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Best 3 Days in Wales Itinerary to Plan the Perfect Trip (2024)!

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Are you looking for the best way to spend 3 days in Wales? Keep reading as I have the best itinerary for you to plan the perfect South Wales road trip.

Wales is a small but stunning country in the United Kingdom and it has so many gorgeous locations to choose from.

From rolling hills and mountain peaks, ruined castles, book towns and a stunning coastline. It can be hard to plan where to go.

I recently went on Rabbie’s 3 Day Mountains & Coasts of South Wales tour and I was so surprised at how much we managed to fit in! 

It was a great way to get a flavour of the beauty, food and culture that this beautiful country has to offer. So, here is the best 3 days in Wales itinerary to plan the perfect trip.

Third Eye Traveler was kindly invited by Rabbie’s. Although I was a guest all photos, videos and opinions are my own. 

Carreg Cennen Castle 3 days in Wales
Carreg Cennen Castle

Is 3 days in Wales enough?

Wales may be a small country but it is littered with incredible attractions, castles, beaches and quaint towns.

I may be biased being Welsh but I think that Wales is one of the best countries in the world and you could honestly spend a month here and it wouldn’t be enough time to see everything. 

That being said, if it’s your first time here, I think 3 days in Wales is the perfect amount of time to give you a taste. But, I would stick to either the North or South of Wales for your itinerary.

Our Rabbie’s tour covered the mountains & coasts of South Wales and I couldn’t believe how much we managed to cover in such a short amount of time!

Colourful Houses of Tenby
Colourful houses of Tenby
Laugharne Castle 3 Days in Wales
Laugharne Castle

How to travel around Wales

Wales has a great public transport network with regular trains and buses throughout the country. But, many of the best parts of Wales are easiest to visit by car.

If you only have 3 days in Wales, driving will save you lots of time! 

If you’re not used to narrow and winding country lanes, driving here can be a little intimidating at first as we drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road for many. 

If you’re not comfortable, I highly recommend booking a guided Wales tour such as the one I took with Rabbie’s. 

St David's Cathedral
St David’s Cathedral

Why explore South Wales with Rabbie’s?

What I loved about my Rabbie’s tours is that all the stress of driving and planning is taken out of the equation. 

The itinerary and your accommodation are all planned for you so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your holiday.

Also, you don’t have to work out where to park or pay for parking. You’re always dropped off and picked up at the attractions.

I don’t think I would have covered as many places in South Wales if I planned this trip myself.

Large coach tours can usually only visit locations on the main roads and have huge groups that feel like you’re being herded around.  

But our Rabbie’s bus was a small 16-seater coach and was narrow (and comfortable) enough to wind down the smaller lanes and take us to a few hidden gems along the way! 

Rabbie's Tour Bus

Best 3 days in Wales itinerary 

Our 3 days in Wales tour with Rabbie’s started and ended in Bristol which is a famous industrial city in the South West of England. You can easily get there from London by direct train or coach. 

If you have the time, I would recommend spending a day in Bristol before your tour begins as there is a lot to see and do around here.

From S.S. Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Christmas Steps, a colourful waterfront, Banksy and Blackbeard. There are so many attractions to enjoy. 

If you’re looking for inspiration check out my weekend in Bristol guide or the most Instagrammable places in Bristol here!

Clifton Suspension Bridge Bristol
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Christmas Steps Bristol
Christmas Steps

Day 1 – Cathedrals, Coast & Colourful Houses

After our pick-up in Bristol, we hit the M4 motorway to start our exciting 3 days in South Wales tour. 

I have to admit, there was a lot of driving on day 1 to make it over to the Pembrokeshire coast. 

But, there was music playing and lots of stunning stops planned along the way that made the journey fly by! 

Tenby Colourful Houses
Tenby
Bishop's Palace St David's
Bishop’s Palace in St David’s

St Fagans National Museum of History  

Our first stop was the fabulous village of St Fagans which is famous for St Fagans Castle. Today, it’s home to the St Fagans National Museum of History.

You can uncover over 2,500 years of Welsh culture in their informative museum and take a wander around their historic village. 

The village is filled with old buildings that were going to be demolished and were lovingly rebuilt here to immortalise them. It was like travelling back in time!

St Fagans Welsh National History Museum
St Fagans Historical Village

You can take a walk through ancient farmhouses, Tudor cottages, terraced houses, historic pharmacies, bakeries and even cockfighting pits! 

