10 of the best places to stay in Snowdonia

Days out, Destinations

Posted by Ruth on 17th March 2022

Snowdonia

With towering mountain peaks, sparkling blue seas and centuries of myths and legends, Snowdonia National Park is an awe-inspiring place to visit no matter what you like to do on holiday.

If you’re wondering where to stay when visiting Snowdonia, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best towns and villages that are perfect for a break to this epic adventure landscape. 

Read on for our top picks or click the button below to find your dream Snowdonia cottage in the mountains. 

Snowdonia cottages


Llanberis

Llanberis – best place to stay for summiting Snowdon

Whether you want to scale Snowdon on foot or enjoy the sights with a trip on the railway, Llanberis is a great place to begin your mountain adventure. The village sits at the foot of the mighty Mount Snowdon, with the easiest route to the top – the Llanberis Path – beginning in the village. Follow the 9-mile (there and back) route to the summit, which will take you around 6 hours, before enjoying a restorative drink in one of the pubs after.

If you don’t fancy the walk, climb aboard the Snowdon Mountain Railway at Llanberis Station and enjoy the stunning views as you gently ascend the highest mountain in Wales. The train is only going as high as Clogwyn Station in 2022, with the summit the end destination in 2023. At 779 metres above sea level, however, the views are still fantastic. If you haven’t quite had your fill of trains after your trip up Snowdon, Llanberis is also home to the charming steam engines of the Llanberis Lake Railway.

Llanberis cottages


Aberdyfi

Aberdyfi – best place to stay for water sports

Situated on the fabulous Dyfi Estuary, where the River Dyfi meets Cardigan Bay on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, Aberdyfi is a fantastic place for a coastal holiday. Also known as Aberdovey, this seaside village has plenty to see and do, whether you choose to stroll the promenade past the rows of brightly coloured houses, or choose something a little more active.

Aberdyfi is an excellent place for water sports, with its calm waters and steady wind off the bay attracting fans of windsurfing, kite surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing and canoeing. If you fancy a dip in the sea on your Snowdonia holiday, Aberdyfi to Tywyn boasts 4 miles of golden sands backed by sand dunes.

Aberdyfi cottages


Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog – best place to stay for Snowdonian landscapes

Formerly the ‘slate capital of the world’, Blaenau Ffestiniog is now one of the best places to stay in Snowdonia if you’re looking to combine North Wales culture with epic scenery and thrilling activities.

Once extensively mined, this town’s slate caverns are now prime tourist attractions – delve deep underground on a tour of Llechwedd Deep Mine, or get your adrenaline pumping at Bounce Below where a disused mine has become a giant subterranean trampoline park! If you’d rather stay in the sunshine, you can zoom 1,400ft above the caverns on a zip line at Zip World, - one of the best attractions in North Wales - or tackle one of the 14 mountain bike trails at Antur Stiniog to explore the historic landscape on two wheels.

Blaenau Ffestiniog cottages


Harlech

Harlech – best place to stay for stunning views

If it’s jaw-dropping views you’re searching for amongst the many Snowdonia places to stay, Harlech should be top of your list. It’s home to the 13th-century Harlech Castle, one of the castles in the Gwynedd UNESCO World Heritage Site, which boasts epic vistas across the sparkling Bae Ceredigion and to the Snowdonian mountains, and is one of the top days out in Snowdonia

The town was also a one-time holder of the Guinness World Record for the world’s steepest street which was awarded in 2019. Ffordd Pen Llech runs behind the castle and has a thigh-burning gradient of 37.45%. The hilly road is now the second-steepest in the world after the title was reinstated to a road in Dunedin, New Zealand – the record’s previous holder. Another tricky walk is the path between Harlech and Llandanwg beaches, affectionately known as the ‘Zig Zag’ path. Climb the 88 steps to the top and be rewarded by stunning views that are all the more awe-inspiring at sunset.  

Harlech cottages


Bala

Bala – best place to stay for an outdoor adventure

Snowdonia is known for being a giant natural playground, and if getting out and about in the great outdoors is top of your holiday to-do list, make a beeline for Bala. Home to Llyn Tegid, the largest natural lake in Wales, Bala is great for water sports such as swimming, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking. And, if you want to keep your feet on dry land, you can still soak up the landscape with a trip on Alice the Little Welsh Engine, on Bala Lake Railway.

