Wales conjures up images of beautiful landscapes, fields of daffodils, rolling hills, looming mountains and, also, it has to be said, rain. Travel to Wales and it will more likely be wetter than England, however coastal areas can enjoy plenty of sunshine in the summer months (July and August). The Welsh spirit and identity is strong; of course one of the reasons for this is that it has its own language and at least one fifth of the population speaks Welsh. There are areas brimming with natural beauty, such as Snowdonia National Park and Brecon Beacons National Park, the former park situated in the northwest of Wales. The capital, Cardiff, in southern Wales, is a vibrant cultural capital, which hosts many sporting events. The Welsh have a strong connection with rugby, despite the sport originating from the English town of Rugby. Swansea, the next biggest city, is a friendly place, packed with pubs and is also the former home of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. If you wish to walk a part of or the entire length of the Welsh coastline, there is the Wales Coast Path, which opened in May 2012 and is 870 miles long in its entirety. From peaceful rambling trails to the modern buzz of the capital, Wales has rugged good looks and charm.
Surface area : 20800.0 km2
Population : 3000000 inhabitants
Take some speciality delicacies home with you: laverbread, Welsh bread and cake. The local specialities consist of wild flower essence, ceramics and carved wood traditional objects. Shops are open from 9:AM to 5:30 PM on week days.
Make the most of your holiday in Wales to taste the fish (trout and salmon) and shellfish (mussels, cockles, whelk). Try also the Welsh lamb casserole, the beef and ale pot roast and laverbread (a speciality of brown seaweed served with bacon, tomatoes and toast). Don't forget to try Welsh raisin and fruit bread with a cup of tea.
The Welsh traditions are perpetuated during Eisteddfod, the popular music festival in Llangollen. Each year, in the first week of July, the town lives to the rhythm of the Welsh songs, dances and legends; and living reconstructions of ancient druidic gatherings and bards' reciting.
Don't miss out on taking the steam train in Ffestiniog. The line, previously used to transport slates, starts from Portmadog Harbour and crosses the splendid scenery of the national park of Snowdonia. The line ends in Blaenau Ffestinog, after a journey of 14 miles.