Wales is located on the western side of central southern Great Britain. The large island of Anglesey lies off the northwest coast, separated from mainland Wales by the Menai Strait, and there are a number of smaller islands.
Most of Wales is mountainous. Snowdonia in the northwest has the highest mountains, with Snowdon being the highest peak. To the south of the main range lie the Arenig Group, Cadair Idris and the Berwyn Mountains. In the northeast of Wales, between the Clwyd Valley and the Dee Estuary, lies the Clwydian Range. The Cambrian Mountains run from northeast to southwest and occupy most of the central part of the country. In the south of the country are the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains in southeast Wales.
The Welsh lowland zone consists of the north coastal plain, the island of Anglesey, part of the Llyn Peninsula, a narrow strip of coast along Cardigan Bay, much of Pembrokeshire and southern Carmarthenshire, the Gower Peninsula and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Brecon Beacons mountain range offers some of Britain's most spectacular scenery. The region is characterised by remote open moorland, high mountains, and some of the UK’s most impressive waterfalls.
The Gower Peninsula was selected as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for its classic coastline much of which is a Heritage Coast.
Carmarthenshire is known as the Garden of Wales and through this garden flows the rivers Teifi and Twyi, encapsulating the spirit of the county. By contrast, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast has almost 30 miles of cliffs and sands from Penarth to Porthcawl.
The coastal county of Ceredigion includes its largest town of Aberystwyth, as well as Aberaeron, Cardigan, Lampeter, Borth, New Quay and Llandysul. Its geography ranges from the peaks of the Cambrian Mountains in the east to beautiful coastline in the west, with the county’s beaches boasting seven Green Coast Awards, and five Blue Flag Awards.
Although Snowdonia is seen as the most wonderful landscape in North Wales there are many others including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty such as Llyn Peninsula with some of the best beaches Wales has to offer and in the east, there's the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, the scenic gateway to the region.
The Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Mon in Welsh) is an island with its own unique character. It is known for its fantastic coastline, ancient history and maritime heritage. The island is reached by travelling over one of two fantastic bridges over the water of the Menai Straits, both marvels of 19th-century engineering. Many visitors are drawn to the numerous beautiful sandy beaches and stunningly dramatic sea cliffs. Anglesey has 125 miles of coastline in all, most of which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - and there is a wonderfully scenic coastal path encircling the whole island.
The county is home to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only coastal national park of its kind in the United Kingdom and one of three national parks in Wales, the others being Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons national parks. Over the years Pembrokeshire's beaches have been awarded many International Blue Flag Awards, Green Coast Awards and Seaside Awards. In 2011 it had 39 beaches recommended by the Marine Conservation Society.