Often overlooked in comparison to England and Scotland, Wales actually packs a hell of a lot of beauty into a relatively small mass of land with sprawling mountain ranges, lush green valleys, rugged coastline, gorgeously preserved castles and postcard-pretty market towns. We feel Wales doesn’t receive half the amount of attention it deserves, and once you’ve seen our list for the best and most beautiful places to visit in Wales, we think you’ll also agree…
1. Snowdonia National Park – one of the best and most famously stunning places to explore in Wales
Home to the biggest mountain in Wales and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, Snowdonia National Park is a hugely popular holiday spot and a big draw for adventurous types.
Boulder-strewn summits, stark mountain ranges, and serene lakes make up much of the landscape, making it a popular destination for walkers, climbers and mountain bikers.
Make sure you include a visit to one of our favourite spots, Llanberis Pass (where twin lakes cut through a vast mountain range) and if you’re fit enough, also consider tackling all 3,560 feet of glorious Mount Snowdon. If you’re staying with a pooch check out our post on the Top 15 Dog-friendly hotels in Wales.
My must-do highlights of Snowdonia National Park
- Climb Mount Snowdon (if it’s your first time it’s recommended that you climb the Llanberis path which is 9 miles in length and provides more gradual climb). Alternatively, take a ride to the top on the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
- Drive the very incredible Llanberis Pass where twin lakes cut through a vast mountain range and is considered to be one of the best driving routes in the UK.
- Visit the very impressive Dolgoch Falls which can be reached about 4km from the village of Bryncrug.
- Hike Cader Idris a stunning mountain reserve with a variety of landscapes and terrain.
- Take a trip to Llyn Padarn one of the most beautiful and largest lakes in Wales.
Our beautiful hotel choice for Snowdonia National Park – Palé Hall
- To book, check prices or dates for Palé Hall
A video capturing the stunning beauty of Snowdonia National Park with 4k drone footage…
2. Pembrokeshire Coast – one of the most gorgeous coastlines in the world
The county of Pembrokeshire is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Wales. Its craggy and dramatic coastline imprints itself in the hearts of anyone who goes there and we love how uncrowded this places feels, even at high season. Rugged cliffs, a naturally beautiful coastline and more than seventy sweeping beaches calling this place home.
Highlights include gorgeously preserved conservation areas, a National Park and excellent hiking trails which will take you close to medieval castles and towns, secret coves, Napoleonic forts and postcard-pretty ports.
My must-do highlights of Pembrokeshire Coast
- Go on the Pembrokeshire Coast long-distance walk it’s quite a hefty 200 miles long but it’s often considered to be one of the world’s great walking trails. The family-run VIP Wales offers some great walking holidays in this area.
- Go on a Sea Safari to try and spot whales and dolphins.
- Try mountain biking, surfing, paddleboarding, sailing or kayaking (equipment can be hired in the area)
- Spend a relaxing afternoon at Freshwater East beach a beautiful sandy beach with is family and dog friendly with conditions generally safe for swimming.
- Eat at The Brewery Inn Cosheston a fantastic dog-friendly pub in a pretty Pembrokeshire village.
Our beautiful hotel pick for the Pembrokeshire Coast – The Grove Narberth
- To book, check prices or dates for The Grove Narberth
3. Tenby, Pembrokeshire – a pretty harbour town to explore in Wales with glorious beaches, a charming atmosphere and fine Victorian houses
This picturesque seaside town deserves is located in Pembrokeshire but we feel it deserves a special mention of its own. Perched atop a hill overlooking beautiful beaches and surrounded by the remains of the original medieval walls, it’s filled with pretty Victorian house and cobbled streets lined with independent restaurants, historic buildings, traditional pubs, and independent shops.
The beautiful coastline has made Tenby the place to visit since the early 19th century and still pulls plenty of visitors today. Make sure you try a spot of kite-surfing or just strolling on the local beach.
My must-do highlights of Tenby
- Eat at stylish Salt Cellar just make sure you get a seat on the sun terrace which looks out towards St Catherine’s Island.
