Beaches and Coastline
Snowdonia Mountains and Coast includes sand, sea, beaches and bays as well as rocky peaks, hills and forests. We’re home to 200 miles of coast and more than 35 beaches, as well as one of the most spectacular stretches of the pioneering Wales Coast Path, a world’s first.
Given the prominence of our mountains, it’s not surprising that our coastline can sometimes fly under the radar. But take the time to investigate and you’ll discover beguiling places like the Llŷn Peninsula’s squeaky clean Porth Oer, also known as Whistling Sands. It’s a geological oddity where the beach audibly squeaks beneath your feet, a phenomenon that occurs in only a handful of places worldwide.
Shell Island near Harlech is famous for … guess what? For a sense of the Sahara go to endless Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog, Barmouth or Dinas Dinlle near Caernarfon. And if small and seductive resorts are your coastal cup of tea, you’ll love places like Aberdyfi and Abersoch.
Here’s a quick run-down, from north to south, of some of our coastal highlights:
Long, sandy beach with sailing club and attractive promenade.
Fun, family-friendly seaside village with large sandy beach. The nearby Traeth Lafan Nature Reserve is a great place for birdwatching.
Dinas Dinlle, near Caernarfon
Enormous beach with widescreen views to match. Great for walkers, windsurfers and power kiters.
Two miles of sweeping sands, scooped out of the coastline in perfect crescents. The impossibly pretty National Trust village of Porthdinllaen is perfect too.
Porth Oer, near Aberdaron
A true one-of-a-kind, with ‘Whistling Sands’ that really do squeak underfoot.
Broad sandy beach on Llŷn’s ‘land’s end’, sheltered between two spectacular headlands
One of our most popular resorts. A big hit with families, watersports enthusiasts, shoppers and people watchers.
Pwllheli South Beach (Marian-y- De)
A three-mile curve of sand and shingle, backed by rolling dunes.
Morfa Bychan (Black Rock Sands)
This big beach’s golden sands, rock pools and dunes make it a popular spot for families.
Untouched sandy beach, backed by dunes and theatrically overlooked by Harlech Castle.
Shell Island, Llanbedr
Sand, dunes and, of course, shells.
Bustling resort town that boasts a huge sandy beach, plus views over the mountains and Mawddach Estuary.
Popular surfing beach with almost five miles of sand, and also a good place to spot dolphins and porpoises.
Dramatically located at the mouth of the Dyfi Estuary, this big sandy beach is great for windsurfing and wildlife spotting.
Award Winning Beaches
Blue Flag - Abersoch, Barmouth, Black Rock Sands (Morfa Bychan), Criccieth (Promenade), Llanfairfechan, Penmaenmawr and Pwllheli (Marian y De).
Seaside Award - Aberdaron and Tywyn.
For information on slipways, boat launching and marinas contact the Maritime Unit on 01758 704066. For harbours and maritime information in the Conwy area call 01492 596253.
Walking your dog on our beaches
There are over 35 beaches along our 200 miles of coastline, which includes the Llŷn Peninsula and Cambrian Coast. Dogs are allowed access to walk along the majority of them. Sections of certain beaches have Dog Exclusion Zones to manage their use and keep them clean and safe. For the latest information please contact 01758 704066 or view the beach maps on Gwynedd Council's website.
Useful Contact Numbers
Gwynedd Council Contact Centre
Aberdyfi 01654 767626
Barmouth 01341 280671
Conwy 01492 596253
Porthmadog 01766 512927
Pwllheli 01758 704081
Caernarfon, Victoria Dock
The National Trust
Natural Resources Wales
Surf Report Information