Make this year’s summer holiday in Eryri (Snowdonia) one to remember

The summer holidays don’t feel that far away all of a sudden, and if you’re already thinking about places to stay and things to do during your break in Eryri (Snowdonia) this summer, then you’re in the right place. From accommodation to family activities, accessible walking trails, destination beaches, lovely places to eat and a whole lot more, we’ve got you covered.

Complete the Eryri Mountains and Coast Survey to be in with a chance to win a night’s stay for two, including dinner and breakfast, at Portmeirion. Full Terms and Conditions apply. 

Places to Stay

First things first, accommodation, and where you stay depends largely on your holiday party. If you’re coming as a family, you might be looking for a self-catering space for a week, somewhere like Bwthyn Glan Morfa in Caernarfon, Stabal Bach in Craflwyn, or how about Moryn, a house that’s actually on the beautiful Porthdinllaen beach in Morfa Nefyn, a stone’s throw from the famous Tŷ Coch Inn.

Tŷ Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen

If camping’s your thing, take a look at the Bryn Gloch Caravan and Camping Park. Nestled between the mountains, it’s an ideal base for a week, and your dog can come too! If you’re interested in booking something truly memorable for the family, look no further than the Forest Lodges at Zip World. Hiding amongst the trees, it really is a unique and luxurious accommodation experience.

If you’re visiting the area to make the most of the outdoor activities and want somewhere comfortable to bunk down for the night, then you might be tempted by Bala Backpackers, The Golden Fleece B&B in Tremadog, or for a truly local experience how about community-owned pub Pengwern Cymunedol, in the village of Llan Ffestiniog.

Or perhaps you’re planning a romantic get-away? Then take a look at Caban Delor near Caernarfon (with an outdoor bathtub!), or if you want to treat yourself why not stay at award-winning Palé Hall, or the Italian-influenced village of Portmeirion - two luxurious, spectacular locations.

Complete the Eryri Mountains and Coast Survey to be in with a chance to win a night’s stay for two, including dinner and breakfast, at Portmeirion. Full Terms and Conditions apply.


Things to do

Once your accommodation is sorted you’ll need to line up a few activities for the week.  If your little ones will be bouncing with excitement, why not take them to Gypsy Wood Park for the day? With trampolines, a mini railway, animals and go-karts, there’s plenty here to keep them entertained. If the children are a bit older and love their bikes, or you’re a cycling fan yourself, then Coed y Brenin near Dolgellau is a must. With a whole host of trails for mountain bikes, play areas, a café and more, you’re sure to enjoy an action-packed day here. If you can’t bring your bikes you can hire them locally too, so no-one has to miss out.

Whether it’s a scenic walk you’re after, or a nice café lunch and a bit of shopping, then you won’t go wrong at Beddgelert. The picturesque stone-built village is named after Gelert, the faithful hound who gave his life to save another, or so the tragic legend goes. You can walk along the river and visit the grave memorial. Nant Gwrtheyrn near Llithfaen is also worth a visit. A short down-hill drive and you’ll find yourself in the old quarry village, with a heritage centre, café and breath-taking views. It’s also a great location to walk along the Wales Coast Path.

Wales Coast Path Logo
Nant Gwrtheyrn

For a day out that’s a little different, head over to Pant Du Vineyard in Penygroes. You can pre-book a guided tour of the vineyard, then enjoy a meal in the café before picking up some produce such as wine, cider, apple juice and honey to take home with you. Another food and drink destination is Aber Falls Distillery. The visitor centre boasts a whisky tour and a gin lab! After that you can relax with a drink in the cinema room, the bistro or the terraced balcony. What’s not to like?!

For the historians amongst you, UNESCO world-heritage site Harlech Castle is an awe-inspiring attraction, as is the picturesque Italian-inspired village of Portmeirion near Porthmadog. Created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis, the site includes vast gardens, a spa, award-winning restaurants and more. And last but not least, another great day out for single travellers, small groups and families alike is a trip on the historic Talyllyn steam railway. Running from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol there is plenty to see along the way including the delightful Dolgoch Falls.

Castell Harlech Castle

Explore the coast

There are more beaches to discover in Eryri than you could ever imagine. On the north coast, you’ll find Dinas Dinlle; with a long stretch of golden sand, a playground nearby, Iron Age remains and plenty of places to eat, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular spot. Further east you’ll find Llanfairfechan beach - a long, wide and sandy beach that shelters beneath the Penmaenmawr Mountain; it’s the perfect place to fly a kite or enjoy a picnic.

