Photo Credit: Christof Gallagher

Wales is home to a wealth of appealing things to do aimed at travelers of all tastes, and the rich heritage and natural attractions mean there’s never a dull moment in the Land of the Red Dragon. One of the destination’s biggest pulls is the feast of wide-ranging outdoor activities, ideal for both novices and professionals, with numerous tour operators happy to assist in planning.

One of the most popular destinations for outdoor pursuits is Snowdonia National Park, the second largest national park in Britain, where a variety of challenging, yet enticing attractions such as hiking, mountain biking, and abseiling, await. For a more relaxing time in Wales, join one of the many guided tours around the sites of Cardiff, or alternatively, hire a boat and spend a leisurely weekend cruising the country’s extensive canal network.

Organized city tours are one of the best ways to experience the vibrant atmosphere of this up-and-coming European hub, while also soaking up the rich culture on display in historical attractions such as Cardiff Castle, the architecturally diverse Cardiff Bay Waterfront, and the impressive Llandaff Cathedral, a place of worship since 1130. Operators like Planet Wales and Cardiff History and Hauntings have a variety of price points and schedules.

Scaling Mount Snowdon can be a challenging and exhilarating experience, and is one of the friendliest peaks in the British Isles for beginners to conquer. There are numerous routes of varying difficulty up the 1,085 meter, breathtaking mountain. High Trek Snowdonia and Seren Ventures both offer climbing courses and tours.

Hill walks in the Brecon Beacons are one of the most scenic ways to explore the Welsh countryside. There are fantastic peaks, such as Sugar Loaf and the Beacon’s highest mountain, the 886 meter Pen Y Fan. Walking tours vary in length and take you through some of the country’s most awe-inspiring views, in addition to pleasant, traditional Welsh villages. Trips can be arranged through Walkabout Wales and Dragon Tours.

Boat trips off the coast of Cardigan Bay are an excellent way to see the abundance of wildlife in Wales. Aboard a jet boat, you are able to get close to both dolphins and whales in the Irish Sea, as well as porpoises and Atlantic gray dolphins found among the coastal caves and gorges. Trips can arranged by Thousand Island Expeditions.

Surfing in Gower has long been a favorite pastime of locals and tourists alike, with some of the best breaks in the British Isles. Choose from an array of beautiful bays and secluded coves, including Llangennith and Worms Head. The temperature is often chilly so it’s often best to catch a surf in the fall and winter months. Equipment and lessons are available through Gower Surf Co and PJ’s Surf Shop.

If you have the time, a most rewarding way to spend a few days is by gently cruising Wales’ canal network. Traveling at a lazy pace of about four miles per hour, you get a chance to soak up the wonderful landscape and views of the surrounding wildlife. Day trips can be arranged, with shorter and longer options available from Maestermyn Cruisers.

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