The best beaches on the Llyn Peninsula

Beaches, Coastal

Posted by Ellen Drowne on 31st January 2024

Looking out to sea from Porthor Beach (Whistling Sands)

With a large part of the Llŷn Peninsula designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it comes as no surprise that this section of Wales is home to a breathtaking coastline – around 100 miles of it, in fact. A glorious array of beaches peppers the coast, so to help you decide which one you’ll visit first, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites. And if you read this and want to learn about some of the best beaches in Wales, we've got you covered with our guide. 

Some beaches lend themselves to water sports including surfing and paddleboarding, while others are more suited to tranquil days on the sand, perhaps venturing to the shoreline for a stroll every so often. There are pet-friendly and family-friendly beaches with facilities and places to eat close at hand, so there’s no need to worry when the kids want an ice cream or you need to spend a penny!

Our holiday cottages on the Llŷn Peninsula are as unique as the beaches available. Our collection caters to all tastes and requirements, so all you need to do is make sure you’ve packed the sun cream and a good book. 

Llŷn Peninsula holiday cottages

Skip to:

Overhead image of Porthdinllaen Beach and headland


Kicking off our round-up of top beaches on the Llŷn Peninsula is this gem. A charming stretch of sand, Porthdinllaen sits in a sheltered spot, making it the perfect natural harbour; little wonder that it’s a former fishing village. This is a tranquil and beautiful spot for a pleasant afternoon while the kids build sandcastles. 

Stroll along the shoreline and dip your toes in the refreshing waters of the Irish Sea. If you get thirsty, retire to the terrace of the waterfront Ty Coch Inn and take a moment to revel in the timeless charm of this stunning coastal haven.

Need to know

Dog friendly: Yes, Porthdinllaen is dog friendly, but seasonal restrictions apply from 1 April to 30 September

Facilities: Café opposite National Trust car park, Ty Coch Inn (on the beachfront), public WCs, electric vehicle charging point

Parking: National Trust car park

Lifeguard: No

Looking across Llanbedrog Beach to the colourful beach huts and trees

Llanbedrog Beach

With its iconic, colourful beach huts and enviable views of Cardigan Bay, Llanbedrog Beach has been popular with holidaymakers for generations. Backed by trees, this gorgeous mile-long expanse of sand is one of the best beaches on the Llŷn Peninsula. Its sheltered south-facing position means the water at Llanbedrog is warmer than you might expect for a beach in the UK! As such, the beach lends itself to water sports including windsurfing and kayaking.

So, whether you’re keen to get on the water, or just want a family-friendly beach with shallow waters where the children can paddle safely (under supervision, of course), then Llanbedrog is the perfect Llŷn Peninsula beach for you.   

Need to know

Dog friendly: Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a lead until past the beach huts between 1 April and 30 September 

Facilities: Shop, café, public WCs (open 1 April until end of October), electric vehicle charging point

Parking: Pay and display car park

Lifeguard: No

Clear blue waters at Criccieth Beach

Criccieth Beach

Criccieth’s main beach is a delightful mix of sand and shingle, protected by the headland upon which the 13th-century Criccieth Castle proudly stands. Its convenient location, within easy reach of the town’s amenities, makes it ideal for a family day out. It’s backed by a lovely promenade, so everyone can experience the fabulous views of Cardigan Bay and the mountains of Snowdonia (Eryri). As well as being a prime bucket-and-spade holiday spot, there is also much to recommend it for walkers and cyclists, as the coastal path runs through Criccieth, and National Cycle Route 8 also passes through.

Need to know

Dog friendly: Seasonal dog restrictions apply between 1 April and 30 September 

Facilities: Cafe and shop next to the beach; WCs in park area behind Esplanade; shops, cafés and pubs in town

Parking: Free on-street parking along Beach Bank, pay and display car parks on Esplanade

Lifeguard: No

Sunset at Porth Neigwl (Hell's Mouth)

Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth)

This charming, rural beach with an intriguing name is popular with surfers and kayakers thanks to its south-westerly aspect serving up large, clean waves. The ‘Hell’s mouth’ moniker derives from its semi-circular shape resembling an open mouth, and the fact it’s been the site of numerous shipwrecks over the centuries. At about 4 miles long, this is an impressive beach, with the bonus of being quieter than some other beaches in the area. You’ll find a mix of pebbles and sand, with the sand most prominent at low tide. Not recommended for swimming due to the strong currents that prevail here.

