In 6 words: Great nature, plus some imposing castles.
For your first visit you can do a highlights trip in about three days, but that will leave some areas unexplored. Active outdoors types will certainly need more.
Worthy destinations: Cardiff; Brecon Beacons National Park; Portmeirion; Caernarfon and Conwy.
Left for another visit: Coastal areas of Pembrokeshire (including St Davids) and Llyn Peninsula; Powis Castle; Llandrindod Wells.
Last visit: March 2008.
Destination appeal
Our verdict


Wales has dramatic natural wonders, from its coastline to its mountains, and enables a great deal of outdoorsy pursuits. For those more interested in man-made wonders, such as yours truly, Welsh offerings are somewhat less spectacular. Which is not to say that you can’t find interesting things to do in Wales if you are primarily interested in history and architecture, but you will enjoy it more if you mix in at least some hiking or trekking or climbing or cycling or rafting or what-have-you into your itinerary.

We did a south-to-north highlights trip in three days, selecting points of interest that could fit into such itinerary, which obviously left a number of locations and attractions unexplored. Having perused tourbooks upon our return again, I am convinced that we skipped just a few places that would be of interest to us. Your tastes will undoubtedly vary.