The Coastal Way - Seashore Experiences

Running along the entire sweep of Cardigan Bay, from Aberdaron in the north to St Davids in the south, the 180-mile/290km Coastal Way is one of three Wales Way national touring routes. Rather than a rigid set of directions, each ‘Way’ is a flexible route with plenty of opportunities to venture off the main path, following loops and detours so that you can create your very own personal journey.

Featuring aquatic activities, boat trips, beautiful beaches and bountiful bird spotting, this five-day itinerary showcases our shoreline in all its glory.

Day 1

Begin your journey at Aberdaron by heading out to sea on a day-long boat trip to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), off the western tip of the Llŷn Peninsula. Long a place of pilgrimage, the holy ‘Isle of 20,000 Saints’ is also a nature reserve that’s home to an abundance of marine wildlife – everything from seals, porpoises and dolphin to countless flocks of seabirds.

Suggested overnight: Criccieth


Day 2

Start the day with a walk between Criccieth and Porthmadog, following the Wales Coast Path past the golden sweep of Black Rock Sands and the mouth of the River Dwyryd. Then drive down the coast to Barmouth for a dolphin-spotting boat trip or a splashy stand-up paddleboarding session. 

Suggested overnight: Barmouth

Day 3

Drive via Machynlleth before following the A487/B4353 to wildlife-rich dunes and estuary at Ynyslas. At low tide you might catch a glimpse of petrified trees jutting out from beneath the sand. According to legend they are the remains of Cantre’r Gwaelod, a land lost to the seas many centuries ago (keep an ear out for the sound of bells said to still ring from the sunken kingdom’s church). Carry on down the coast via Borth and Aberystwyth for some seal spotting at Cwmtydu, a secluded cove tucked between rocky headlands (equally isolated neighbouring beaches Cwm Silio and Castell Bach are also worth a visit). If you have time, make a final stop at the National Trust’s Mwnt. It’s picture-perfect with a golden sandy beach, ancient whitewashed church and wonderful short walk to a headland summit commanding widescreen views of Cardigan Bay. 

Suggested overnight: Cardigan

Day 4

If you didn’t make it yesterday, backtrack a little to explore Mwnt, before carrying on to Preseli Venture in Mathry. This eco lodge and activity provider is your launching point for a fantastic family sea kayaking trip around Pembrokeshire’s coast, giving you a seal’s eye view of majestic rock arches, echoing sea caves and craggy cliffsides.

Suggested overnight: Fishguard

Day 5

Grab some takeaway with a difference on a foraging adventure in St Bride’s Bay with Coastal Foraging. You’ll explore the shoreline to find the delicious ingredients that thrive in our clear waters – everything from tasty sea vegetables like marsh samphire to clams, cockles and oysters. Locations vary depending on weather and tides so make sure to book ahead.

Taste the wonderful delights at the end of your coastal forage
Taste the wonderful delights at the end of your coastal forage

End your journey in St Davids with an Evening Shearwater Cruise to see thousands of seabirds take flight from the islands of Skomer and Skokholm. 
Suggested overnight: St Davids

Skomer Island © Crown copyright (2021) Visit Wales
Skomer Island © Crown copyright (2021) Visit Wales


More itineraries are also available under the headings of adventure, walking, heritage, Welsh language, culturelandscapefood and drink, family breaks and golf.