Although the largest principality in the world, Wales is a small country. But despite this, it offers both spectacular natural beauty and fascinating ancient history.
To the north is the historical county of Clwyd (Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham). Lying along the Vale of Llangollen, it has some of the most spectacular scenery in Wales, from wooded valleys with lush water meadows and trout and salmon rivers to 2000ft mountain peaks.
Moving westwards one arrives in Gwynedd which is most famous for its spectacular wild landscape of the Snowdonia National Park. Elsewhere the terrain is less challenging, where hill farms and tranquil villages dot the landscape. Human history has also left its mark from ancient Celtic burial sites to splendid Norman castles such as Harlech, Caernarfon and Conwy.
To the north-east is the Isle of Anglesy which though may not be as mountainous as its neighbors still has some delightful natural and historical surprises from glorious beaches to ancient historical sites, notably Edward I's glorious castle at Beaumaris.
Moving southwards lies the sparsely populated county of Powys. As such it is an ideal place for those who enjoy walking through wild, isolated tracts of countryside. The rugged peaks of the Berwyn Mountains fall away to near deserted moorland and on through a succession of rolling uplands and river valleys, culminating in a series of rounded hills that frown down upon the English borderlands with many ruined castles.
To the west is the traditional county of Dyfed (Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigon (Cardiganshire)). Dyfed is home to Britain's only Coastal National Park and incorporates almost the entire length of the Pembroke coastline where the towering cliffs, sandy coves and headlands offer the visitor a walk along 200-miles of beautiful coastal path with many natural and historical distractions. Because Dyfed is not very mountainous its inland expanses have a softer, though no less dramatic appearance with rugged moorland to undulating hills that play host to ancient burial chambers, standing stones, prehistoric forts and Norman castles. Carmarthen Bay with its spectacular views and surrounding castles, is a site to behold.
Moving southwards one arrives in Glamorgan. Apart from hosting, Wales' capital city, Cardiff, it has wonderful unspoilt landscape such as its Heritage Coast and rich history as evidenced by numerous castles and other enchanting sites in various states of repair.
Neighbouring Glamorgan to the west is the historic county of Gwent, (the districts of Blaenau Gwent, Islwyn, Monmouth, Newport and Torfaen). North of the industrial valleys, the Brecon Beacons National Park is edged by the Black Mountains, whose high peaks overlook the beautiful Wye Valley where the River Wye meanders through spectacular landscape. This is border country with England where there are remains of many castles that remind us of the great battles between the Welsh and the English down the centuries.
To the west of Glamorgan is the historic county of West Glamorgan (Swansea and Neath Port Talbot). Swansea is the principal city of West Glamorgan and second largest in Wales. To its west is the spectacular Gower Peninsula, a rocky headland extending 14-miles into the Atlantic. Inland the Pescyner Wildlife Park hosts a wonderful range of animals in a most exhilarating setting while Margam Country Park incorporates extensive lands formerly controlled by Margam Abbey in the 13th century. The Afan Forest Park across the county, is a paradise for naturalists, ramblers and cyclists
Wales is an amazing place for history buffs, adventurers, cyclists, anglers, walkers and those who just want a peaceful, relaxing time - not bad for a small country.