But there’s outdoor adventure and then there’s outdoor adventure. Bala is home to the National White Water Rafting Centre so, if you fancy steering a boat down the fast-flowing rapids of the Afon Tryweryn, this is the place to come.

Bala cottages


Betws-y-Coed

Betws-y-Coed – best place to stay for artistic inspiration

Betws-y-Coed isn't just one of the best places to stay in Snowdonia, but one of the best places to stay in the whole of Wales. The charming buildings, lush forests and babbling waters of Betws-y-Coed have inspired artists for centuries. In fact, the village drew so many painters and poets that it became home to Britain’s first artists’ colony in the 19th century, with a significant population of creatives remaining in the village until the 1930s.

If you’re in search of some inspiration and want to follow in the footsteps of these artists, visit Swallow Falls, Pont-y-Pair or Fairy Glen for landscapes to spark your creativity. Or, make a beeline for one of the many galleries lining the historic streets – Betws-y-Coed is the best area to stay in Snowdonia if you’re looking to indulge your creative side.

Betws-y-Coed cottages


Caernarfon

Caernarfon – best place to stay for history lovers

Home to one of the four castles making up the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Gwynedd, Caernarfon is one of the best places to stay around Snowdonia if you want to explore the area’s history. Caernarfon Castle dates back to the 13th century and is perched imposingly on the River Seiont. Take a tour around this remarkably intact fortress and learn about the turbulent Welsh history.

History fans will also love Segontium Roman Fort, built almost 2,000 years ago. In contrast to Caernarfon Castle, only the fort’s remains can be visited but it’s still a fascinating trip. For more recent history, take a trip on the Welsh Highland Railway, which was originally established in 1832. Jump aboard from the new station in Caernarfon and travel through splendid scenery to Beddgelert or Porthmadog.

Caernarfon cottages


Barmouth

Barmouth – best place to stay for a beach break

If you’re wondering where to stay in Snowdonia for a traditional break by the seaside, Barmouth ticks all the boxes. With a golden sandy beach and all the classic seaside activities such as amusements, crabbing and even donkey rides, Barmouth is a family-friendly, crowd-pleasing, coastal favourite on the western fringe of Snowdonia.

When you’ve had your fill of sea and sand, take a walk over Barmouth Bridge to enjoy beautiful waterside views over the River Mawddach or visit the harbour for ice cream and to see the famous dolphin sculpture.  

Barmouth cottages


Conwy

Conwy – best place to stay for a crowd-pleasing getaway

Combining fascinating history, seaside delights and glorious mountain views, Conwy is a fantastic destination if you want a little bit of everything Snowdonia has to offer. Home to the 13th-century Conwy Castle, you can learn more about the history of Snowdonia in this lovely town. Head north to Conwy Morfa Beach, a beautiful stretch of sand overlooking the sparkling blue sea.

Or, head south where the whole of the Snowdonia National Park lies in wait. Scale Conwy Mountain, taking in a section of the Wales Coast Path. Standing 244 metres above sea level, the views from the summit towards the coast are truly astounding.

Conwy cottages


Beddgelert

Beddgelert – best place to stay for myths, legends and stories

Wales is steeped in centuries of myths and legends, and if you fancy exploring these stories further, one of the best places to visit in Snowdonia is Beddgelert. The name of the village itself means “Gelert’s grave” which gives a clue about the tale surrounding Beddgelert. Gelert was a dog who Prince Llywelyn left to watch over his baby. He returned to find Gelert covered in blood and immediately thought the dog had mauled the infant, so killed him in a rage. But, in fact, this courageous canine had saved the child from a wolf attack and was injured in the process.

Stricken by grief, Llywelyn buried his faithful hound in the village, and you can visit his burial site to this day after taking a scenic walk along the river. Beddgelert also has an association with the Rupert the Bear books; the author Alfred Bestall lived in the village while he was writing and illustrating some of these beloved stories. There is a picnic site in the village that commemorates him.

Beddgelert cottages


Map of the best places to stay in Snowdonia

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Visit Snowdonia

Whether you dream of scaling Wales’ tallest mountain, taking a dip in the beautiful Cardigan Bay or strolling around a historic castle, we have many Snowdonia cottages which you can call your home from home. Click the button below to view our full collection.

Snowdonia cottages

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.