1. Year of the Sea
2018 is Wales’s Year of the Sea – there’s no better time to discover this natural playground, which dishes up some of the country’s most tasty delicacies and has enough castles-with-sea-views to give your Instagram account a proper workout.
2. A captivating capital
Thanks to new direct flights to Cardiff from Australia, it’s even easier to catch a rugby match at the atmospheric Principality Stadium, wind through the shopping arcades picking up treasures and take in a gig at hip side-street venues.
3. Wales’ wild side
From a sleepover on Skomer Island to ogle a plethora of puffins to spotting soaring red kites in the skies over mid Wales, this is a country rich in wildlife-watching opportunities.
4. Conquer a castle
Think Wales, think castles – 641 of them to be exact. Visit the ‘UNESCO World Heritage quartet’ in north Wales: Beaumaris, Harlech, Caernarfon and Conwy. With moats, drawbridges and turrets galore, they’re what LEGO enthusiasts’ dreams are made of.
5. Walk this Wales
Wales was the first country with a continuous walking path all around its coastline –head to the edges of the country and pick up the path for stunning views, excellent beaches and endless photo opps.
6. Jump in!
If your tastes run to higher octane adventures than walking, try coasteering, a sport pioneered in west Wales, which involves cliff jumping, caving and swimming all in one wild afternoon.
7. Zips and rubber
North Wales is a thrill-seeker’s paradise, boasting the world’s fastest zip line, Zip World Velocity, an incredible giant trampoline inside a former slate mine, Bounce Below, plus a world-first inland surf lagoon, Surf Snowdonia.
Photo © Lonely Planet and VisitWales
8. See stars
For such a small country, Wales is graced with an amazing three National Parks, two of which have Dark Sky Reserve status. Gaze into the Milky Way and even spy meteor showers.
9. Stay somewhere extraordinary
From cliff camping to haunted castles, Wales has tons of unique accommodation. Embrace nature and luxury in one go at Fforest’s geodesic domes, which feature plush double beds, wood-burning stoves and bucolic wraparound views.
Photo © Epic Retreats
Whether it’s creating a carnival atmosphere in a historic village, like Festival Number 6, or throwing a shindig in lush woodland, like Green Man, Wales knows how to put on a party – check out a year-long calendar of events from food fests to literary love-ins.