Porthmadog (formerly known as Porthmadoc) is set in a stunningly beautiful part of the Welsh country just a short distance from the majestic Snowdonia National Park and surrounded by great views from all directions. The town looks towards the Glaslyn Estuary in the North East of Porthmadog and the the peak of ‘Moel y Gest’ mountain that stands a gracious 262 metres high.
A journey from Blaenau Ffestiniog through the Snowdonia National Park is best enjoyed aboard a steam train on the Ffestiniog Railway. The line eventually terminates at Porthmadog, which is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Wales. Criccieth Castle stands on the headland, and has historically been in the possession of both the Welsh and English, merging two types of architecture and creating unique character.
Porthmadog is home to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, offering a one-hour experience including a short train ride and the opportunity to see how the railway works. Visitors pay a fee for entry, but can enjoy the experience unlimited times throughout the day.
Less than a ten-minute drive from Porthmadog itself, you’ll find the village of Portmeirion. It’s a visitor attraction featuring colourful buildings, picturesque scenery and lovely views of the water. Portmeirion offers beaches, gardens, a small selection of shops and eateries and has free guided tours. It was constructed in whole between 1925 and 1976, and is an interesting example of a pre-planned village. In its history, it’s been the set of varied TV shows ranging from cult 60s TV show The Prisoner (annual fan conventions are still held in the town) to Doctor Who and pre-school programme Gigglebiz.
A selection of pretty villages cluster around Porthmadog, perfect for day trips. Borth-y-Gest just one mile south of Porthmadog is a delightful seaside village alongside the River Glaslyn famous in the past for ship building. Just a mile north of Porthmadog sits pretty Tremadog village constructed specifically as a tourist settlement. There’re some excellent rock climbing ‘crags’ in Tremadog and the village has its own cafe and is a great places to start exploration of the local area.
Morfa Bychan is located about two miles south west of Porthmadog and is noted for its Black Rock Sands, coloured rocks and lovely white beach with sands dunes to the rear. This small village is popular among windsurfers and cars can be parked on the beach. The sand dunes at Morfa Bychan form part of the Greenacres Nature Reserve and is a great place to visit for tourists.
Porthmadog is an ideal base from which to explore Snowdonia and the nearby attractions, and there’s a great selection of Porthmadog hotels to choose from as a resting place from your travels. Lying on the edge of the Llyn Peninsula, this popular Welsh harbour town was named after W.A Maddocks, the brains behind the famous ‘cob’ scheme for the slate trade.
Shopping in Porthmadog is a treat and the village is home to some great independent book, antique and music shops. There are a number smaller local villages nearby Porthmadog and these serve as an additional choice for tourists to the local area. These villages include places such as Borth-y-Gest, famous for its early ship building trade; Morfa Bychan, famous for the Black Rock Sands with its lovely white sandy beach; and Tremadog, a quaint planned settlement founded by William Madocks.