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Wales

Found on a peninsular in the mid-west of Great Britain, Wales retains the strong personality of its Breton cousins! The proof? The Red Dragon which has proudly adorned its flag for centuries. A land of castles, steep cliffs and sheep, it will seduce travellers who like to lose themselves off the beaten track.

2 cities for "city-dwellers"

Cardiff: A long way from the hubbub of London, Cardiff remains, nonetheless, a cosmopolitan city worth the detour. On the agenda: the Civic Centre and its white stone, the National Museum and the National History Museum(St Fagans) for fans of art and history, the Millennium Stadium for sports fans, the six Victorian and Edwardian arcades for window-shopping, Castell Coch where you'd think you'd stepped out of a fairytale, and of course, Cardiff castle. If you have enough time, take a boat trip from Mermaid Quay.

Swansea: Located only about fifty km from Cardiff, Swansea is the country's second city. If you visit, take a look at its museum — it's the oldest one in Wales — then stroll around the lanes of its traditional market. Swansea is also a good departure point to discover the Gower Peninsular with its coves and prehistoric ruins.

For the countryside

274 km long, 97 km wide: Wales is a small country. However, its landscapes are as incredible as they are spectacular. Comprising mountains (notably Mount Snowdon in the north of the country), green parks (the Snowdonia National Park, the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park) and steep cliffs (south of the country and the Isle of Anglesey) for walkers, with beaches with good waves for surfers (coasts and islands), cross-country cycle paths (Elan Valley, Nant yr Arian), splendid castles (Castel Dinas Brân, Carreg Cennen) for heritage enthusiasts… There is something for every taste.

Fooding: Those lucky enough to visit Swansea will be able to visit the market to eat shellfish collected from the Penclawdd Sand Basin, as well as laverbread, an edible seaweed delicacy. Carnivores will enjoy lamb and beef raised on lush grass meadows. Those with a sweet tooth will head west to Llandeilo, to visit Heavenly. On the menu: chocolate, ice creams and other delicious desserts. If you're thirsty: an essential visit to Penderyn Whisky, the last distillery in Wales that is still in operation. Lastly, for some renowned restaurants, go to St. David's, the country's smallest town.

Events:

Wales hosts several festivals in June and July such as the Hay Festival which celebrates the arts and literature, the Eisteddfod international musical festival dedicated to children and teenagers, or even the biennial recital festival Beyond the Border.

To find out more: http://americas.visitwales.com/usa/

Sandra Franrenet

COUNTRY GUIDES

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