After you can take a quick wander around the pretty St Fagans castle & gardens, a stunning 16th-century manor house that was donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth.

All of this history is completely FREE to explore and you can visit their friendly café for a coffee and cake.

St Fagans Castle Garden
St Fagans Castle Garden
St Fagans Castle
Music room in St Fagans Castle

Narbeth 

We then made it to the county of Pembrokeshire and stopped in the pretty market town of Narbeth as a lunch stop. 

There was a food hub filled with international cuisine and I loved popping in the traditional butchers of Andrew Rees & Sons. I grabbed a delicious hot pork roll with apple sauce! 

After my lunch, there was a little bit of time to wander the colourful high street filled with independent shops and boutiques. 

Narbeth Pembrokeshire
Narbeth Town Hall

St David’s, Britain’s smallest city 

Our first main stop in Pembrokeshire was St David’s which is Britain’s smallest city near the most westerly point of Wales! 

It’s home to the staggering St David’s Cathedral that dominates the area. It was founded in the 6th century when St David chose this location to build his monastery. 

This incredible temple has been a place of worship for over 1500 years. It has survived Viking raids, the Norman invasion and the English Civil War – so it has an incredible story to tell. 

I would recommend heading inside as entry is free (donations are always appreciated). You can visit the chapels, treasury, library and bell tower.

St David's Cathedral Pembrokeshire
St David’s Cathedral
Inside St David's Cathedral

Just nearby, you can explore the medieval Bishop’s Palace. This was built by Henry de Gower in the 13th century as his elaborate residence where he would hold feasts and host pilgrims.

Today, it is a romantic ruin owned by Cadw and it only costs £5.90 to enter. It has some of the best views of St David’s, the cathedral and beyond from their tall towers. 

Bishop's Palace St David's
Bishop’s Palace St David’s
Bishop's Palace St David's
St David’s Bishop’s Palace

Admire the Pembrokeshire Coast

After St David’s, it was time to explore the beauty of the rugged and wild Pembrokeshire Coast. 

We stopped at St Non’s Cliffs to admire the coastline from above. I couldn’t believe the colour of the water here and the seal-spotting opportunities. 

We then zipped over to the quaint and colourful harbour village of Solva. Here you can have a pint of Brains (the Welsh beer) or take a walk along the water to see boats bobbing in the bay!

Pembrokeshire Coast St non's cliffs

Explore the colourful town of Tenby 

Our last stop on day one was the colourful seaside town of Tenby which is one of the most beautiful places in all of Wales.

It’s a medieval settlement that has ancient city walls and you can see the famous Five Arch Gate before you head inside. 

Tenby Wales
The colourful town of Tenby in Wales
Tudor Merchant's House Tenby
Tudor Merchant’s House

After you check into your accommodation for the evening, you can take a wander around the colourful streets and take in the sea views.

If you have time, I would take a sunset walk around the town to places like North & South Beach, the Tudor Merchant’s House and Castle Hill to get a great view of the scenic St Catherine’s Island. 

St Catherine's Island Tenby
St Catherine’s Island
Tudor Merchant's House Tenby
I loved this magical ‘books’ alleyway leading to the sea

Rabbie’s cover most things on your tour but you do have to plan your meals. Luckily, there are lots of amazing places to eat in Tenby.

I would recommend Harbwr Restaurant which is part of the Harbwr Brewery Group. They have a beer garden and I enjoyed my scampi and chips in their vine-clad secret garden terrace.

Harbwr Restaurant Tenby
Harbwr Restaurant – spot the dragon!

The restaurant can be accessed off the colourful Sergeant’s Lane with its flags, flowers, fairy lights and colourful tables. 

It’s well worth taking a stroll through the back streets to find hidden gems such as these!

Sergeant's Lane Tenby
Sergeant’s Lane Tenby

Spend the night in Tenby 

I was so happy that we got to spend a bit longer in Tenby and this was our stop for the evening.

Rabbie’s can book accommodation for you on your tour so it takes the stress out of finding a place to stay. 

My accommodation was the very cute Sleepy Puffin Guest House which was owned by the nicest couple.

My room was lovely, clean and comfy and was only a few minutes walk into the town. I slept so well in their cosy beds. 

In the morning, I was treated to a tasty full breakfast with toast, coffee, orange juice and fruit as well! 