- Just walk around and take in all the wonderful sights and atmosphere and include the Tudor’s Merchant House on your tour, which is a charming historic house will give you an insight into the daily life of a family in 1500.
- Spend an afternoon at the gorgeous sandy Tenby South beach popular with families and visitors.
- Take your camera and take a trip to Tenby Harbour which is filled with gently bobbing boats.
Our beautiful hotel choice for Tenby – St Brides Spa Hotel
- To book, check prices or dates for St Brides Spa Hotel
4. Brecon Beacons – a sprawling mountain range and national park and easily one of the best places to visit in Wales
This is a famously beautiful, heather-clad mountain range in South Wales which has a protected status.
A popular activity and holiday spot, it attracts plenty of visitors to its excellent walking, mountain biking and horse riding trails. Scenery includes thick forests, grassy hills, waterfalls, peaceful reservoirs and South Wales’ highest mountain – Pen y Fan.
Also expect a handful of characterful towns dotted with the odd Michelin-starred restaurant or a gourmet farmer’s market.
My must-do highlights of Brecon Beacons
- Take a hike around the beautiful rolling hills and include a trip in the iconic 4 waterfalls valley, a particularly scenic walking trail around the park.
- Explore the National Park on a bike.
- Take a journey up to Llyn y Fan Fach one of the most ethereally beautiful lakes in the park.
Our beautiful hotel choice for the Brecon Beacons – Old Rectory Country Hotel
- To book, check prices or dates for the Old Rectory Country Hotel
5. Mumbles – a cosy but cosmopolitan fishing village which is an underrated beauty spot in South Wales
Catherine Zeta-Jone’s home town and one of Dylan Thomas’ many stomping grounds is one of the UK’s best-kept secrets. It’s a super cute historic seaside retreat dotted with gourmet restaurants and quaint teashops and just happens to be newly fashionable with travellers-in-the know.
The town stretches along the shoreline at the southern end of Swansea Bay – a place which has now been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Expect award-winning beaches, spectacular sunsets and miles of the unspoiled countryside just waiting to be explored.
6. llyn peninsula – a wildly beautiful peninsula and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Ll?n is the long stretch of land that reaches out westwards beyond Snowdonia’s craggy peaks. It’s a place where the Welsh language and a traditional way of life still flourish and is one of five areas in Wales designated an area of outstanding beauty.
With the Irish Sea on one side and Cardigan Bay on the other, it has a sunny southern coast strewn with beautiful beaches, unspoiled countryside scenery, and some very pretty towns. It’s also an area renowned for watersports including wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing, powerboating, and windsurfing.
Our beautiful accommodation choice for the llyn peninsula – Water Front Beach House
- To book, check prices or dates for the Water Front Beach House
7. Gower Peninsula – the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and home to some of the best beaches in Europe
The first place to be declared an area of outstanding beauty in Britain was always going to make this list. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Bristol Sea, the South Wales beauty spot is known for its unspoiled landscapes, its important historic features, and its varied wildlife inhabitants.
Expect medieval churches, majestic castles, and prehistoric standing stones set against a backdrop of rolling hills, lush green valleys, and long stretches of wide sandy beaches framed by dramatic clifftops.
Our beautiful accommodation choice for the Gower Peninsula – Traeth Bychan Apartment
- To book, check prices or dates for the Traeth Bychan Apartment
8. Conwy, Wales – a stunning historic castle which is considered to be one of the best places to visit in Wales
This attractive market town can be found on the North Coast of Wales. Yes it does have it’s fair share of visitors but the castle – which dominates part of the town with its vast battlements – is staggeringly beautiful.
The world heritage listed fortress dates from the 13th century and is excellently preserved with scenic battlement views and a varied calendar of events.
Also pay a visit to the 14th century Aberconwy House and the smallest house in Great Britain – but at only 72 inches wide – you might miss it!
9. Wye Valley – a very pretty area to explore in Wales which is one of the most dramatic and scenic landscapes in Britain
Yet another area of outstanding beauty, the unspoiled area straddles the border between England and Wales. It’s home to arguably some most dramatic and scenic landscape areas in Southern Britain and has seduced many artists, writers, and poets over the centuries.
