sites along the way, and record your findings.
We've asked author of the Ciccerone guidebook Paddy Dillon to write us a Wales Coast path guide packed with useful information too.
So, what are you waiting for?