(Cardiff, Tenby, Aberaeron, Betws-y-Coed)
Our Wales Signature tour is designed to offer a comprehensive guided experience of the country, at a relaxed and comfortable pace. Join your private driver/guide on a journey which spans the length and breadth of Wales, showcasing Wales' history, culture and outstanding natural beauty.
Within the compact city center of Cardiff, you'll find unique attractions, top class entertainment - and quality shopping with a difference. Innovative architecture sits alongside historic buildings, the bustle of the city center is only a few strides from acres of peaceful parklands, and Cardiff Bay offers indoor and outdoor entertainment for everyone.
Experience the beauty, first hand, of The Brecon Beacon and Snowdonia National Parks which have some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside in Wales, the Italianate village of Portmeirion, historical castles and Neolithic sites, stunning coastlines and quaint towns and villages.
With your private vehicle, the tour is flexible, independent, and best of all, completely organized so you have no worries whatsoever.
Meet your driver for a private train station transfer.
You will be provided with a welcome pack upon arrival which will include your vouchers, and itinerary as well as additional information such as city maps and train tickets (as relevant).
The bussling capital city of Wales has lots of sights of interest such as Cardiff Castle, the Civic Centre, the Millennium Centre and stadium, and the exciting new developments of Cardiff Bay, including Cardiff Bay Barrage. Throughout the city, there are a range of theatres, galleries, museums, arts and live music venues. Enjoy time at leisure discovering the sights and places that are of particular interest to you.
There are lots of restaurant options to choose from both in Cardiff city centre as well as Cardiff bay. If you like Italian cuisine, you may like to try Positano's (9-10 Church Street tel: 029 2023 5810) or Giovanni's (38 The Hayes, tel: 029 2022 0077) which has a great family atmosphere and an impressive array of barolo's and Chianti's. Alternatively, consider Bullys - (5 Romilly Crescent, tel: 029 2022 1905). Bully’s uses seasonal produce from Welsh providers, complemented by a unique French wine list sourced from small, passionate growers. If you feel like venturing outside of the city and to Cardiff Bay, consider Woods Brasserie - a contemporary restaurant situated within the iconic pilotage building of Cardiff Bay. The restaurant has a modern conservatory style dining room, a comfortable bar area and a balcony offering views of Cardiff Bay. (Pilotage Building, Stuart Street tel: 02920 492 400). Another option in Cardigan Bay is the Pearl of the Orient, situated in the opulent surroundings of Cardiff Bay's mermaid quay development. The restaurant offers the first Cantonese, Peking, Malaysian and swechwan cuisine in Cardiff in a contemporary, relaxed surrounding. (Mermaid Quay, tel: 029 2049 8080). Of course, you may simply like to take a stroll through the city centre and decide what catches your fancy this evening.
Park Plaza Hotel(4*) is located in the heart of the city centre, within walking distance of Cardiff Castle, the Millennium Stadium and the National Museum of Wales. The hotel is only five minutes walking distance from the new St Davids 2 Shopping Centre, John Lewis and the famous Victorian and Edwardian arcades of Cardiff. Park Plaza offers 129 stylish air conditioned guestrooms. With excellent location and first class comfort the Park Plaza Cardiff is the ideal base from which to explore all that Cardiff has to offer - for business or pleasure.
Spend the day on a privately guided day tour in the company of a knowledgeable driver-guide and private vehicle. After being picked up from your accommodation, the first visit is to Chepstow Castle, which is perched above the swirling waters of the River Wye. Standing guard over a strategic crossing point into Wales, this well-preserved landmark castle was probably the first stone castle to be built in Britain and one of the few to trace the evolution of medieval military architecture from start to finish.
North of Chepstow is the Wooded Wye Valley, an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' which winds its way through Tintern to Monmouth. Tintern, dominated by the soaring ruins of its medieval abbey, has attracted poets and artists for centuries. The abbey is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture and provides a fascinating insight into monastic life in medieval times.