Even William Wordsworth swooned over its “steep woods, lofty cliffs, and green pastoral landscape.” Hikers, mountain bikers and canoeists can’t get enough of the place – and with good reason.
10. Anglesey – a stunning island to visit and explore in Wales known for its beaches and ancient sites
This is yet another place declared an area of outstanding beauty and the island has enjoyed recent fame for being the former home of Kate and Wills.
Located just off the northwest coast of Wales, Anglesey is a place to relax and lose yourself in the winding lanes which cut through wild rugged landscapes.
It’s home to a spectacular coastal path which has 125 miles of gorgeous scenery to explore, on foot or by kayak. There’s also plenty to do for all the family with attractions, events and outdoor activities on offer, all set in beautiful untouched scenery.
11. Devils Bridge falls – a striking world-famous tourist attraction in Mid Wales
This famous and beautiful attraction to visit in Wales is located in the centre of the heart of the stunning Cambrian Mountains around 12 miles from the popular seaside town of Aberystwyth.
This place even beguiled William Wordsworth who wrote about the “Torrent at the Devil’s Bridge,” stand on the imposing high stone bridge for a spectacular view of the picturesque waterfall that plunges into a lush deep, wooded gorge.
12. Betws y Coed – one of the prettiest villages to visit in North Wales which is also a gateway to Snowdonia National Park
A beautiful yet bustling village which tourists seem to love but they never spoil. It’s actually a gateway village to one of the most stunning and beautiful places in Wales, Snowdonia National Park.
It also happens to be one of the prettiest villages in Wales and is nestled snuggly in a valley near the point where the River Conwy is met by both the River Llugwy and the River Lledr. As well as being home to a number of independent shops selling crafts, clothing, gifts, and local homemade produce it’s also a hub for mountain biking due to its pristine and unspoiled surroundings.
Just up the road is the Marin Route, a fabulous mountain bike trail that will take you through the stunning peaks and pines of Gwydir Forest.
13. Point of Ayr Lighthouse – Wales’ oldest lighthouse and a stunning beauty spot
The ethereally beautiful Point of Ayr Lighthouse, is a historic grade II listed building located on the beautiful and unspoiled north coast of Wales, on the Point of Ayr.
Surrounded by myth and legend and keeping watching over the feisty Irish Sea, you’ll find this beautiful Welsh attraction surrounded by miles of golden sand and flanked by dunes, not too far from the pretty village of Talacr. Built in 1776, it’s actually Wales’ oldest lighthouse but has now been abandoned since the 1840s.
14. Castle Coch – the beautiful fairytale castle to visit in South Wales
One of the best places to visit in Wales, Castle Coch this a dreamy romantic folly which is sometimes known as Cardiff’s Fairytale Castle or the ‘Red Castle’ is a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle that sits majestically on a hill over overlooking North Cardiff and the valley of River Taff.
It’s a charming place to visit, home to striking interior consisting of dazzling ceilings and opulent furnishings but it’s arguably the castle’s surroundings that are the biggest draw. The stunning structure spectacularly rises up from the ancient woods of the Fforest Fawr like something out of a fairytale.
15. Cardigan Bay – a beautiful area in Wales home to a town rich in heritage, gorgeous natural surroundings and Europe’s largest collection of bottlenose dolphins
Both a gorgeous place for visitors to explore and a highly sought after place to live in Wales, beautiful Cardigan Bay is a large inlet in the Irish Sea, set between the west coast of Wales and Strumble Head.
It’s a photogenic place where mountains sweep down to mee clear blue sea and where you’ll see a series of beautiful estuaries, large sandy beaches, and if you’re lucky the resident bottlenose dolphins.
It’s a place where you’ll also find hidden beauty spots, stunning lakes, and plenty of places to walk and hike. If that’s not enough the town provides a rich heritage and a thriving culture of arts and crafts, events, and music festivals – wonderful!
16. Llanrwst – a handsome historic tourist village located near Snowdonia
This beautiful Welsh gem is a small market town once supported by the wool trade but now – due to it’s close proximity to Snowdonia – is mostly thriving due to tourism.
