Welcome to the greatest outdoors. This is Wales. Check in.

Let’s start with a few places you may already know. Three spectacular National Parks; the Brecon BeaconsPembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia, and five designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); Anglesey, the Clwydian Range, the Llŷn Peninsula, the Gower Peninsula, and the Wye Valley.

The River Wye surrounded by autumnal trees and fields
Upper Wyndcliff, Wye Valley, Monmouthshire

Then add to those the Wales Coast Path. It's 870 miles (1,400km) of linear walking, with endless loops and links. It was the first path in the world to follow a country’s coastline in its entirety. Wales' walking credentials are also boosted by three National Trails: Glyndwr’s WayOffas Dyke Path, and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

Pictured here is a view overlooking Lake Vyrnwy
A cliff-side path by the sea.
Glyndwr's Way trail in Mid Wales, overlooking Lake Vyrnwy and a section of the Wales Coast Path between Three Cliffs Bay and Oxwich, West Wales

Speaking of the coast, Wales is also pretty famous for our beaches. There are 40 Blue Flag award winning beaches -more than in any other part of the UK. The list includes big names, like Tenby’s Castle Beach, recipient of the Sunday Times Beach of the Year 2019. Some of our quieter spots are Green Coast award winners; these are usually smaller and wilder, and highlighted for their environmental credentials.

A wide sandy beach with colourful houses above.
Castle Beach, Tenby, West Wales

Look up to the sky, and you'll realise our clean seas are matched only by the quality of our starry skies, free from light pollution. There are hundreds of places to stargaze in Wales – as well as a network of International Dark Sky Reserves and Dark Sky Parks that astronomers have singled out as being world class.

Dunkle Himmel Foto in den Brecon Beacons aufgenommen.
An image of stars over the Carmarthenshire fans
Dark skies over Bannau, Carmarthenshire and Fan Brycheiniog from Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacons

Back on the ground, the landscape of Wales is punctuated with over 600 castles - more per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Some of the headliners are Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech in the north, and Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carew, Kidwelly, and Pembroke in the south.

Our reputation as an adventure capital has been strengthened over the past few years, with historic sites and landscapes re-imagined to offer exhilarating experiences. Visit Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda and you'll find the fastest zip line in the world, while Dolgarrog aluminium works is now home to an inland surfing lagoon and adventure park.

Actor and singer Luke Evans zips in to experience the fastest zip line in the world at Zip World, Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda

If you're a wildlife enthusiast, then you'll find Welsh flora and fauna have a lot to offer, both on land and at sea. Find your sea legs by sailing alongside porpoises and dolphins on our western coast, and then come home to roost with our thriving seabird colonies. Fans of puffins will want to visit Skomer, an island off the coast of Pembrokeshire, which has the first Marine Conservation Zone to be created in Wales. Choose your season and location, and across Wales you can see rare butterflies, bats, dragonflies, lapwings, otters, and ospreys.

Puffins on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
4 seals playing on the rocks in Cardigan Bay
Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire and seal spotting, Cardigan Bay, Mid Wales

Once you've had your fill of the natural world, head to some man-made fun in the outdoors at one of our many Welsh festivals. They take place at a range of venues, including summer spectaculars like Green Man in the Brecon Beacons National Park, and the Cerys Matthews-curated Good Life Experience, held at the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire.

Many Welsh festivals are as much celebrations of their location as anything else. Take Hay Festival, bringing readers and writers together to share stories and ideas against the backdrop of Hay-on-Wye - known as the 'Book Town of Wales'. Or Machynlleth Comedy Festival, where you can experience the thrill of seeing live comedy in intimate and quirky places within the unique market town of Machynlleth.

Our food festivals burst with local, seasonal produce. You can get up close and personal with your food by indulging in a foraging course, or by sampling the menus in many of the award winning restaurants and cafes in Wales.

A group of adults and children at a festival.
Three people sat on deckchairs eating and laughing.
Festival tents lit up at night
The Good Life Experience, the Hay Festival and Machynlleth Comedy Festival

If you visit some of our most popular events or attractions in Wales, you’ll appreciate how the outdoors plays its own part in the line-up and the experiences. Nature is all around, as is the spirit of community. It’s easy to join in with a local group of swimmers, runners or cyclists to get the inside track on the best places to go.

Three ladies in swimsuits running into the sea.
Four cyclists on a narrow mountainous road.
Bluetits chill swimmers at Harlech, Gwynedd, North Wales and cyclists at Stwlan Dam, Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales

To get around, we recommend following The Wales Way, our family of three distinct touring routes that plot your course around the country by car, train, bus or bicycle.

Remember to stay safe and respect the environment while you’re having fun. From beach trips to days out in the National Parks, always follow the advice of AdventureSmartUK to have the best experience.

Discover new corners of Wales: a country that offers a warm welcome without walls. Check in to our hotels, visit our campsites, explore our cottages. Then throw open the doors to let the outside in.

Well stocked bar area and dining tables.
Man relaxing in the back of a traveller van.
Fforest Farm Tipi at sunset.
Boutique hotels, Cardiff, South Wales, camping on Anglesey and Fforest Farm, Cardigan

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