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Snowdonia tourist information & travel guide

Snowdonia | Bangor & Conwy | Llanberis and Capel Curig | North Cardigan Bay| Porthmadog | Southern Snowdonia

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Snowdonia tourist guide

The Snowdonia area of Wales offers a diverse number of attractions for the visitor, whether it is scaling the heights of Mount Snowdon itself of enjoying the more relaxing charms of the many seaside resort towns in the region.

The town of Llanberis caters for the majority of the half a million people who walk, or climb, to the summit of Snowdon each year, and is also the starting point of the Mountain Railway that can take you to the top without all that effort. There is a bewildering array of accommodation from bunkhouses to self-catering cottages to stay in Llanberis. Llanberis is not just for the walkers and climbers but offers other pursuits such as pony-trekking, bicycling, and white-water rafting, along with tours inside the local hydroelectric power station.

This area of Wales is a beacon for the vintage rail enthusiast as, along with the mountain railway, there are six other narrow-gauge tracks and they all run steam trains. Probably the best of these is the Blaenau Ffestiniog railway that takes you to the old slate mining town responsible for roofing most of England and Wales during the 19th century. Due to the huge amount of waste created in slate production the sight of the slag heaps on a dull wet day can induce depression in even someone of the cheeriest disposition.

At the other end of the railway is the town of Porthmadog and, although a resort in itself, this is the travellers' jumping off point to visit the romantic seaside village of Portmeirion. This idyllic Italianate place was designed by the architect Sir Clough Williams Ellis, and has been the inspiration behind novels, films, a TV series, and a play by Noel Coward. This is also a popular place for artists of all abilities who line the pavements and the Piazza and are doubtless staying in an equally idyllic holiday cottage in Portmeirion just up the road.

The coast to the south is an unending line of sandy beaches through Harlech, with its majestic castle, down to Barmouth, another very popular summer resort, and this whole stretch is backed by an unending line of mountains and bordered to the south by the Mawddach Estuary, a haven for wildlife. Harlech offers great rental homes for family holidays and if you want a self-catering holiday by the sea in Wales then Barmouth has some excellent vacation homes to rent.

To the west of Porthmadog the south coast of the Llyn Peninsular hosts the towns of Criccieth and Pwllheli, both small and picturesque, and the hub of the local holiday rental industry which offers a bewildering array of available accommodation. Hell's Mouth is a surfer's paradise with its four mile-long beach and unending supply of decent waves, whilst just inland is Plas yn Rhiw, a restored manor house with lovely ornamental gardens and beautiful views south across the bay. The north of the peninsular is craggier and feels more windswept, but as you head east you come to the sheltered town of Caernarfon, the largest town in the area, with its outstanding castle, the remains of which were broadcast around the world during the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969.

The north coast of Wales is a popular holiday area with visitors as, along with its endless succession of sandy beaches, there is an endless succession of resort towns. There are holiday cottages in Bangor, large houses to rent near Penmaenmawr, idyllic cottages in Dwygyfylchi, vacation rentals in Conwy with its stunning castle and walls, and coastal cottages to let in Llandudno, the upmarket Victorian destination. This has a mile-long seafront of grand hotels and guesthouses, and along with the paddlers in the sea there are walkers attracted to the limestone headland of Great Orme. Renting a self-catering holiday cottage on the Llyn Peninsular offers a great choice of accommodation and is ideal for a family holiday, or short break in Wales. Children will love playing on the gorgeous sandy beaches and exploring this lovely part of the UK.

The whole of this part of Wales is a proud stronghold of the Welsh language, so don't be too surprised if you are greeted in this fashion or you encounter blank stares if you ask a question in English of some of the older residents. Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsular are popular destinations for a holiday and given the choice of accommodation, the beaches, Mount Snowdon, great castles, and pretty towns it is not surprising that this is one of the finest parts of Wales for a vacation!

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