If you’re short on time or want to see the sights in the company of like-minded travellers, join a guided tour. Some of the best include:
Bus Wales t0800 328 0284, wbuswales.co.uk. Wide range of backpacker and smarter tours, from day-trips (£50) to six- and ten-day trips (from £400 staying in hostel dorms to £1850 using five-star hotels).
Dragon Tours t01878 658124, wdragon-tours.com. Custom tours for individuals, couples and small groups plus a couple of more fixed routes covering the country in six days (£299 including hostel accommodation) or ten days (£499 including hostel accommodation). There’s also a wide range of accommodation upgrades.
Road Trip t020 8133 8375, wroadtrip.co.uk. London-based outfit running all-inclusive minibus trips: the weekend “Wales Coast & Mountains” tour (£169) visits the north Wales coast, Conwy Castle, Snowdonia and the Ffestiniog Railway, while the five-day “Welsh Explorer” (£182) heads to South Wales and includes trekking in the Brecon Beacons.
Shaggy Sheep Tours t017919 244549, wshaggysheep.com. Great fun and hugely enthusiastic, the booziest backpacker tours around leave twice-weekly from London. Choose between a weekend (£118) or a four-day (£148) trip. For independent travellers, there’s also a handy jump-on, jump-off return bus service from London (£79) stopping at key destinations in Wales.