Click here to spend the night at Sleepy Puffin Guest House

Sleepy puffin guest house Tenby

Day 2 – Castles & Mountains 

On day two, we had a long morning in Tenby. So, I took full advantage of this and had a wander around the town to soak in the sea air and views.

I recommend stopping in the tasty Môr Bakery for a coffee or pastry and then taking a stroll around the city walls, colourful streets and promenades. 

Tenby Wales
Colourful Houses of Tenby

I really liked the fact we were dropped off and picked up from our accommodation and we didn’t have to drag our luggage to a meeting point in the town. 

Again, this took all the stress out of the trip and meant I could just board the bus to our next exciting location in South Wales.

I was so excited about the second day as I knew we would be visiting some magical mountains, towns and castles!

Carreg Cennen Castle
Carreg Cennen Castle

Visit Laugharne, Home of Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas

Our first stop on day two was the gorgeous coastal town of Laugharne in Pembrokeshire. 

My family are originally from Laugharne but I’ve never been so I was excited to see my Welsh roots and what this place had to offer.

As soon as we pulled up, you could see the fairytale Castell Talacharn (Laugharne Castle) that was established in 1116 as a Norman stronghold! 

It then became a Tudor mansion and the ‘brown as owls’ castle that was so dearly loved by the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. 

Laugharne Castle Wales
Laugharne Castle

Dylan Thomas’ most famous poem is ‘Under Milk Wood’ and you’ll get to hear a snippet of this on the bus.

The castle is mostly a ruin today but you get some fabulous photo opportunities from the bridge over the River Coran!

Poetry lovers will appreciate Laugharne as this is Dylan Thomas’ home town. You can check out his boathouse and writing shed a little further along the coast path. 

Note – Laugharne’s attractions may be closed on your visit. Always check ahead! 

Dylan Thomas Boathouse Laugharne
Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse
Dylan Thomas' Writing Shed
Dylan Thomas’ Writing Shed

Carreg Cennen Castle

After Laugharne, we then raced out of Pembrokeshire and entered the hilly countryside of Bannau Brycheiniog or the Brecon Beacons National Park. 

We made a stop at the dramatic stronghold of Carreg Cennen Castle, the most romantic ruin in all of Wales. 

It was founded in the 13th century and built on a limestone crag by King Edward I’s baron John Giffard.

Carreg Cennen Castle Wales
Carreg Cennen Castle

As it’s almost 300 feet (90 metres) above sea level, you’ll receive spectacular unobstructed views of the countryside for miles! 

You do have to pay to enter (£7) and it takes around 10-15 minutes to walk up there as it’s on a steep hill.

 But, it is well worth doing and this ended up being one of my favourite stops on our 3 days in Wales tour.

The spectacular views from Carreg Cennen Castle
The spectacular views from Carreg Cennen Castle

After, you must enjoy some Welsh lamb cawl (broth) or a toastie from their cosy tearoom set in a historic timber-framed farmhouse.

On our visit, there was also a newborn foal with a proud mama in the stables. He was so sweet trying to find his legs!

Carreg Cennen tearoom
Carreg Cennen Castle
Foal at Carreg Cennen farm

Take in the views of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons)

After your visit to Castell Carreg Cennen, we then made our way through the stunning wild countryside of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).

On our drive through this untouched barren landscape, we got to see so many rolling peaks and babbling rivers. As the skies were clear we had such great visibility!

We also got to spot some wildlife like Red Kites, these birds were nearly extinct until a couple of years ago when they were brought back through a conservation programme. 

There were lots and lots of sheep grazing in the fields and you may be surprised that they are allowed to roam free here – even on the roads so they create some rather hilarious sheep traffic jams. 

Sheep Sign Brecon Beacons National Park
I love these sheep signs!

There are so many sheep that it’s not uncommon to see sheep road signs! We got to stop near one for some beautiful photo opportunities. 

We then pulled into the town of Brecon to check out Y Gaer or Brecon Museum and wander around the High Street with Brecon Cathedral.

I would recommend heading to the Brecon Canal Basin to see the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal which has been voted as one of Britain’s prettiest towpaths!

Brecon Canal Basin
Brecon Canal Basin

Have a pint in the Skirrid Mountain Inn – Wales’ Oldest Pub!

On our way to our final stop for the evening, we stopped for a refreshing pint at the Skirrid Mountain Inn. It was the perfect tonic after a long day of exploring castles. 

This is Wales’ oldest pub that’s been standing here for over 900 years. It’s also meant to be haunted so enter if you dare! 

