Snowdonia map & highlights

Snowdonia itself isnít a secret, with the highest peak in Wales being placed on every childís map of Britain at an early age. But there are many secrets lying under it, over it, around it and tunneling through it. Once the heart of the slate quarrying industry, Snowdonia has tapped into its natural resources in 21st century sustainable style. For starters, check out the National Parkís app which helps you unwrap each layer of what feels like a giant pass the parcel of delightfully surprising layers. Here are a few of our favourites:
Antur Stiniog

1. Antur Stiniog

Antur 'Stiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog has four adrenaline inducing downhill mountain bike trails, not for the faint hearted. The superb Stiniog Special Burger served at their Antur Café is not for wimps either. If you would rather ride your bike than push it, pre-book the uplift that gets you back to the top again; but make sure you don’t miss the town itself at the bottom.
Bala Lake

2. Bala Lake

If you are someone who likes to have water at the end of hike, Snowdonia is lake central. One very popular spot for serious outdoor swimmers and kayakers is Bala Lake (or Llyn Tegid) in the east of Snowdonia. Most activities are available all year round, with Gwersyll yr Urdd Glan-llyn, in Llanuwchllyn, the leading outdoor center.
Cader Idris

3. Cader Idris

This is Snowdonia's less-sought, but nonetheless rewarding, peak, and one for all aspiring hikers. And there are a handful of hikers compared with Snowdon. Check out the Pony Path to the top. Cader comes from the Welsh for chair, and myth has it that Idris is a giant who used the mountain as an armchair. The summit is a cool resting place for sure. Nearest town is Dolgellau.
Coed y Brenin

4. Coed y Brenin

Coed y Brenin visitor center is gateway to Coed y Brenin Forest Park which is, literally, a hive of activities. It also has a state of the art eco visitor center, and plenty of bikes to hire. Most famous for its pioneering mountain bike trails you can also enjoy orienteering and waymarked walks along the River Eden with waterfalls to while away your time. One big healthy honeypot.
Electric Mountain

5. Electric Mountain

Yep, they put a power station into the mountain. Just like that. This is no hydro hype, but an almost Orwellian marriage of machines and nature. With over 16 kms of underground tunnels - open seven days a week - they have also put a lot of energy into becoming an all-round leisure experience with climbing wall, indoor play for under 12’s, café and gift shop.
Harlech Beach

6. Harlech Beach

A beach day is a must, but Harlech isnít just a beach. The town itself is heaving with history, with a castle as its centerpiece and the famous myth of Branwen ferch Llyr (Branwen daughter of Llyr) running through its veins. The beach also has magical qualities and a Green Coast Award to boot.

7. Llanberis

This is the nearest town to Snowdon and considered the hiking hub.  Seek out shops with state of the art outdoor gear and cafes with steamed up windows, and don't forget to chat to the local folk who live and work here all year round. Also, if you're just doing the train thing, do come out of the station and enjoy what the village has to offer.
The Mawddach Trail

8. The Mawddach Trail

Give the inclines a miss for a day and enjoy a flat riverside walk or cycle along this estuarine trail from Dolgellau to Morfa Mawddach following the tracks of an old railway line. 15 kms one way, this is also a joggers’ favourite. Bring your binoculars too. Bird and wildlife watching is a treat as the trail takes you across the estuary with salt marshes and peaty habitats.
Mount Snowdon

9. Mount Snowdon

Or to give it its Welsh name, Yr Wyddfa. You can’t avoid it. It is in your face at all times, telling you to get out and put toe to turf. There are various trekking routes but you can also take a train to the summit’s terminus, Hafod Eryri, a granite and glass architectural gem, and Wales’ window to the world. But be wary of the crowds. With half a million summiting each year, congestion can be an issue.
Slate Museum

10. Slate Museum

The name doesnít exactly have you jumping up and down with excitement, but this is a fascinating recollection of Snowdoniaís legacy. It is important to remember that these mountains had to be worked hard before we lucky ones of the leisure generation got to run wild all over them.
Snowdon Railway

11. Snowdon Railway

Might seem cheesy, but itís actually cheese-tastic and a fine legacy to the engineers who installed it. You also have the stunning Hafod Eryri building on the summit as its terminus. This is train geeks gone chic. Also, you can get a single ticket up and walk back down. Or vice versa, but you canít book a trip back down in advance, so you arenít guaranteed to get a seat. The train is accessible for wheelchair users.
Zip World

12. Zip World

It’s out of this world. Not only can you go flying at speeds of up to 100 mph, but you also get to support the now revitalized Penrhyn Quarry which is nestled amongst the mountains of North Wales. Hold onto that jaw, when you see it, because it will drop. Not as fast as your stomach will though when you're flying through the aaaaaaair.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Snowdonia or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Travel times in Snowdonia

There is a bus stop right by the foreshore center, or it's a short 5 minute walk from the bus stop in the center of Bala. Bala is served by the X94 Arriva bus service (Wrexham, Llangollen, Corwen, Dolgellau and Barmouth).

    Betws y Coed – Llanberis: 30 minutes by Sherpa Bus Porthmadog – Beddgelert: 20 minutes by Sherpa Bus Llandudno - Betws v Coed : 50 minutes by train Machynlleth - Barmouth: 1 hour by train
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Hefin Owen] [Antur 'Stiniog: William Hook] [Bala Lake: Tom Maisey] [Cader Idris: NotFromUtrecht] [Coed y Brenin: andy carter] [Electric Mountain: Takver] [Harlech Beach: Ed Webster] [Llanberis: Hefin Owen] [The Mawddach Trail: OLU] [Mount Snowdon: pxhere] [Slate Museum: Samwalton9] [Snowdon Railway: Andy Pearce] [Zip World: Mike Hudson] [Travel times in Snowdonia: Christopher Jones]