From here, you'll travel north through the Wye Valley to the historic Welsh border market town of Monmouth, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye, Monnow and Trothy. Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Henry V, Monmouth boasts a whole host of historical sites, people and buildings from the Nelson Garden to The Town Hall. It has a medieval 13th-century bridge over the River Monnow, unique in Britain as it is the only preserved bridge of its design remaining.Raglan was the last medieval fortification built in Britain. Raglan was built on the site of a former Norman motte in 1435. The design combines practical strength with ostentatious style. Raglan castle is set amongst rolling border country. Once a sumptuous palace, with formal state apartments and a Great Tower, it was more a state of wealth and social aspiration than an intimidating military presence. It acquitted itself well however, when forced into active service, enduring in 1646 one of the longest sieges in the English Civil War, before falling to Cromwell's forces and suffering at the hands of his demolition team. Even in ruin however, noble Raglan remains the finest late-medieval fortress palace in the British Isles.
The landscape of The Marches - the Welsh border, is dominated by two rivers, the Wye and the Usk. They meander through green vales set in rolling countryside. The entire area is idyllic touring country. Scenic roads weave across hill and vale dotted with pretty little towns and villages. Discover the historic floral town of Usk which stands in the valley of the same name.
The final stop of the day is Caerleon, one of Europe's most fascinating and revealing Roman sites. To the Romans Caerleon was known as Isca or often referred to as 'City of the Legions'. Here they created not just a military camp but also an entire township, complete with amphitheatre which, in its heyday, would have seated in the region of 6,000 people and would have been the scene of many gladiatorial games against men and beasts. Dr Mortimer Wheeler extensively excavated the remains of the Amphitheatre in 1926 and they remain some of the best preserved in Britain. The variety of remains on view in Caerleon (from its amphitheatre to the excavated bathhouse complex, barracks and museum) is unparalleled within the British Isles, providing a vivid picture of life in Roman Britain almost 2,000 years ago. At days end you will be returned to your accommodation in Cardiff. (includes all entrances).
Wales is known for its male choirs. The Treorchy Male Choir is probably the best known male voice combination in the world. Please let your Sales Advisor know if youwould be interested in hearing them at rehearsal in their home town in the Rhondda Valley. Rehearsals are on most Tuesday and Thursday evenings during school term.
Experience the beauty of The Gower Peninsula, with its golden sandy beaches and limestone cliffs as you enjoy a privately guided day tour in the company of a knowledeable driver-guide and private vehicle. The Gower Peninsula is the UK's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is 19 miles by 6 miles of award winning beaches, dramatic cliff-top walks, picturesque villages, rolling countryside, valleys, woodlands and breathtaking views. The area boasts many ancient sites including castles and a human burial chamber dating back to 3500 BC.
After being picked up at your accommodation in Cardiff, you'll get to explore this beautiful coast line on a small group (max. 7 people) guided tour. Take in stunning views over Oystermouth Bay in Mumbles, the gateway to the Gower. Stretch your legs on a half hour walk into Langland Bay from Bracelet Bay and Limeslade Bay. The walk takes you along a steep clifftop with breathtaking views of the coast. Positioned between Three Cliffs Bay and Oxwich Bay, Penmaen Burrows has a number of archaeological remains and is both interesting and scenic. You may like to take a leisurely 40 minute walk offering spectacular cliff top views of Three Cliffs Bay's semi-secluded pristine beaches and clifftop views over the outstanding six mile stretch of sand which is Oxwich Bay.
More amazing coastal views are to be had at Rhossili Bay, where you can take a walk along the body of the sleeping dragon, towards Worms Head. The last stop of the day is Cefn Bryn, Gower's sturdy spine, which commands views of the North Gower coast, Carmarthen Bay and a distant glimpse of Pembrokeshire and the rugged interior landscape of the Gower Peninsula. here, wild ponies, cattle and sheep graze freely on common ground. The legend of King Arthur which permeates across this ancient and historical landscape is never far away. There is another opportunity to take a short walk, take in the amazing views and visit one of the Seven Wonders of Britain, Arthur's Stone.