Need to know

Dog friendly: Yes

Facilities: None, but the village of Llanengan is half a mile away, where there’s a pub that serves food

Parking: There is a free car park around 200 metres from the beach 

Lifeguard: No

Golden sand and blue sea and sky at Abersoch Beach. Mountains visible in the background

Abersoch Beach

Abersoch is among the most popular beaches on the Llŷn Peninsula. This former fishing port appeals to all kinds of holidaymakers, especially water sports enthusiasts. When the conditions are suitable, there are guaranteed to be people on the water wakeboarding, paddleboarding, water-skiing, windsurfing and sailing. In addition, a motorboat exclusion zone ensures the safety of swimmers. But this sheltered, sandy expanse is also perfect for those who prefer to stay on land, sunbathing while reading or chatting with an ice-cold drink. Talking of drinks, with two beach cafes close at hand, it’s easy to grab refreshments during your day on the sand. 

Need to know

Dog friendly: Restrictions apply on part of the beach from 1 April to 30 September 

Facilities: Shops, cafes, WCs nearby  

Parking: Two car parks are best for the beach: one on Golf Road and one in the centre of Abersoch. WCs and outdoor showers can be found at both.

Lifeguard:  Yes

Looking down from the cliffs above Porthor Beach (Whistling Sands) down to the beach. People are walking along the sand and lush green fields are visible in the background

Traeth Porthor (Whistling Sands)

The exquisitely picturesque beach is cared for by the National Trust and we rate it as one of the Llŷn Peninsula’s best beaches. Small, yet perfectly formed, the beach is renowned for the ‘whistling’ sound which is made by the grains of sand as you walk over them. There are sensational views everywhere you look, and the water conditions are just right for surfing. While four-legged friends are prohibited from going on the beach during the summer season, the rugged coastline above the beach is part of the fantastic Wales Coast Path, so there are many trails to sniff out without setting foot on the sand.

Need to know

Dog friendly: No dogs allowed on the beach from 1 April to 30 September 

Facilities: Seasonal café (not run by National Trust) and WCs   

Parking: National Trust pay and display car park 

Lifeguard: No  

Looking out to sea from the dunes at Pwllheli Beach. The sun is shining onto the water and there is a girl sat on the sand in the foreground

Pwllheli Beach

Deemed to be the unofficial capital of the Llŷn Peninsula, Pwllheli is an attractive prospect for anyone planning a seaside break in this fabulous part of Wales. You have the choice of two beaches, alongside a charming promenade. Glan-y-Don Beach is a 3-mile stretch of sand to explore, backed by sand dunes and reaching out to the Pen-y-Chain headland. South Beach heads off in the other direction, from Gimblet Rock towards Llanbedrog, and is where you’ll find the promenade. From here, there is easy access to everything the inviting market town of Pwllheli has to offer.  

Need to know

Dog friendly: There is a seasonal restriction (1 April to 30 September) for dogs on a small part of the beach in front of the promenade. Paws are welcome everywhere else all year round.  

Facilities: WCs, beach shop  

Parking: Parking on the road behind the beach  

Lifeguard: Yes 

View across clear blue waters to Porthdinllaen

Stay on the Llŷn Peninsula

With such fine beaches to discover or revisit, the Llŷn Peninsula is a smart holiday destination: whether you’re looking for family-friendly beaches to delight the children or a more secluded spot where just the two of you can relax, there is plenty of choice. The same can be said of our holiday cottages on the Llŷn Peninsula. Browse our cottages collection and book that well-earned break today.

Holiday cottages on the Llŷn Peninsula

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.