The principality of Wales has much to offer the holidaymaker with fabulous landscapes, wonderful beaches and some fun filled and interesting towns and cities to visit, but there is no doubt that North and South Wales have very different characteristics indeed.
North Wales, famed for its beautiful coastline and the isle of Anglesey plus a collection of some of the most impressive castles in the whole of the UK, is a very popular tourist destination, and one that has a lot to offer.
North Wales is a place of contrasts, from the borderlands that connect with England to the mountains of Snowdonia, not to mention the stunning island Anglesey with some of the best beaches in the United Kingdom, and with so much choice it can be difficult to decide where to spend your holiday.
There are a great number of holiday parks in North Wales, all with excellent facilities, and there are fine hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation in many towns across the region.
The famous and fun filled seaside resort of Rhyl is a typical beach town, one that is frequented by those seeking the fun of the fair and the excitement of a typical seaside escapade, while the old town of Conway, dominated by its beautiful castle and superb bridges, represents old North Wales in the very best of traditions. For those seeking the quieter life the inland town of Mold, close to the beautiful and tranquil Bala lake, has much to offer in the way of coffee shops and most Welsh towns have a selection of country pubs.
Anglesey is akin to a separate world with the sweeping sands of Red Wharf Bay on the east of the island and much coastline all the way around, and the quaint and interesting island of Holyhead at the head, a departure point for ferries to a number of destinations in Ireland.
If its beaches you want it could be that Anglesey and the Colwyn Bay area offer the best options, but the area is rife with history, particularly in those spectacular fortifications.
From the stunning castle of Beaumaris on Anglesey itself to the spectacular Carnarvon Castle in the town of that name, via those at Harlech and elsewhere, this is prime castle country, but for walkers there is an area that is much more to their liking.
The mountains of Snowdonia are truly spectacular and offer scenery like no other; Snowdon itself is served by a famous linear railway that takes you to the top of the mountain where there is a new and impressive visitor centre and restaurant and - of course - views of the surrounding country that cannot be replicated elsewhere, while the rest of the range offers a wide variety of walks and climbs that will satisfy any level of adventurer.
North Wales is a beautiful and sparsely populated part of the UK which has much to offer the visitor, and whether you are looking for a relaxing break or a full on family fun filled holiday you will find it here.
Wales is a country of two halves - the north and the south - and where North Wales is popular thanks to it being accessible from the northern counties of England, South Wales offers a different kind of resort for those who are travelling northwards for a holiday with a difference.
Like its northern counterpart there is much to see in the south of the principality, and with some excellent tourist towns and some seriously beautiful beaches, let alone a whole host of attractions, many of them concurrent with popular culture, this is a part of the country that should be on any list of possible holiday destinations.
Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is a stunning city in its own right and has much to offer the visitor. There are a number of excellent hotels and guest houses here, and some very good holiday parks in the near vicinity, while for those who need to indulge in a bit of retail therapy to help the holiday along there can be few better places to shop than in the constantly improving and modern city centre at Cardiff. This was an area once dominated by the now defunct coal mining industry and it has been seen that retail has been the one industry sector of growth - along with tourism - in the past decade, and Cardiff certainly plays testament to that with a top line selection of shops and shopping centres.
For those who are sporting fans there is the magnificent Millennium Stadium, scene of many an international match and renowned for its warm welcome and friendly atmosphere, and the popular culture aspect extends to the city's association with the ground breaking 'Dr Who' science fiction television series, and its equally popular spin-off 'Torchwood', as both are filmed in the city of Cardiff and the surrounding area.
Cardiff Bay offers some beautiful beaches and attractive walks, and we should not forget the equally stunning towns of Swansea and Lampeter, two of South Wales' most impressive and vibrant centres of population and both with much to offer the visitor.
There are many small towns in Wales that may seem like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the 'real world', for the Welsh are a proud race with many traditions and they like to keep things as they are. Nevertheless, do not be surprised to find a very friendly welcome when visiting out of the way places, for the locals are more than willing to tell you about their heritage.
The area is heavily fortified with many splendid and impressive castles, built to keep the English out as well as defend homesteads, and many of these can be visited and are surprisingly complete, but if its relaxation you want then choose one of the lazy coastal towns where you can relax in a beautiful secluded cove with no-one to bother you all day long.
South Wales is a world apart in many ways, for it is a region that has a very strong sense of local identity, and for that alone it is worth a visit.