If it’s some water sports that you’re after, then add Aberdyfi to your list. The beach has been named one of the best beaches in Britain ‘for a spot of windsurfing or kitesurfing’ by The Sunday Times. If you’d rather stay on dry land, you can enjoy a walk around the quaint old harbour and the pastel-coloured terraces opposite the beach.

View of Aberdyfi beach

Two other picture-perfect seaside resorts are Criccieth and Borth-y-Gest. Criccieth boasts two beaches, separated by a medieval castle. With magnificent views of Cardigan Bay, the mountains of Eryri and Mid Wales on a clear day, it’s a great day out. Borth-y-Gest beaches are located in the small, picturesque village of Borth-y-Gest near Porthmadog. Follow the Wales Coastal Path westwards and pass the row of terraced houses before heading down the path to the secluded beaches.

Another part of the coast you may not have explored before is Bangor Pier. The beautiful Grade ll listed pier is the second longest in Wales and a great place to enjoy some coffee, cake and ice cream. You can also walk further along the coast, enjoying views of the Menai Strait.  

Let’s round things off with two destination beaches. Llandanwg beach is located between Barmouth and Harlech. This sheltered beach is famous for its romantic church located a stone’s throw from the beach, and is popular with fishermen catching bass, flatfish and mackerel. And of course, no beach list is complete without Porthdinllaen. You can access this beach from Morfa Nefyn or along the path through Nefyn golf club. With golden sand, plenty of sea-pools for crabbing and a now rather-famous waterfront tavern, the Tŷ Coch Inn, no trip to Eryri is complete without a visit.


Walking trails

Packed your walking boots? Let’s go! There are so many walks in Eryri it’s hard to know where to begin, but here are a few of our favourites.

The Tegid trail runs alongside Llyn Tegid lake in Bala, providing excellent views of the lake and the nearby hills. A level, tarmac trail, it’s suitable for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, as well as pushchairs. The Dyffryn Maentwrog woods and Llyn Mair path is an ideal walk for nature lovers. A series of leisurely paths in one of Eryri’s most spectacular valleys means that you can choose the length of your route to suit your walking party. Why not prepare a nature hunt bingo for the children to play along the way?

If the former slate-mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog is on your to-visit list, why not complete Ramblers Cymru’s station walk? After pulling up at the station you’ll follow a 2.3 mile route, passing through the charming high street before climbing up to enjoy stunning views of the Moelwyn mountains and Stwlan dam.

Did you know that the slate landscape of Northwest Wales is an inscribed UNESCO World Heritage site? You can enjoy all the area has to offer by walking along the Snowdonia Slate Trail. One section of the trail is a 5.2 mile walk from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert, on the recently established Lon Gwyrfai, which is a pleasant and easy walk along way-marked paths and forest trails, with stunning views of Eryri’s highest mountains.


If you’re bringing bikes, why not give Lôn Las Ogwen a go? This 11-mile path runs between Porth Penrhyn and the village of Glasinfryn, and is built upon the disused narrow gauge railway which was originally constructed to transport slate from the quarries at Bethesda.

A rewarding walk with natural and historic interest, the Abergwyngregyn circular walk is 6.3 miles and will take you approximately 4 hours to complete. The walk climbs the slopes of Moel Wnion on the edge of the Carneddau mountain range and rewards you with panoramic views of the Menai Strait and Anglesey.

And we had to include the Llanbedrog circular walk on the south side of the Llŷn Peninsula.  The walk takes you through Plas Glyn- y-Weddw art gallery’s mature woodlands and along the peninsula moorland. You can then descend via a different path down to the beach and enjoy the stunning views along the way.


Food and Drink

Good food and drink play a big part in making a holiday special, and here in Eryri there’s plenty on offer. If you’re after a something-for-everybody café, look no further than Caffi Largo in Pwllheli, it’s the ideal place to feed a hungry family after playing on the beach.

Perhaps you’ll be exploring the area and want a lovely lunch to keep everyone going…If you’re in or around Criccieth make sure you visit Dylan’s, located on the prom and with local ingredients on the menu this one is a must. If you’re in Bangor be sure to check out Blue Sky café, just off the High Street, it has a seasonal menu with plenty of delicious vegan vegetarian options. In the village of Chwilog you’ll find Y Madryn, a pub bought and refurbished in 2021 by five local friends, it serves excellent food and boasts a great selection of local beer and wine. Then if you’re not far from Mallwyd you have to visit the Brigands Inn; with award-winning chefs and a talked-about Sunday Lunch, you can’t go wrong.

