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 and celebrated its 10th birthday in 2022. 

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 Porthor, 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.

Care for ourselves by planning ahead

  • Prepare and have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage and notices
  • Keep a watchful eye on your family - on the beach and in the water
  • Don’t allow a member of your family to swim or bathe alone
  • Don’t use inflatables without a safety leash being secured to the shore. Wear a buoyancy aid if you are a weak swimmer
  • Do not swim or enter the water where a red flag or any other sign advising of no bathing is being displayed. Always take notice of local information and hazard signage.
  • In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard

Here’s a quick run-down, from north to south, of some of our coastal highlights:

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.

Porthor, 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.


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 (from 1 April to 30 September) to manage their use and keep them clean and safe. For the latest information please contact 01766 771000 or visit the Cyngor Gwynedd website.

Useful Contact Numbers

Gwynedd Council Contact Centre
01766 771000

Please visit the Gwynedd Council website for the latest details.

Caernarfon, Victoria Dock
01286 672118
Hafan, Pwllheli
01758 701219

Maritime Service
01758 704066

The National Trust
01492 860123

Natural Resources Wales
0300 0653000

Surf Report Information

Tide Times