Chris Coleman's side cruised past Russia in Toulouse to progress to the last 16 as Group B winners, setting up a Paris showdown with a third-placed side from Group A, C or D on Saturday.
Bale's second-half strike added to earlier efforts from Aaron Ramsey and Neil Taylor, giving the scoreline a deserved gloss.
WAAAAAAAALESS pic.twitter.com/AuE9fR9zRd— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) June 20, 2016
And the 26-year-old, who made his international debut in 2006, struggled to think of a better Wales display during his decade of involvement.
"We knew everything was on this game, it was in our own hands," he told ITV. "We said before the game 'let's have no regrets'.
"It's probably the best performance I've been involved in with Wales. We started very well, we didn't feel too nervous.
"We want to thank the fans out here and at home.
"To top the group, what more can you ask? We said we didn't want to make the numbers up. Well, we can't do any more than win the group.
"We look forward to seeing who we play next."
Wales finished a point clear of England at the top of Group B, while Slovakia clinched third spot and Russia propped up the pool in fourth.