As you continue towards Tenby, tonight's destination, you'll pass by the western tip of Carmarthenshire and the ancient town of Laugharne, with its 12th century castle once painted by Turner.
Laugharne is synonymous with the best known Welsh poet and broadcaster Dylan Thomas, who is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's most influential lyrical poets. Follow in the great poet’s footsteps...visiting The Boat House, where Dylan lived and worked.
The drive to Tenby is a particularly scenic route, which hugs the South Pembrokeshire coastline, occasionally offering glimpses of this popular Victorian seaside resort and the island of Caldey, home to a Reformed Order of Cistercian monks who welcome visitors to their tranquil retreat. A monastic presence has existed at Caldey since it was first settled by Celtic monks in the 6th Century. At days end you will be brought to your accommodation in Tenby. (includes entrances).
Restaurant suggestions in Tenby include Plantaganet - The Tudor Merchants House, Bay Tree and Blue Ball. Tenby's oldest building, tucked away in an alley, houses its most atmospheric restaurant- Plantaganet - The Tudor Merchants House, and is dominated by an immense Tudor chimney-hearth (no less than 6m wide). It's a good place for a romantic, candle-lit dinner, the menu ranging from seafood to organic beef. The lunch menu, which includes mussels, battered cod and chips, and bangers and mash, is good value. Bay Tree is a local restaurant which serves locally sourced fresh fish and shellfish and has a set menu and specials board available all week. Situated in historic Tenby, the Blue Ball (Upper Frog Street tel: 01834 843038) sources ingredients from the finest local suppliers, many of whom have won national awards for their produce. As you would expect of a seaside resort, seafood and fish is in abundance and this is used to create many imaginative and fresh dishes, which change often, according to what's in season and in the markets. Try out one of these restaurant sugegstions while you are in Tenby or make your own choices during your stay here.
Hotel Panorama (4*) overlooks Tenby’s golden South Beach and has magnificent sea views towards Caldey Island. With free Wi-Fi, the hotel also offers delicious breakfasts and cosy bedrooms. Set in a Victorian terrace, the traditional bedrooms at Panorama are individually decorated. All eight rooms feature tea and coffee facilities, a hairdryer and digital TV. All have a private bathroom with free toiletries.
Spend the day exploring nearby Caldey island. This island has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and has been home to various orders of monks since Celtic times. Spend time exploring the island and enjoy a picnic lunch (included) before taking the short ferry crossing back to the mainland where your driver-guide will be waiting for you.
Today, head towards the dramatic South Pembrokeshire Coast, which has many special features of interest in the company of your private driver-guide and vehicle. Photographers, birdwatchers, walkers, climbers, geologists, historians, artists and anthropologists have all been drawn to this most scenic and interesting of areas. You may like to take a short walk to St. Govan's Chapel and view the dramatic coastline - the chasm of Huntsman's Leap, the sea stacks at Stack Rocks and the rock arch of The Green Bridge of Wales. (Access to St. Govan's Chapel and The Green Bridge of Wales is dependent on access via M.O.D. tank range)
A drive to Freshwater West, takes in the village of Castlemartin, whose church houses an organ once owned by Mendelssohn. From here you are in for a treat as you are driven along the Heritage coast which stretches 50 miles, following the rugged contours of St. David's Peninsula from St. Brides Bay to Fishguard. The peninsula blends history and scenery to better effect than just about any area of Britain. Take a scenic drive taking in Newgale Sands - a broad expanse of sand exposed to the Atlantic gales and Solva, a picturesque village built around a fine natural harbour where there was once a direct passenger service to New York!