It used to be a courthouse where trials used to take place and this was where the last person in Wales was hanged. They still have an honorary noose on the staircase.

Skirrid Mountain Inn Wales
Skirrid Mountain Inn
Skirrid Mountain Inn noose

There are lots of signs to read and newspaper clippings all over this pub if you are interested in its long history. It’s stunning inside and out with its ‘olde worlde charm’.

They have lots of local ciders and beers here on tap to enjoy. I loved the HPA from Wye Valley Brewery

As the weather was so lovely, we sat out in the beer garden and soaked in the spooky atmosphere. 

Skirrid Mountain Inn

Wander around Abergavenny 

We finished day two in the quaint market town of Abergavenny in the county of Monmouthshire! This is often called ‘The Gateway to Wales’ as it’s near the border with England.

It has history and heritage in droves and it was nice to take a wander around the main high street with all the quaint restaurants and shops. 

I had a lovely Italian dinner at Casa Bianca and then took a stroll up to the Abergavenny Castle Museum to see the ruins from the outside. 

Abergavenny Wales
Abergavenny

Spend the night in Abergavenny 

Abergavenny is where we stayed for the night on the second day and I checked into the lovely Abergavenny Hotel organised by Rabbie’s.

It was such a lovely and cosy hotel just on the outskirts of the town but it only took a few minutes to walk to the centre.

My room was cosy and comfortable and I loved all the boho rustic elements to the bar and restaurant downstairs. 

Our continental breakfast in the morning included avocado, eggs and smoked salmon and it was a tasty filling breakfast for our final day in Wales.  

Click here to book your stay at the Abergavenny Hotel

Abergavenny Hotel
Abergavenny Hotel

Day 3 – Books & Ruins 

Once again on day three, I was picked up from my accommodation early for another day of exploring South Wales. 

I was so excited as on our final day we were going to visit my favourite types of attractions – bookshops, castles and gothic ruins!

Hay-on-Wye
Hay-on-Wye, the Book Town of Wales

Visit Hay-on-Wye, the Book Town of Wales

Book lovers will adore day the itinerary on day three as you’ll get to visit the world-renowned Book Town of Wales that is Hay-on-Wye.

Established by the notorious ‘King of Hay’ or Richard Booth, there are over twenty bookshops to visit!

As an avid reader, I was in my element here as you could honestly spend all day hunting down new and second-hand reads. 

We had just over an hour to explore here, so I’ll give you some of my favourite bookshop recommendations to save time. 

Richard Booth's Bookshop
Richard Booth’s Bookshop

You must visit the book labyrinth of Richard Booth’s Bookshop which is the original flagship store. It has thousands of books in any genre you can think of.

There are so many bookshops in Hay that they even have entire shops dedicated to certain genres like Murder & Mayhem – it’s filled with crime, horror and thriller books. I loved the Dracula quotes!

Murder & Mayhem Bookshop
Murder & Mayhem Bookshop

Addyman Books is another bookish paradise you could lose yourself in and they have a sea of orange Puffin classics.

My personal favourite is the Hay Castle Honesty Bookshop which is open 24 hours a day. Have a look at their outdoor book collection and then pop some coins in the money box as a donation. 

Read more – the best bookshops in Hay-on-Wye

Addyman Books Hay-on-Wye
Addyman Books
Hay Castle Honesty Bookshop
Hay Castle Honesty Bookshop

Explore the magical Tintern Abbey ruins in Wye Valley  

We had a quick lunch stop at Ross-on-Wye before heading down to the stunning Wye Valley. 

You’re probably wondering why all of the names here have ‘wye’ in them and that’s due to the mighty River Wye that snakes through the county and gorge. 

We made a stop at the magical Tintern Abbey (Abaty Tyndyrn) on the river that was founded in 1131 by Cistercian monks. 

Tintern Abbey Wye Valley 3 Days in Wales
Tintern Abbey
Tintern Abbey Cloister
Tintern Abbey

It then became a Gothic building in the 13th century and fell during the Dissolution of the Monasteries of Henry VIII’s reign.

Today, it’s a majestic roofless ruin and it is a delight to explore. You do have to pay to go inside but it’s well worth the admission fee as its a huge complex.

Note: that they are making renovations to the abbey for conservation so some parts are not accessible at this time.  