Enjoying a privileged position right on the River Conwy, in Conwy County Borough, Wales, the very easy-on-the-eye historic town is hailed as the ‘capital’ of the verdant Vale of Conwy.
Visit here for the postcard-pretty scenes as well as the 17th three-arched bridge which straddles the river, Tu Hwnt i’r Bont, a beautifully restored 15th-century house now owned by the National Trust and Gwydir Chapel which is said to be where the remains of Llywelyn the Great, the revered 13th-century Prince of Gwynedd is buried.
17. Llandudno – a popular and pretty coastal tourist town in North Wales
A beautiful and vibrant Victorian seaside gem with a long history and a rich maritime past. Located by the Irish Sea in the Conwy County Borough, on the Creuddyn peninsula, it’s a charming place to visit in Wales known for its North Shore Beach and 19th-century Llandudno Pier.
With shops galore and typical seaside fun like a games arcade and a lovely sandy beach, there’s plenty here to keep visitors and families happy.
The surroundings are also worth exploring – ancient tunnels lead to a cavern at Great Orme Mines, a historic tramway leads to the headland’s summit, and to the east resides Little Orme a beautiful nature reserve.
18. Cardiff Bay – a beautiful and lively waterfront area in the Welsh capital
With the fine array of shops and restaurants and its historic castle as a central focal point, Cardiff is the fun, lively and easy-on-the-eye Welsh capital. There are plenty of great places to visit in the city of Cardiff but Cardiff Bay is a fantastic stand-out area.
It’s a diverse waterfront built around a 200-hectare freshwater lake known as ‘the Bay.’ Created by the Cardiff Barrage it offers a bountiful supply of things to do including fantastic eateries, boat trips, cultural attractions, and great nightlife too.
19. Caernarfon Castle – a stunning castle which is recognised around the world as being one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages
One of the best and most beloved castles to visit in Wales and surrounded by myth and legend this is a Royal fortress-palace built in the Middle Ages. Today Caernarfon Castle is still beautifully preserved and one of the best places to visit in Wales.
Located on the banks of the River Seiont this fine historic castle is now a world heritage site and is unrivaled in terms of sheer scale and architectural drama.
20. Tresaith Beach – a beautiful blue flag beach which is family and dog friendly
Tresaith is a pretty and small village in Ceredigion in an area surrounded by naturally beautiful landscapes and a variety of wildlife (including seabirds, grey seals and dolphins). It’s also home to a beautiful sandy beach that is popular on sunny days but never gets too overcrowded.
It’s a great spot for relaxing, dolphin spotting, or soaking up the salty sea air at one of the local pub gardens. Check out the scenic Wales Coast Path for an easy walk from Aberporth to the south and Penbryn to the north.
21. Llangollen North Wales – a pretty historic town surrounded by spectacular scenery
This beautiful gem of a place is a charming place to visit in Wales. The small town is not only steeped in a rich history but it enjoys a privileged position in truly stunning riverside surroundings (Harrison Ford even took a canal boat holiday here).
Often known as the “Gateway to Wales” it once drew influential visitors such as Welsh princes and influential abbots and today there are enough attractions to keep its many visitors happy.
Home to a fine collection of cafés, bars, hotels, restaurants as well as many accommodation options including cottages and a campsite. Take an evening stroll along Victoria Promenade, a ride on the steam railway, a romantic picnic in Riverside Park, or try one of the many outdoor activities on offer.
22. Monknash Beach – a beautiful secluded beach and an under-the-radar Welsh gem
Located in Cwm Nash, approximately 20 minutes from a car park, is this secluded and idyllic unspoilt beach made up of rocks, rock pools and stunning golden sands in low tide. It’s also known for the brook that overspills onto the rock platforms below creating a gushing and unique waterfall.
Flanked by dramatic high cliffs, Monknash Beach can be found following a scenic walk along a tree-lined track, which follows Nash Brook to the beach. Its off the beaten track location ensures that it remains a peaceful and beautiful retreat in Wales.
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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a special fondness for Scandinavia I’ve always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world, you’ll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland.