The Best Way To See Wales To Make The Most Out Of Your Trip

Bordering England's west coast, surrounded by the turbulent Irish and Celtic seas, sits a country smaller than the state of New Jersey, as reported by the Wales government website: Its legends and myths of King Arthur, Celtic folklore, and mythical creatures traversing both time and space.

Wales — Cymru in Welsh — may be small in size in comparison to its sibling countries of England, Scotland, and the whole of Ireland, but its spectacular mountains, craggy cliffs, green valleys, castles, and ancient history are as big as its mythos. With such scenic, romantic landscapes and tales of Celtic lore to explore, one wonders what the best mode of transportation would be to explore this spellbinding and captivating country that oozes beauty, wild scenery, and stories from days of old. If you thought perhaps making your way around Wales by car would be your best option, think again. We're taking you on a journey through the picturesque, tranquil, and historic canals of Wales.

A unique way to explore Wales from the water

While traveling by car can be fun, it can also be nerve-wracking, exhausting, and hell on the body, particularly for the driver, according to The New York Times. Navigating through highways and traffic jams, and not being able to take in the scenery as you would like can damper one's travel mood.

However, in the country of Wales, there is a more enjoyable, tranquil, and dare we say, romantic option for both drivers and passengers to travel, and that's by narrowboat or canal boat. Imagine yourself floating gently down narrow waterways past historical sites, green hills, mountains, ancient forests, and magical valleys laden with flora and fauna. No GPS is required — no highway tolls. No signs of traffic, except for the occasional canal boat passing by, and views of wildlife on the banks of the canal, as mentioned by Visit Wales.

As the driver of the ship, or in this case canal boat, this type of journey allows for a more leisurely and pleasant travel experience, especially since these unique boats have a maximum speed of 4 mph. And, since narrowboats quite literally are homes on the water, you won't have the added expense of booking separate accommodations, you can sleep peacefully and securely right on the boat. And, with several companies offering canal boats for hire to travelers intrigued by this travel option, booking one of these distinctive water vessels has never been easier.

The mystical and scenic canals of Wales

With four main canal waterways throughout Wales, the possibilities are endless seeing the best of this amazing country away from the chaos and stress of road travel. Let's start with the Llangollen Canal. This 46-mile canal with 21 locks to pass through, crosses two countries: Wales and England. It also has some of the most picturesque scenery and masterful engineering of tunnels, viaducts, and aqueducts you'll see, such as the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Both the canal and aqueduct were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.

If you're a wildlife and conservation lover, traveling through the Montgomery Canal by narrowboat will afford you views of otters, water voles, wildflowers, and much more. The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is also another waterway for wildlife and nature lovers, as well as walkers and cyclists. Tranquil and serene, it follows the Usk Valley into the Brecon Beacons National Park, affording travelers and hikers exceptional trails, and stopping at one of the many waterside pubs and cafes. The smaller of the waterways — only 5 miles in navigable length — the Swansea Canal, tucked within the steep Swansea Valley, offers travelers a quiet and peaceful journey along its historical path.

It goes without saying that if you're looking for a truly unique and enchanting experience traveling through the stunning country of Wales, cruising ever so slowly down its canals and waterways via a delightful narrowboat or canal boat is a delightful option that should be explored.