This afternoon, visit the city of St. Davids and its cathedral - a favourite location of artists, tavellers and pilgrims, and the smallest city in the United Kingdom, with a population of just over 1600. Granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II because of the presence of the cathedral, St. Davids is in reality a small attractive village, situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and surrounded by spectacular coastal scenery renowned for its natural beauty. Davids' Cathedral is a magnificent building , situated in a grassy depression below the city. Adjacent to the cathedral stand the magnificent ruins of the medieval Bishop's Palace, built by Bishops Beck and Gower around the beginning of the fourteenth century.
The last stop of the day before being brought to your accommodation in Aberaeron is at Pentre Ifan, a Bronze-Age megalithic site dating from at least 4000 B.C.
Restaurant suggestions in Aberaeron include the Harbourmaster and Feathers. The harbourmaster restaurant has been included in the Good Food Guide since it was first established in 2002. From the open kitchen, the team of enthusiastic chefs produce a seasonal menu – with favourites being a rib of Welsh beef; locally landed lobster and spider crab; bread freshly baked on the premises daily; Antipasti platters; Fish specials; Sunday roasts; Welsh beef burgers; a Welsh cheese board; locally sourced organic vegetables and salad leaves. Food is served daily - lunch and dinner seven days a week. ( 2 Pen Cei, tel: 01545 570 755). Feathers restaurant is housed in a 200 year old traditional Coaching Inn. Wales is experiencing a renaissance in the quality of its food and drink suppliers and the menu at Feathers strives to showcase these fine ingredients from succulent seafood and fish to the best beef, lamb and game Wales has to offer. (Alban Square, tel: 01545 571 740/750).
Llys Aeron Guest House, has been awarded 5 stars by ‘Visit Wales’ and is among the most sought after bed and breakfast establishments in Aberaeron. The building has been sympathetically refurbished that combining elegance with modern comfortable conveniences. There is plenty of room to relax with a spacious conservatory and walled garden to be enjoyed.
Enjoy your day of sightseeing in the company of your knowledgeable driver-guide and private vehicle as you travel from Aberaeron to Betws-y-Coed. En route, stop off at the Vale of Rheidol railway and take the narrow gauge steam train covers a 12 mile journey through the spectacular Rheidol Valley (operates from April to October).
Pass through Machynlleth, the ancient capital of Wales and the seat of Owain Glyndwr's Welsh Parliament in 1404. Continue along to Llechwedd Slate Caverns which is set in 2000 acres of land above the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. It has been an active, working slate mine since 1836. Gain an understanding of this industry on a unique underground experience deep into the mountain to explore the mysterious world of the Victorian slate miner.
Before reaching Betws-y-Coed, you'll get to spend some time in the beautiful National Park of Snowdonia - the first designate National Park in Wales. Covering 823 square miles, it has some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside in North Wales.At days end you will be brought to your accommodation for the night.
The Ty Gwyn restaurant is housed in the hotel of the same name and is situated in Betws-y-coed, at the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. The property is a former coaching Inn which dates back to 1636. The Ty Gwyn has a very good reputation for its food, renowned locally for its international cuisine using the freshest of local produce. Much of the produce used in the kitchen is grown and harvested throughout the year in Ty Gwyn's polytunnels situated in 2 acres adjoining the Ty Gwyn. The Stables bistro is another restaurant option you may like to consider while you are staying in the area. It has an extensive menu with a specials board and serves a fine range of cask ales. Live Jazz is played every Thursday from 8.30 pm with the “Dixieland Jazz Rag Band” and the world famous Moelwyn Male Voice Choir play every other Friday from March till October from 8pm onwards (subject to change). There is also an outdoor dining option which is popular with the locals during the summer.
Afon Gwyn (5*), luxury boutique bed and breakfast, situated in the beautiful hills of Snowdonia, a short walk from the pretty village of Betws-Y-Coed. Is perfectly located in the National Park to explore all of North Wales. So if you want to spend time exploring the mountains and fantastic scenery, visiting the historic sites, climbing, fishing, mountain biking, playing golf or just chilling out, everything is on the doorstep. All suites and rooms have been individually decorated and have their own style and charm. We have added lots of luxurious extras to make our guests feel at home and ensure they enjoy their stay. Afon Gwyn is located in its own grounds, just south of the beautiful Snowdonia village of Betws-Y-Coed.