If you’re passionate about locally-made drinks, then Eryri is the place to come. You could spend your entire holiday going from brewery to distillery, but two you won’t want to miss are Bragdy Lleu and Distyllfa Dyfi. Bragdy Lleu is an award-winning craft brewery in Dyffryn Nantlle, where every beer brewed is named after characters from Welsh legends, such as Blodeuwedd and Gwydion! Located in the Corris Craft Centre, Dyfi Distillery is the only distillery to have won Best British Gin at the Great British Food Awards twice. It’s worth a visit so you can taste, buy and learn how this prestigious gin is made.  

If you really are a foodie, then notepad at the ready. The Gunroom Restaurant at Plas Dinas in Bontnewydd is an AA 2 rosette-awarded restaurant, headed up by the award-winning chef and TV personality Daniel ap Geraint. Book yourself a table now! If you love curry, then you must visit NOMI, in Pwllheli - with heartfelt dishes that diverge from your typical Indian menu, this is a standout dining experience that you won’t want to miss.

And if you’re visiting Dolgellau make sure you head in to Dylanwad - a café come bar come wine shop, where you can have delicious coffee and cake or spoil yourself with some rather  special wine and a meat and cheese platter to accompany it.

Shop local

Let’s face it, packing for a holiday can be stressful, so don’t make things any harder for yourself by packing any produce - shop local once you get here! There’s more than enough on offer, you might discover some new favourites, and you’ll be supporting our local communities.

First things first, coffee. Wales’ premier artisan coffee, with its café/roastery nestled in the old Quarrymen’s barracks in Nantlle, Poblado Coffi is all you’ll want in your cafetiere whilst on your holiday or short break here. Head over to buy some and see how the coffee’s made, or you can pick a pack up in shops across Eryri.

Next up, it’s ice cream! Glasu, situated right in the centre of Pwllheli, serves delicious ice cream made to traditional recipes, using milk from the local family farm. And if the children love their milkshakes, make sure you stop at one of Y Sied Laeth’s milk and milkshake vending machines at Nefyn, Pwllheli and Llanbedrog. Raspberry milkshake anyone?

There’s nothing better than local produce, including fresh meat, on a fired-up barbecue. Family butchers O.G. Owen & Sons in Caernarfon is your one-stop-shop for barbecue meat, and if it’s a Friday you could pick up lovely local fruit, veg and bread at the Bangor Local Market. Or if you’re near Harlech then you must visit Y Groser. An independent grocery store, delicatessen and deli bar, you’ll be sure to leave with a basket full of tasty treats.

It’s always nice to buy something to remember a holiday, or perhaps you need a couple of gifts to take home with you. Cwt Tatws near Towyn beach on the Llŷn offers a wide and eclectic range of stylish accessories, from jewellery to homeware and clothes. If you’re after something a bit special for your house, then visit Siop Melin Meirion in Dinas Mawddwy where you’ll find traditional Welsh bedcovers, woven throws and much more.

Or if books are your bag, then you’ll be sure to enjoy all the independent bookshops dotted around Eryri. One you won’t want to miss is the Awen Meirion bookshop on the high street in Bala. Pop in as soon as you can to find your perfect holiday read. Palas Print and Na-Nôg in Caernarfon are also full to the brim with riveting reads.

Awen Meirion@ Hawlfraint Copyright Amcan
Awen Meirion

Other helpful information

We hope that’s given you plenty of ideas for your summer holiday in Eryri, but here are a few additional pieces of information that will make your stay stress-free.

Make use of public transport while you’re here and check out the bus and train timetables beforehand. You can also jump on the Sherpa’r Wyddfa bus, a network of connecting bus services to get you around Eryri. If you’re driving you can find information on all of the area’s car parks on the Cyngor Gwynedd website.

If you’d like to know how to pronounce the local place names, head over to Map Llais Cymru and click on the red dots. This dictionary of the Welsh language might come in handy too.

Check out Cadw’s website for information about local castles and other sites of historical interest. Cyngor Gwynedd provides information about parks, paths and green spaces in the area.

If it’s a wet day you might want to locate the nearest leisure centre to see what’s available.

If you’re heading to the mountains make sure you check out the Adventure Smart Wales website first for tips and advice.

Make sure you know where the nearest toilets are at all times, and here you can find out where you can refill your water bottle for free.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch. Enjoy Eryri!

Portmeirion Compeition Graphic


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