A Wales road trip is the perfect way to explore the beautiful landscapes of this delightful country.
With picture perfect coastline, mighty peaks, ancient castles, and an excellent road network, Wales is almost purpose-built for road trips.
A road trip gives you the freedom to set your own pace and see what you want. There is no better way to explore and find exciting places.
But how do you possibly decide where to go?
Fear not, in this post, I countdown the 6 best road trips in Wales.
This list of the best driving roads in Wales has everything.
There are cross-country journeys, mountainous adventures and coastal jaunts.
Whether you want plan a trip to Wales, or simply get out for a day trip, you are sure to find something you’ll like.
Without further ado, let’s begin the countdown of the 6 best Wales road trips out there…
THE ABERGWESYN PASS
At only 20 miles, the Abergwesyn Pass is by far the shortest Wales road trip in this list. But, boy are we kicking off with a crazy one.
What this route lacks in length it most certainly makes up for in adventure.
Nestled in the Cambrian Mountains, this worn old lane was initially a drover’s track.
You’ll twist and turn past verdant pastures, craggy peaks, thick woodland and dramatic drop-offs that will make you heart thump.
This trip is about the journey, not the destination.
From Abergwesyn the road gets extremely steep as it winds up alongside the desolate Devil’s Staircase.
If you’ve been looking for the road less-travelled, you might have just found it.
Enjoy the many secluded spots and soak up the insane mountainous vistas and peace and quiet. The panoramic backdrop of snow-capped peaks is jaw-dropping.
Stop at the Llyn Brianne reservoir for a picnic. This huge body of water is the perfect photo opportunity.
The road then twists back down towards the sleepy market town of Tregaron through a series of hairpin bends, where you can celebrate conquering one of the wildest roads in the UK.
This drive is by no means a leisurely amble. The road is tough. Ensure you are feeling alert and that your car is ready for your trip before setting off.
A Welsh road trip on the Gower Peninsula is one of Wales’ best-kept secrets. Home to some of the best beaches and coastal landscapes in not just Wales, but the UK.
Although short, this route packs plenty of excitement.
Start in Swansea, a city crammed with cosmopolitan character. If you can drag yourself away from the huge array of shops and cafes, head to the National Waterfront Museum.
The harbour is perfect for your evening’s entertainment. You’ll discover countless excellent bars and restaurants offering cuisine from the world over.
Once you’ve had your city fill, it’s time to start your journey into the countryside. The scenery just gets better and better as you heads further down the peninsula (and the A4118).
You’ll wind through green pastures and pass quaint traditional villages, such as Nicholaston, Knelston and Reynolds before eventually arriving at the spectacular Rhossili Bay.
Often rated as one of the world’s top 10 beaches, Rhossili is the perfect place to end this wonderful trip.
Enjoy the perfect golden sand and crystal clear waters, before settling in for one of Wales’s best sunsets.
Pembrokeshire is home to some of the best beaches in the UK, making it perfect for a Welsh road trip.
Not only this, but you’ll be spoilt for choice as you hop from one beautiful seaside town to another.
Start in picture-perfect Tenby, where you’ll find to a plethora of vibrant, multi-coloured houses, and a lovely harbour doted with delightfully traditional fishing boats.
Work your way around the coast to the idyllic Barafundle Bay – a beach worthy of any postcard.
Not far from here is Stackpole Nature Reserve, where you can spot wild otters playing.
Head further west toward Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and you’ll be spoilt for choice for world-class beaches. The coast is littered with secluded bays, perfect for enjoying some peace and tranquility or watching the sun set.
The stunning golden sands of Newgale and Freshwater West are standout options.
Once you’ve had your fill of sand and sea (if that’s even possible?!), head up St Davids, the UK’s smallest city for a dose of history.
Although this trip is centered around beaches, don’t be disheartebed if you don’t get glorious sunshine the entire time. This road trip is still awesome when it’s wet and windy. Just grab your waterproof and get out there. You might even find you get the whole beach to yourself!
THE NORTH WALES WAY
The Wales Way is a new family of three iconic national routes, the first of which is the North Wales Way.
The North Wales Way is the shortest of the three and follows an old trading route for 75 miles along the north coast.
There are so many iconic stops on this trip.
Firstly, there are three famous 13th century castles Beaumaris, Caernarfon and the walled citadel of Conwy, which – along with Harlech – form a Unesco World Heritage site.https://www.youtube.com/embed/pR6on8gxeL8?controls=1&rel=0&playsinline=0&modestbranding=0&autoplay=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theroadtripexpert.com&widgetid=1
The North Wales Way is considered the gateway to the Vale of Conwy and the Vale of Clwyd, where numerous traditional market towns are found en route to beautiful Llangollen.
The Menai Strait and the Isle of Anglesey offer fantastic views and magnificent landscapes.
Snowdonia National Park is a Mecca for hikers with lakes and trails galore.
And to top it all off, between these landmarks you’ll encounter secluded coves, picturesque hamlets and rural roads winding through wide-open pastures.
THE COASTAL WAY
Number two from The Wales Way is The Coastal Way. This epic Wales road trip runs the entire length of Cardigan Bay (the huge bay that makes up the majority of the Welsh west coast).
The mammoth 180-mile journey runs from charming St Davids in the south to quaint Aberdaron in the north, and there is a hell of a lot to see along the way.
The contrast is fantastic. With dramatic peaks on one side and unparalleled views of the ocean on the other, The Coastal Way is one of the best drives you can take in Wales.
As you work your way up (or down) the coast, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you look for beautiful places to stop; from harbour towns and seaside resorts to fishing villages and secluded beaches.
A short detour from the main route will also take you to Snowdonia National Park.
THE CAMBRIAN WAY
Originally an unofficial long-distance footpath running between Cardiff – the capital of Wales – and Conwy, The Cambrian Way was officially recognized as the third and final part of The Wales Way in 2019.
The epic route spans the entire length of Wales running 185 miles from south-coast to north-coast and therefore takes in the best this country has to offer.
We’re talking mountains, national parks and, of course, beautiful Welsh coastline.
The route mainly follows the A470 along the mountainous spine of Wales and ends in the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno.
En route, you’ll weave through the beautiful national parks of Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia.
Set aside at least a day to explore Brecon Beacons. Here you’ll find some of the best walking trails in the country, along with a plethora of other activities such as caving, watersports and horse riding. There are also charming market towns and romantic castles scattered around.
For a bit of old-time fun, explore the area on the Brecon Mountain Railway. Restored steam trains run the 9-mile return journey from Merthyr to the foothills of South Wales’ highest summits.
Next, explore the hiker’s paradise Snowdonia National Park. The enormous Mount Snowdon offers views across the sea to Ireland, while the national park is home to an extensive network of trails (both biking and hiking) and over 100 lakes. The views are unparalleled.
Finally, end your road trip in the traditional seaside resort of Llandudno. Enjoy fabulous fish and chips and a classic Welsh sea-view.
WALES ROAD TRIP – NOW IT’S YOUR TURN…
There you have my top 6 Welsh road trip routes.
Which one are you most excited to go take?
Or do you have any other great Wales road trip recommendations?
Either way, leave a comment below and let me know.
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Hey, I’m Jack. Travel is my passion. I particularly love to load up the car with camping gear and get out into nature. I love outdoor sports, and if I can combine them with traveling, I’m a happy happy man. My road trip highlight was driving an old sedan 6000km through South America. I enjoy sharing road trip tips I’ve learned from my adventures and writing travel guides on places I’ve visited.