Medieval Castles, Coastal Hikes, and Mount Snowdon

Overview

A famed cultural and literary heritage and a gorgeous landscape happily converge in Wales. We’ve created a fantastic hiking adventure that journeys into the verdant Wye Valley, along the wild sandstone bluffs of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, and up to craggy Mt. Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales and England. As we explore from the castle-topped ridges of the Brecon Beacons to the lakes and mountains of Snowdonia, we’ll hear the unique Welsh language, one of Europe’s oldest living tongues, meet local scholars, visit Dylan Thomas’s home, and enjoy wonderful meals bursting with local flavor and tradition. Overnights are in historic coaching inns and a country house nestled between rugged mountains and the Irish Sea.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Wye Valley / Tintern Abbey / Brecon Beacons National Park

A hike across the Anglo-Welsh border brings us to the tranquil Wye Valley, a source of inspiration to artists and writers, Wordsworth and Coleridge among them. Our hike ends at the ruins of magnificent 12th century Tintern Abbey, where a historian leads us through the haunting halls. Another hike brings us to the delightful booklover’s mecca of Hay-on-Wye, where we stop in for a local craft beer or afternoon cream tea.

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Days 3-5
Laugharne / Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

At Laugharne, we visit the home of the poet Dylan Thomas with a historian (with a poet’s heart) as our guide, and from St. David’s at the westernmost tip of Wales, we hike the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, keeping watch for seals basking on the rocks below.

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Days 6-9
Snowdonia National Park / Capel Curig / Snowdon / Caernarfon Castle

We hike from Capel Curig to the lush Conwy Valley, where Hillary’s team trained for the 1953 Everest Expedition. At mighty Snowdon (3,560'), with its wild cirques and glacier-carved tarns, a classic rail car brings us to the summit, and we enjoy Snowdon’s breathtaking scenery on our hike down. After exploring 13th century Caernarfon Castle, our final hike begins on a beach on the Isle of Anglesey (a honeymoon walking spot for Prince William and Kate) and ends at tiny Llanddwyn Island, home to the ruins of a 13th century church dedicated to the patron saint of Welsh lovers. Depart on Day 9.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike the best trails of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Meet scholars, weavers, climbers, and historians
Enjoy historic hotels and a home-cooked dinner with a Welsh family
Savor meals with fresh local ingredients, including Gower mussels and Welsh lamb
Discover historic Caernarfon Castle and the ruins of Tintern Abbey

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $4895  
Arrive: Cardiff, Wales
Depart: Manchester, England
Lodging: 8 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

5 hiking days on sometimes uneven or muddy terrain with some short steep sections, 2-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike).

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