Tintern Abbey Wales
Tintern Abbey Ruins

Marvel at Chepstow Castle 

Unfortunately, our trip had to be unexpectedly cut short and we couldn’t visit the last stop of the day which was Chepstow Castle.

I’ve been before a long time ago so I wasn’t too disappointed but it would have been so lovely to visit again.

It’s an incredible fortress on the England/Welsh border and has over 900 years of history! It was founded in 1067 by Earl William fitz Osbern under King William I. 

Again, this castle is a romantic a ruin but there is SO much to see here. You can explore the castle bridges, visit all the old staterooms and climb the towers for panoramic views.

I love a ruin as it gives you a chance to imagine what life would have been like in centuries ago!

If you have time, I would recommend walking over to the Old Wye Bridge that is bang on the borderline of Wales and England. You can stand between the two countries for a photo!

You also have great views of the castle built on the cliffs and it’s a great photo opportunity as it’s beautifully reflected in the River Wye. 

It was then just a short trip back to Bristol to finish our 3 days in Wales tour and we were dropped off where we began!

Chepstow Castle Wales
Chepstow Castle

What I loved about my Rabbie’s South Wales tour

  • I loved how all the driving and drop-offs were covered by Rabbie’s. It meant you could sit back and relax on your tour rather than worry about the winding roads and enjoy a pint if you wanted one. 
  • You’re also dropped off in locations so you don’t have to think about or pay for parking when you’re there.
  • I liked how we were dropped off and picked up from our different accommodations. It meant that you didn’t have to worry about finding your hotel or dragging your luggage anywhere.
  • We covered so many things in our 3 days in South Wales tour and there were SO many incredible photo opportunities. 
Carreg Cennen Castle Wales
Tenby coast

What I didn’t like about the tour

  • Sometimes we were really rushed in certain locations. For example, I would have liked more time in pretty St David’s and Laugharne rather than Brecon. 
  • Attractions in Laugharne were closed on Tuesdays/Wednesdays during my visit. It seems strange that a tour would visit a place when attractions are closed.
  • I did need to keep reconfirming the times that I had to be back on the bus. I like knowing where we are going next and how long we have in each place to make the most of it!
  • Some parts were guided which I wasn’t aware of. I thought we’d be able to do our own thing in locations rather than be shown around. This is something to keep in mind or you can request to part from the group.
Laugharne Castle Wales
Laugharne Castle
  • The commentary from my tour guide was quite light on the history side which was disappointing. I would have liked to know a bit more about the places we were visiting! I don’t think that’s usual for Rabbie’s, as the drivers are usually experts and passionate about the places they visit. 
  • Attraction costs aren’t included and some castles are quite a far walk away i.e. Cerreg Cennen. You also didn’t have very long to explore those ruins if you paid.
  • My trip was cut short – it couldn’t be helped but I was really disappointed I didn’t get to see everything that was meant to be included.
Bishop's Palace St David's
St David’s Bishop’s Palace

Is South Wales worth visiting?

Yes, South Wales is well worth visiting as it’s such a beautiful part of the country. 

It’s a great place to spend 3 days in Wales as you have the rugged coast, ruined castles, book towns and mountains to explore. 

If you’re not planning on driving around South Wales, I highly recommend booking a Rabbie’s tour to save you time, money and stress.

We managed to pack in so many amazing activities whilst we visited the mountains and coasts.

Hay Castle
Hay Castle

I do think it’s the perfect trip if it’s your first time in Wales as it covers lots of the highlights and some lesser-known areas too. 

I’m not usually a group tour person as I prefer to drive. But, I loved this style of travel as I could take my hands off the wheel and not think about the itinerary, accommodation or parking for once. 

If you have 3 days in Wales, don’t hesitate to book a guided tour with Rabbie’s. It’s the best way to experience this magical and ancient part of the world!

Click here to book your South Wales tour with Rabbie’s

Tintern Abbey
Tintern Abbey

Read more of my South Wales travel guides

How to visit the Blue Lagoon in Wales

A complete guide for St Govan’s Chapel

Visiting the Green Bridge of Wales

How to find Dobby’s Grave in Pembrokeshire

How to find Barafundle Bay 

Stackpole Quay guide

Visiting Castell Coch near Cardiff

How to visit Caerphilly Castle

Visiting Dunraven Bay – Doctor Who Location

Things to do in Monmouth 

Exploring the magical Llanthony Priory

Save this 3 days in Wales itinerary for later! 

3 Days in Wales Itinerary