Wide open spaces and spectacular vistas. That's the best thing about the Llŷn Peninsula. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty boasts almost 100 miles of coastline, made up of sweeping bays and cliffs, perfect for lovers of the outdoors. We were visiting for a few days and eager to explore. In almost every shop, bar and café, the poetic sounds of the Welsh language drifted around us.
Basing ourselves in Morfa Nefyn, we had access to fabulous beaches, coastal walks and great restaurants such as The Cliffs. Stopping off in Nefyn, we called in to the Cwrw Llyn Brewery to stock up on their fabulous local ales. We planned to explore the hills and coastline, from the rugged north to the calmer and sheltered coves of the south.
Embarking on coastal walks with epic views
The Wales Coast Path offers cliff top walks, beach strolls and wildlife spotting in abundance. Keen to capture a variety of these, we started our explorations at Trefor on the north coast. Our short walk started next to the small harbour with crystal clear blue waters. Sitting in the shadow of Yr Eifl, the coastal path headed south, leading towards Trefor Sea Stacks, teaming with nesting seabirds including cormorants. Nearby, Nant Gwrtheyrn, home to a Welsh language centre as well as the fabulous Caffi Meinir was next on the list. The cliff faces here, rich with vegetation, dropped directly onto the pebbled beach, creating drama and atmosphere.
Further south, two very different walks captured the versatile feel of the landscape. We followed the coastal path from Aberdaron towards the small harbour of Porth Meudwy, where boat trips leave for Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island). Meandering along the cliffs tops, we were rewarded with spectacular views and choughs swooping around the cliffs.
Our final coastal walk was a short, but steep woodland walk to an epic viewpoint above Llanbedrog. Stone steps led from the beach into the woodland, opening out onto a headland at the location of the Iron Man sculpture, providing views across to Snowdonia and Cardigan Bay.
Feeling on top of the world at Garn Ganol
Next up, it was time to hike. The three peaks of Yr Eifl - Garn For, Garn Ganol and Tre'r Ceiri dominate the landscape and felt like a worthy challenge. Walking boots on, we headed out for some energetic hiking. A circular route took in all three peaks, with an additional route heading directly to the summit of Garn Ganol, the tallest at 561 metres. We headed through grassy heathlands with purple heather starting to emerge. Long grasses swayed gently next to delicate sedum flowers, and as the climb became steeper, the landscape became more barren.
Ascending towards the summit of Garn Ganol, the panoramic views were breathtaking. The coastline stretched as far as the eye could see, with the remains of the iron age hillfort of Tre'r Ceiri appearing into view. Arriving at the summit trig point, the views were definitely worth the effort.
Exploring the history and heritage of the Llŷn Peninsula
Keen to search out some heritage sites, our first stopping point was the Llŷn Maritime Museum in Nefyn. The museum was packed full of history, artefacts and exhibitions. Further south in Aberdaron, we called into the Porth y Swnt Visitor Centre. The centre provided a fascinating insight into the heritage and landscape of the area. Our final heritage stop was to Plas yn Rhiw, a 17th century manor house with stunning gardens looking out over Cardigan Bay. Enjoying a self-guided tour of the house, we explored the lush gardens before having an alfresco lunch at the onsite tea rooms.
Visiting Llŷn's best beaches
For lovers of wild beaches, the north coast is the best place to be. Traeth Penllech was a fabulous and remote spot for a fresh morning walk. Further south, Traeth Porthor (Whistling Sands), was a long sandy bay flanked by rockpools with inlets to explore. Pathways led up to higher points, offering dramatic views of the bay.
Heading to the south coast, we visited the beaches of Abersoch and Llanbedrog. These sheltered coves offered shallow waters and gently lapping waves. Llanbedrog boasted a sandy beach with a row of picture perfect colourful beach huts. Nearby, the busier Abersoch Beach was beautiful, no doubt about that. Pastel coloured beach huts lined the tall sand dunes, adding to the charm.
One of the more popular spots on the Llŷn Peninsula is Porthdinllaen and the famed Ty Coch Inn. Setting out, in the distance we could hear the beats of chilled out music. Arriving onto Porthdinllaen Beach, the tiny village and beachfront pub appeared ahead, nestled into the cliff face. With an outdoor bar, a DJ playing out on the deck, and a gathering of people on the sands in front of the pub, there was a cool beach bar vibe.
Search for more inspiration, things to do and places to stay on the Llŷn Peninsula.
Please take care when heading off for outdoor activities. We've got a useful guide to Planning a Wales Coast Path walk, and we also recommend you read the safety advice on the Adventure Smart website before you start out. Our RNLI Beach Safety Guide is full of tips to stay safe and have fun by the coast.