They're unquestionably among the most beautiful parts of Wales – but now the stunning national parks of Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire coast are now also officially among its most exhilarating.
Mountain biking in the forests of North Wales, coasteering in Pembrokeshire and climbing Mount Snowdon have all been named among the world’s greatest adventures in a new Lonely Planet guidebook.
The travel firm, which has grown into a multi-national giant since launching its first guidebook - South East Asia on a shoestring - in 1973, has included the Welsh activities in a new book entitled Great Adventures.
Mountain biking in Coed y Brenin Forest Park is one of 75 experiences published, alongside activities like tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda, climbing Mount Everest and swimming with sharks in South Africa.
The book describes Coed y Brenin as a “foliage-knitted landscape, with mountaintop views that make your heart skip, crashing waterfalls and a rugged topography carved out by glaciers”.
Clive Davies, from Forestry Commission Wales – which runs Coed y Brenin Forest Park – said: “Coed y Brenin is acknowledged as the original and still one of the best mountain bike centres in the UK and, indeed, beyond.
“We have worked hard to create a ‘must-do’ destination for mountain biking with challenging trails that draw thousands of people to this area from far and wide.”
Steve Beech runs Beics Brenin, a mountain bike hire shop located in the centre of the Coed y Brenin area.
He said: “We get riders coming here from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States.
“Coed y Brenin has become world renowned and part of that is because the area is visually stunning but it also provides one of the rockiest and challenging trails around.
“It has become the spiritual home of mountain biking in Britain.”
He added: “People regularly ring us and ask if we want to advertise with them. We tell them we simply don’t need to advertise – the place sells itself.”
The challenge of climbing Britain’s three peaks in one day – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, and Snowdon in Wales has also been included.
“They are all loved as much for their wild beauty as for their altitude,” the guide said.
Coasteering in Pembrokeshire also features. The guide said those brave enough to jump from, swim alongside and scramble across Pembrokeshire’s coast would “relive the wetter, wilder, funnier version of your childhood.”
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “This is excellent news and a great opportunity for promoting some of the exciting and exhilarating activities on offer in Wales to a worldwide market.
“Wales has an established and flourishing activity holiday sector and many other examples of action packed holidays that visitors to Wales can discover.”
Nayfe Slusjan is a project manager at Pembrokeshire-based TYF Adventure, which has been offering adventure experiences, including coasteering on the Pembrokeshire coast for over 25 years.
He said: “If you haven’t tried coasteering yet, you really should.
“It is an incredible activity which fully immerses you in nature.
“You turn the unique features of the Pembrokeshire coast into a natural playground and walk away with memories that will last for years to come.”
Pembrokeshire has previously been recognised by Lonely Planet for its stunning coastline, which was awarded the title “best region on Earth” to visit this year.
And National Geographic has described it as the second finest world destination for a spring break.