Go dolphin-spotting with the kids or let the train take the strain of climbing Snowdon: Wales has something for everyone.
If you want to book this year’s summer break without breaking the bank, why not consider a trip to Wales?
For a start there will be no queuing at airports, and no risk of your plans being disrupted by the latest volcanic activity in Iceland. But most importantly you’ll get to enjoy some of the most impressive scenery, stunning coastlines, and warm hospitality that Europe – let alone the UK – has to offer.
We’ve teamed up with Visit Wales to highlight some of the best holidays that the country has to offer – there’s something for you whether you’re travelling with kids, looking for adventure or hungry for a cultural fix.
For more information and details of accommodation options, check out the Visit Wales website.
Best break for young families
Cardigan Bay in west Wales gives holidaymakers a rare chance to glimpse bottle-nose dolphins in the waters between New Quay, the Teifi Estuary and Cardigan Island. The best time to spot them is between spring and autumn, and they can be seen from the shore as well as on dedicated boat trips.
Fans of sea life will also appreciate the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, which is free to enter.
The centre offers lots of displays and activities for kids as well as its own dolphin-survey trips.
In Aberystwyth you’ll find the Rheidol Railway – British Rail’s last steam railway, which was privatised in 1989. It takes you through a wooded valley to Devil’s Bridge, with walks to Mynach falls, Devil’s Punchbowl and Jacob’s Ladder.
If you’ve never tried – or heard of – kite surfing, here’s your chance.
Head over to Pembrokeshire for lessons from Big Blue Kite Surfing . This involves being pulled by a kite through the water on a wakeboard or kiteboard. Tuition from Big Blue start at £190 each for a two-day beginner’s course.
There’s accommodation available nearby at the Crug-Glas Country House: it has doubles from £100 a night on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Alternatively, you could try your hand at coasteering: a new sport which consists of putting on a wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet, then climbing, swimming, scrambling your way along some spectacular Welsh coastline, pausing occasionally to throw yourself of a cliff.
You don’t have to be super-fit or an especially strong swimmer to take part – courses and more information are available from TYF Adventure.
In the capital, Cardiff, Tiger Bay Training offers tuition in sailing and powerboats in Cardiff Bay and out into the Bristol Channel. A two-hour “RIB adventure” takes in the nature reserve islands of Flatholm and Steepholm and costs from just £29 per person.
Something more sedate
If an action-packed trip isn’t quite your thing, there are much more relaxing ways to spend your time in Wales.
For some wonderful mountain scenery, head north: earlier this year saw the opening of the final section of the Ffestiniog Railway, running from Caernarfon in the west to Blaenau Ffestiniog across 40 miles of beautiful Snowdonia.
The Snowdonia Mountain Railway has been taking visitors to the highest point in Wales for more than a century now. Advanced booking recommended, and return trips to the top of Snowdon cost from £16 for children and £20 for adults.
The nearby Conway Castle sits on a rock above the Conway Estuary beneath the Snowdonia skyline. It was originally constructed by Edward I between 1283 and 1289, and has stunning views of the mountains, sea and the beautiful town of Conway. Admission is £4.70 for adults and £4.20 for children.