It can be challenging to decide how many days to spend in Wales when planning your next trip. Especially how much time is required to explore South Wales and North Wales. We put together an itinerary with insider tips from a local. It covers every must-see spot in the region.
It is recommended to stay for a minimum of five days in Wales. This amount of time will allow you to see all of the main sights in the country and give enough time to travel between each area.
If you have the time, you can easily extend your trip to seven to ten days in Wales, depending on what the main sights you would like to see in the country are. For anyone who is short of time, you may just want to stick to one area, such as North Wales, on your trip to avoid rushing around.
Tip: Bookmark the best South Wales Hotel Deals (via booking.com) and the best low-price deals for North Wales (also via booking.com)
💡 Tip: Check out our Wales season guide further below and the 7 essential travel quick tips for Wales at the end of this article!
The Perfect 5 Day Wales Itinerary
Our perfect itinerary covers Conwy, Caernarfon, the Brecon Beacons, Cardiff, Gower Peninsula in Swansea (Three Cliffs Bay), and other mesmerizing places in Wales.
We recommend starting your trip in Conwy, which is easily accessible from Manchester and nearby areas if you are entering Wales that way. Conwy is known for its 13th-century castle and medieval walls. Visitors can enjoy walking around the walls that enclose the town, which offer some of the best views in the area.
From Conwy, you’ll want to continue on to Caernarfon, which should take only about thirty minutes in the car. During your journey, you’ll pass by Bangor, which is the oldest city in Wales. Stop in Caernarfon to enjoy the castle this morning, which is a popular UNESCO site in the area.
After this, spend lunchtime at Snowdonia National Park. If you are particularly keen on hiking, you may want to add an additional day here to allow you to hike to the summit. Alternatively, ride the train up to Snowdon’s summit for incredible views from the top. An optional fun activity this afternoon is visiting Portmeirion, where you could even opt to stay for the night. This is an Italian-themed village which is like nothing you would expect to see in Wales.
Moving on this morning, you’ll travel to Hay-on-Wye, which is located by the Brecon Beacons National Park. This is a popular destination with book lovers, and it contains the largest second-hand book shopping area in the world. After wandering around here in the morning, you’ll want to head out into the Brecon Beacons this afternoon. Choose a trail depending on your fitness level and to suit your preferences this afternoon.
This morning, you’ll head on to Cardiff, which is somewhere many visitors to Wales choose to start or end their trip if arriving by train. There’s plenty to keep you entertained for a few days here if you like, including watching a performance at the Millennium Centre, shopping, or visiting the National Museum. If you haven’t seen enough castles yet, Cardiff Castle is another great stop on your journey.
While some individuals might decide to finish their trip in Cardiff, we encourage you to move on to the southwest coast for your final day. Here you can enjoy hiking a segment of the Wales Coast Path and admire the stunning coast in this part of Wales. Enjoy local seafood and relaxing by the shore on your final night in Wales.
Tip: Book a Cardiff Hop-on, Hop-Off Bus Tour (via GetYourGuide). It’s one thing you should do in Cardiff.
Optional Day 6
If you have an additional day to spare, enjoy stopping on your way back to Cardiff at Tenby, which has a stunning castle and Victorian homes to tour. Finish your trip by stopping at Gower Peninsula in Swansea, where you won’t want to miss Three Cliffs Bay. You’ll enjoy admiring the incredible views here and toasting to a wonderful trip exploring Wales. From here, you can head back to Cardiff the following day to continue your journey home.
Best Time to Visit Wales
The best time to visit wales is between April and June. While is the weather is usually unreliable in Wales, you will experience many pleasant days with less rain during this period. Additionally, everything is lush and green, and the flowers are blooming.
Best Time to Avoid the Crowds in Wales
The most crowded time in Wales is usually from mid-July to late August, when the school summer holidays occur. If you plan to visit popular tourist spots, try to avoid this period or plan your trip during the week from Monday to Friday. Weekends are even busier.
Wales Seasons | Weather
For your perfect five days in wales, it’s important to know which month and season to choose.
It is usually cool, wet, and windy in Wales in the winter months from December to February. The coldest days in Wales occur in January and February, especially along the coast.
Precipitation is quite high in winter, but snow is rare (except in the mountains). Towards the end of winter, rainfall and windy weather decrease significantly. At the beginning of the winter, however, there is often the highest precipitation of the year.
The mountains of Wales are among the coldest places in the UK in the winter, and snow can always fall.
In spring, from March to May, it is usually cool but relatively dry compared to the winter months. The Atlantic Ocean has lost much of its warmth over autumn and winter. Also, in spring, the mountain regions in Wales are among the coolest areas in the UK.
In summer, from June to August, it is also somewhat dry, but rainfall is always possible in Wales. Nevertheless, Wales surprises with many hours of sunshine. However, there are some valleys in the south of Wales, which don’t get much sunshine.
It is usually very unpredictable in autumn from September to November because cool air masses meet here again and again with warm air masses over Great Britain. Also, in autumn, the mountainous regions of Wales are among the coolest regions in the UK.
7 Essential Wales Travel Tips
1. Catch the Heartbeat of Welsh Language
Wales, or Cymru as it’s known in Welsh, is a proud nation where the national language lives and breathes. Even if you only learn a few phrases, the effort is warmly appreciated. Give it a go! Start with “Bore da” (Good morning), “Diolch” (Thank you), and why not “Cymru am byth” (Wales forever) for the big finish.
2. Get Off the Beaten Path
There’s more to Wales than Cardiff. Have you heard of Pembrokeshire Coast? This National Park offers some of the UK’s most jaw-dropping seaside landscapes. Or visit Snowdonia, an adventurer’s paradise with its craggy peaks and quiet valleys. Trust us, your Instagram will thank you!
3. Tap into the Magic of Welsh Castles
No visit to Wales is complete without stepping into the medieval world. With over 600 castles, you have plenty to choose from. A hidden gem is Castell Dinas Brân, perched high on a hill with views that will steal your breath away. Remember, the best way to explore is to hire a local guide – their stories will make the stones come alive.
4. Savor the Taste of Wales
Wales boasts a delicious culinary scene that often goes under the radar. Be sure to try Welsh Cawl (a hearty stew), Bara Brith (fruitcake), and for the adventurous foodie, Laverbread – not a bread, but a unique seaweed delicacy. Visit local farmers’ markets to experience Welsh produce at its freshest.
5. Embrace the “Welsh Weather”
In Wales, they say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Be prepared for the elements with waterproof clothing and good walking shoes. But don’t let a bit of rain dampen your spirits – the dramatic skies and misty landscapes make Wales all the more enchanting.
Embarking on a journey to Wales is stepping into a world of vibrant culture, breathtaking nature, and rich history. Follow these tips to immerse yourself in all that this wonderful land has to offer. Happy travels or, as they say in Wales, “Daith hapus!”
6. Tap Your Feet to Welsh Music
Welsh music is a beautiful blend of tradition and contemporary. Wales is known as the “Land of Song” after all! Be sure to catch a Male Voice Choir performance, a deeply emotional experience, and an integral part of Welsh culture. For contemporary music lovers, Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion is a must-visit for its eclectic mix of artists and stunning seaside location.
7. Navigate Like a Local
Public transport in Wales is reliable but can be sparse in rural areas. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. But remember, the locals drive on the left side of the road! Also, rural Welsh roads can be narrow and winding, with occasional free-roaming sheep. Embrace these moments as part of the Welsh charm.