|Beneath it is a superb "heritage" coastline offering Blue Flag beaches, wild cliffs and dramatic mountain views.
West is the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan and to the east lies lush countryside.
Within easy reach of the city are some of Wales' most fascinating villages and a host of towns dating back into the mists of time.
In recent times a huge amount of regeneration and restoration has taken place to turn Cardiff into one of Britain's trendiest cities, though its story really began in the 1st century when the Romans built a fort where 11th century Cardiff Castle now stands.
It played such a pivotal role in the wars between the Normans and the native Welsh that it now claims to have the largest
concentration of castles of any European city.
|Its splendid apartments were created in
the 19th century by eccentric architect William Burges
for the wealthy Third Marquess of Bute. The Museum of
the Royal Regiment of Wales is also housed here.
Legend has it that the knight Lancelot set sail from Cardiff as he escaped the wrath of a cuckolded King Arthur.
Gradually a town began to develop but its modern form dates from the Industrial Revolution following the construction of Cardiff's sprawling docks, the 25-mile Glamorganshire Canal and the arrival of the railway.
The 2nd Marquees of Bute built the canal to bring huge coal reserves from Merthyr Tydfil to the docks, transforming the town into the world's biggest coal exporting port. The Taff Vale Railway eventually replaced the barges and enabled new docks to be built.
In less than an hour you can reach the wilds of the Brecon Beacons, walk along the South Wales
"Heritage Coastline" or explore the
many castles, great houses and a variety of other attractions.
According to legend the River Ogmore, which runs through the Vale of Glamorgan, was named
after the body of the dying King Arthur who was brought up the river to be buried in the mountains above.