Harlech Castle and Town

Disclosure: Links marked with * (asterisk) relate to advertising in the form of affiliate links, see privacy policy for information. Post edited Feb 2021.

Dotted across North Wales’s National Park, these towns and villages in and around Snowdonia offer everything from picturesque mountain and river walks to epic coastal castles and cycle paths.

View of Snowdon from Harlech, Wales
Min Y Don Holiday Park in Harlech

Harlech | Towns and villages in Snowdonia

Harlech rests on the western edge of Snowdonia and is dominated by an impressive hilltop castle. The sandy shores of Harlech beach sweep around Cardigan Bay with beautiful mountain views to the north. There’s a golf course and several holiday parks around Harlech, such as Min-y-Don where you can book a pitch for your caravan or motorhome and walk onto the beach through the sand dunes.

Harlech Beach

Alternatively, head further along the coast and you’ll find other parks like Sunnysands Caravan Park and lakeside lodges at Bron Eifion in nearby Criccieth.

Beddgelert | Towns and villages in Snowdonia

The pretty village of Beddgelert gets its name from a local legend about a 12th century hound called Gelert. Gelert’s grave lies on the edge of Beddgelert which today is an ideal base for hikers wanting to ascend Snowdon (with 6 nearby routes), or embark on scenic river walks from the doorstep of your hotel or holiday cottage.

Prince of Llewelyn in Beddgelert
Beddgelert village, places to stay in Snowdonia for walkers
Gelert's Grave in Beddgelert

Barmouth

If you desire an active family holiday in Wales, Barmouth is an excellent choice with its impressive Trans Wales cycle route crossing Barmouth bridge to Dolgellau.

Along the way in Barmouth’s harbour you’ll find fish and chip shops and seafood restaurants for the catch of the day, and around the coast is a vast stretch of sandy beach overlooked by amusement rides and an indoor arcade.

Related: 8 pretty coastal towns to visit in Wales

Conwy

Edward I’s magnificent castle is bound to impress as you approach the seaside town of Conwy. Only around 10 minutes by road from Snowdonia National Park, you can enjoy spectacular mountain and river views from one of the many castle turrets, or along the fortress walls that surround the historic town centre.

Conwy Castle view from Deganwy
Conwy Castle

There’s plenty of pretty holiday homes to stay in and around Conwy, including ones near the Marina where you can watch visitors set off on sightseeing cruises, or be first in line to peak inside Great Britain’s Smallest House.

Related: An afternoon inside Conwy Castle and town
Conwy Harbour

The town’s proximity to the North Wales Expressway means you can travel from the border of England to Conwy in around 45 minutes, or arrive by train on an epic coastal route that passes right alongside the castle walls – book your train tickets to North Wales.

Llandudno

Just a few miles further north from Conwy you’ll find the picturesque promenade of Llandudno town, lined with grand sea view hotels and tall townhouses turned B&Bs. If you choose to holiday in Llandudno you will be following in the footsteps of the Victorian’s who used to flock here each summer to enjoy its impressive coastline, pier and later the tramway that started taking visitors up and down the Great Orme in 1902!

#Ad: For a luxury spa break, check out Bodysgallen Hall and Spa
Llandudno Promenade
The Great Orme Tramway in Llandudno

Portmeirion

The Italian-style village of Portmeirion is Wales’s Mediterranean jewel situated on the Dwyryd Estuary near Porthmadog. Designed by Architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the colourful buildings, delightful gardens and acres of nature trails makes it a popular day trip when visiting the Snowdonia region.

places to stay in Portmeirion Village

You can also stay in Portmeirion Village by booking a self catering holiday cottage or checking in to one of the two on-site hotels. Staying guests also benefit from an outdoor heated pool and tranquil morning and evenings in the village before the day visitors arrive.

Related: A photo tour of Portmeirion Village
Portmeirion Village near Snowdonia

Betws-y-Coed | Towns and villages in Snowdonia

Built out of grey stone amongst soaring pine trees, the leafy village of Betws-y-Coed is one of Wales’s unspoilt wonders with a tonne of outdoor activities on its doorstep. Visitors can retire in the Royal Oak Hotel after hiking the local river trails, or rest in a riverside cottage after an adrenalin-fuelled day at Zip World.

Book a cottage or rental in and around Betws-y-Coed via Airbnb
Royal Oak Hotel in Betws-Y-Coed
Betws-Y-Coed Train Station
Swallow Falls near Betws-Y-Coed

This is not an exhaustive list, there’s plenty of other beautiful towns and villages in and around Snowdonia National Park to explore, such as Porthmadog and Caernarfon where you can set off for Snowdonia on a stream train via the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway.

Where next? Taking a steam train ride in North Wales
A guide to visiting Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia

3 Comments

  1. North Wales is a fantastic place to visit. If you have yet to visit I would highly recommend.

  2. Your photos look lovely. We were going in October, but our plans got cancelled. I love the story of Beddgelert. Will have to remember that when we finally get there!

    • Thank you Jan! I hope you’re able to rearrange your trip – it’s a lovely area to explore, particularly Beddgelert.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *