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WALES

Get the Details On Our Wales Adventure

Find out more about the adventure, including activity level, pricing, traveler excellence rating, included meals, and more

Trip Itinerary
Discover the history of the British Isles, from castles to the Book of Kells, and enjoy the unique culture here.
09:19 | 1295 views

15 DAYS FROM $8,295 • $ 553 / DAY
Small Ship Adventure

Adventure Details

Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

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Recommended Viewing

Watch this video showcasing what makes this country so unforgettable

Curious About ... Wales Produced by Curious Traveler

Why is there a red dragon on the Welsh flag? Find out the answer—and much more about this multifaceted country—in this film.

25:35 |   3767 views   

Wales: Month-by-Month

There are pros and cons to visiting a destination during any time of the year. Find out what you can expect during your ideal travel time, from weather and climate, to holidays, festivals, and more.

Wales in January-March

Winter through early spring is a cold, rainy time of year in Wales—with an average temperature of 44⁰F. Snow also makes its yearly appearance, but rarely lasts long in the lower lying parts of the country—it’s in the mountains where snowfall is significant, and can even close roads. All this precipitation causes waterfalls off the mountainsides to roar down at full force, which makes for a spectacular sight to see.

The Welsh don’t slow down during this chillier season, however. Winter sports like rugby, football (what we call soccer), and ice hockey keep spectators entertained, while pubs offer locals and visitors alike a cozy spot to warm up with friends over a pint and hearty dishes like lamb Cawl (a traditional Welsh stew) or rarebit (cheese on toast).

Holidays & Events

  • January 13: Hen Galan; Welsh New Year. While the majority of the UK recognizes New Year’s Day as the first of January, the locals of Pembrokeshire in the Gwaun Valley celebrate the New Year on the 13th, which adheres the ancient Julian calendar (predating the more traditionally used Gregorian calendar). On this day, children sing to receive their Calennig—New Year gifts, which are usually fruit, candy, or money.
  • March 1: Saint David’s Day; the feast day celebrating Saint David, patron saint of Wales.

Must See

Cardiff is the place to be for Near Year’s Eve in Wales. The capital city provides revelers old and young with plenty of outdoor festivities, such as a Winter Wonderland filled with ice skating rinks, fairground rides, and an Alpine Village of seasonal refreshments—culminating with fireworks at midnight.

New Year’s Day, on the other hand, is packed with opportunities to prove your mettle during one of the country’s annual wintertime swims. Participants, besides braving the icy water, also dress up in costume for their plunge, while raising funds for various charities. The Walrus Dip in Pembrey Country Park, Saundersfoot New Year Swim, and the Barry Island New Year’s Day Dip are a few ways the Welsh take a bracing swim for a good cause.

Watch this film to discover more about Wales

Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: Bath and South Wales

Produced by Small World Productions

Let Emmy award-winning travel expert Rudy Maxa guide you through Bath and South Wales' historic landscapes.

25:11 | 143 views

Wales in April-June

Spring in Wales can sometimes be a little unpredictable—a mild day can just as easily be followed by a sudden snow squall. But as the season soldiers on, trees and flowers begin to bloom and the days become both warmer and longer—with earlier sunrises and later sunsets.  

This season is also exciting for wildlife lovers. The countryside and coast bustle with life this time of year—from the return of migratory birds and the birth of baby deer in the forests to dolphin sightings, puffins hatching, and seal pups napping on the rocks along the shore. 

Holidays & Events

  • May 14: Dylan Day; a day set aside to celebrate the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
  • May 24-June 3: The Hay Festival; not farm-related as the name suggests, but instead is an annual literature festival which attracts writers, poets, and other artists from across the UK.

Must See

As the weather becomes warmer in Wales, outdoor festivals pop up throughout the country. In May, for example, the Royal Welsh Spring Festival showcases myriad aspects of rural life—from livestock and horse exhibits to workshops on gardening, artisanal food to sample, and shooting and archery lessons. 

Watch this film to discover more about Wales

Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: Bath and South Wales

Produced by Small World Productions

Let Emmy award-winning travel expert Rudy Maxa guide you through Bath and South Wales' historic landscapes.

25:11 | 143 views

Wales in July-September

Summer is the most popular time to visit Wales. The sunny, warmer weather beckons travelers to explore the country’s various landscapes—from the lush, green mountains to the stunning coastline. The seas are calmest this time of year and the beaches are plentiful, so expect them to attract both locals and travelers. The Pembrokeshire coast in particular is a hot spot for summer tourists; the warm Gulf Stream helps to make the waters off these shores quite comfortable for swimming. 

Holidays & Events

  • June 21: Summer Solstice
  • August 4-14: National Eisteddfod Festival; an annual celebration of music, literature, and live performances. 