You will be picked up from your accommodation in Betws-y-Coed, and taken by private car for your full day tour today.
Begin your day on the scenic Snowdon Mountain railway (open March - October) which will take you to the summit of Snowdon (3,560ft or 1085m), the highest mountain in England and Wales. This majestic mountain dominates the dramatic ancient landscape and scenery of North Wales. This is a truly spectacular railway journey.
Next on the agenda for the day is a visit to Caernarfon Castle. King Edward I intended this castle to be a royal residence and seat of government for North Wales. In 1969, the castle gained worldwide fame as the setting for the investiture of HRH Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
Continue onwards to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogogoch, translated as "St. Mary's Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the church of St. Tysilio near the red cave' - the town with the longest place name in Wales.
Next, head to Bryn-celli, probably the best known and most famous neolithic site in Anglesey. Regarded as a monument of the Bronze Age as well as the New Stone Age.
The final stop of the day is at Llandudno, Wales' most enduring archetype of a genteel Victorian seaside resort, before you are returned to Betws-y-Coed.
This morning, you will be picked up by your private driver-guide from your Betws-y-Coed accommodation and be taken to the unique Italianate village of Portmeirion. The vision of the eccentric architect Clough William-Ellis, Portmeirion stands on a rugged clifftop on its own private peninsula overlooking Cardigan Bay. It is surrounded by 145 acres of sub-tropical woodlands and miles of sandy beaches. Sir Clough Williams-Ellis wanted to prove that development did not have to mean destruction of the natural environment. Built in 1925, Portmeirion is now acknowledged as a unique architectural work of art.
En route to the Brecon Beacons, enjoy the scenic drive through the heart of Mid-Wales.
The oldest town in Mid Wales, Rhaeadr Gwy - 'The Waterfall on the Wye', is situated at a natural crossroads between east, west, north and south Wales. For centuries, Rhaeadr Gwy offered a welcome for travellers: from the Romans who had a stopover camp in the Elan Valley, Monks journeying between the Abbeys of Strata Florida and Abbeycwmhir, and Drovers taking their livestock to far off markets.
Continue on your journey to Cardiff stopping off at The Brecon Beacons National Park which spans 519 square miles of beautiful mid-Wales countryside and contains some of the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in Europe.The landscape is scattered with prehistoric monuments, Roman remains and medieval castles, spectacular waterfalls, caves and wooded gorges, along with distinctive upland formations. Stop at the National Park Visitor Centre at Libanus for a short walk providing stunning views of the Beacons, including Pen-y-Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales, with its distinctive red table top summit standing at 886 metres.
At days end, your tour will end in Cardiff.
The St. David's Hotel (5*) is a luxurious 5-star property located in Cardiff, just 5 minutes from the heart of the city and next to the Mermaid Quay. The modern building where the hotel is located is a landmark in the area, incorporating a stunning glass-backed atrium from floor to ceiling. There are 142 guestrooms available including double, twin and Suite with every room at the St. David's Hotel & Spa are tastefully decorated and many but not all feature balconies overlooking the sea.
You will be collected from your accommodation and taken to London Heathrow airport in time for check in. The journey should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Wales is one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom.It has the same immigration and visa requirements as the rest of the UK. U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter for up to 6 months for tourist purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa that can be obtained from the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate where the applicant legally resides. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore its best that you check with the British Embassy for the most up to date visa information.
Health insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/united-kingdom.aspx
COUNTRY INFOCapital: CardiffGovernment: Constitutional monarchy. Language: Thre official languages are Welsh and EnglishReligion: Predominantly Christian and Roman Catholic. Islam is the largest non-Christian religion. There are sizable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jewish minorities. Time: GMT (UTC0)Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +44. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Coverage is mostly good, but can be patchy in rural areas. Internet: There are Internet cafes and centers in most urban areas.
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