Must See

The last weekend of September each year, Cardiff becomes a haven for cheese lovers. The Great British Cheese Festival, a celebration of all things cheese, is a tasty event featuring stalls of the UK’s best cheeses, as well as local craft beers, wines, and ports—plus unconventional activities like cheese rolling and cheese-making demonstrations.  

Watch this film to discover more about Wales

Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: Bath and South Wales

Produced by Small World Productions

Let Emmy award-winning travel expert Rudy Maxa guide you through Bath and South Wales' historic landscapes.

25:11 | 143 views

Wales in October-December

October heralds in true autumnal weather in Wales, as September can still be relatively sunny and warm. Cool, foggy mornings give way to crisp, clear days perfect for leaf-peeping. Wales puts on a stunning color show each season, with trees in a vibrant array of red, gold, and orange.  

With schools back in session and the weather cooling down, tourists begin to clear out—making it a good time for a quiet visit. The seas can get rough this season, however, so take that into account if you plan to travel by ship. 

Holidays & Events

  • September 22-23: Autumn Equinox
  • October 27-29: Conwy Feast; an annual weekend festival of art, food, and music set against the dramatic backdrop of Conwy’s medieval castle.
  • December 26: Gŵyl San Steffan; known as St. Stephan’s Day or Boxing Day throughout the rest of the UK. 

Must See

In the northwest of Wales, the intimidating Caernarfon Castle looms above the coast—its unusual polygonal towers striking an imposing silhouette against the sky. What better time to visit this well-preserved medieval castle than on Halloween? During this spooky season, the World Heritage site transforms into a haunted castle, where visitors are invited to explore the dark passages and creepy towers in search of a ghostly knight. 

Watch this film to discover more about Wales

Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: Bath and South Wales

Produced by Small World Productions

Let Emmy award-winning travel expert Rudy Maxa guide you through Bath and South Wales' historic landscapes.

25:11 | 143 views

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Wales Interactive Map

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Caernarfon

The mighty stone towers and intimidatingly thick walls of Caernarfon Castle leave little of the castle’s original intent to the imagination: King Edward I built this “monster in masonry” in the late 13th-century as a symbol and stronghold of English power over the recently conquered Welsh people.

Caernarfon took more than 40 years to complete and is now the largest and most famous castle in Wales. Unlike the round towers characteristic of other fortresses built in this period, Caernarfon’s towers are polygonal—some have as many as ten sides—to better repel invaders. With turreted battlements lining its walls, spiral staircases that lead to cavernous secret passages, and its strategic position at the mouth of the Seiont River, Caernarfon is an impressive and well-fortified example of medieval military architecture.

While no longer a seat of power, Caernarfon’s historic relevance has endured. In 1284, one year after construction began, Edward I’s son was born within the castle’s walls; seizing on this opportunity to solidify his Welsh dominion, Edward gave his son the title “Prince of Wales,” thus establishing the storied tradition of reigning monarchs bequeathing this title on their heir. Today, Caernarfon Castle is perhaps most famous as the site of the investiture of Charles, the current Prince of Wales, in 1969.

Despite Edward I’s long-ago attempts to cement England’s position here, Caernarfon town and the surrounding area still remain a bedrock of Welsh pride and nationalism—in fact, over 80% of the town’s population speak Welsh. With few cars on the road and welcoming locals, this friendly little town showcases the legendary history and warmth of the Welsh people.

Explore Caernarfon with O.A.T. on:

Fishguard

Nestled in a picturesque harbor and surrounded by steep coastal cliffs, Fishguard brims with quaint Welsh simplicity. This snug little village has an outsized history: It is best known as the site of the Last Invasion of Britain, a two-day siege by the French in 1797. The invading French forces were quickly defeated by the hearty Fishguard townspeople, including Jemima Nichols, the “Welsh Heroine” who singlehandedly captured twelve French soldiers. The so-called Battle of Fishguard is commemorated in a colorful 100-foot tapestry, sewn by the women of Fishguard on its bicentennial.

Nearby, St Davids Cathedral beckons the religious faithful and history buffs alike. As the burial site of Saint David, patron saint of Wales, the Cathedral occupies an integral place in the Welsh national narrative and has been drawing pilgrims since the sixth century. Explore the leaning pillars of the stone nave (a product of the swampy land on which the Cathedral is built) and pay a visit to Saint David’s tomb in the Holy Trinity chapel.

Beyond the town of St Davids and amid the rolling green hills of the Welsh countryside is the family-run Alan James Farm. After touring the property and learning about the inner workings of this busy farm, get an authentic taste of rural Welsh life today: Enjoy fresh milk in the milking parlor and have tea in the farmer’s home.

Discover Fishguard with O.A.T. on:

Featured Reading

Immerse yourself in Wales with this selection of articles, recipes, and more

Traveler Photos & Videos

View photos and videos submitted by fellow travelers from our Wales adventures. Share your own travel photos »

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