Introduction to The Snowdonia Way
The Snowdonia Way is a long-distance trail through the heart of the mountains of North Wales, running 97 miles (156 km) from Machynlleth to Conwy. You'll pass by the most famous mountains in Wales, including Snowdon and Cadair Idris. Walk through the great valleys of Ogwen and Ffestiniog. You will also see ancient stone circles, castles, and market towns that have changed little over the years. Snowdonia's landscape is incredibly diverse, with large forests, open moorland, rocky mountainside and sandy estuary all within the National Park.
Highlights of This Trail
- Passing alongside Snowdon, with great views of the summit
- Walking through the Ogwen Valley
- The vast forests of the Dovey and Coed y Brenin
- Crossing the Vale of Ffestiniog
What's Included with this Holiday
- Accommodation for 8 nights
- 7 Days walking
- A Qualified Mountain Leader
- A Full Information Pack
- Luggage transfer
- Maximum group size of 12
- Free transport back to Machynlleth
- Support Vehicle available (so you can skip a section)
What to Expect from the Trail
The Snowdonia Way is a brand new long distance trail, so you may not know much about it. The route was devised by Alex Kendall, one of our guides, after two years of research. The trail was first completed as a continuous trek by Scarlet, the director of Thistle Trekking, and Alex in December 2016 and so it is a route close to our heart. As the name suggests this route weaves its way through The Snowdonia National Park. Starting in Machynlleth, located just south of The National Park Boundary, and ending in Conwy, to the North East of the park boundary. Throughout the 7 days of walking you will pass through many of the highlights of this historic and dramatic landscape.
With the earliest human structures in Snowdonia dating back to 2500BC it is no surprise that it has a fascinating and rich history. This is after all, an area which has given rise to the Legends of King Arthur. The striking scenery throughout the trail includes views of towering mountains, including Cadair Idris, Moel Siabod and Cnicht. The powerful rapids of The River Glaslyn, glistening lakes and passes the ancient castle of Dolwyddelan. The abundant and beautiful scenery, the legendary atmosphere and the welcoming hospitality of Snowdonia will almost certainly make this trail famous in its own right.
The Snowdonia Way Guided Walking Itinerary
Each day you will be guided along the trail to your next accommodation. There is no need for you to worry about being lost, we will be with you from the moment you set off in the morning to the moment you get to your accommodation in the evening. You will only be expected to carry your day bag (what you will need to keep you warm, dry, fed and watered for the day). Everything else will be transported to your next accommodation for you. Everything will be arranged for you so all you need to worry about is the walking itself!
Day 1: Arrive in Machynlleth
Today you'll arrive in Machynlleth, the ancient capital of Wales and the start of the Snowdonia Way. We will have accommodation arranged for you so you just need to check. In the evening you will usually get a chance to meet your fellow walkers as well as your guide at a local pub for a drink or two and to hear more about the plans for the next week.
Accommodation in or near Machynlleth
Day 2: Walking to Dolgellau - 15.5 miles
On this first day of walking The Snowdonia Way we begin by crossing the River Dovey. Then heading north into the vast Dovey Forest, passing the old slate mining villages of Corris and Aberllefenni. After some beautiful riverside walking, the afternoon sees us head up over a mountain pass. Soon following tracks round the side of the great mountain of Cadair Idris, before descending into the town of Dolgellau. This day is 15.5 miles and includes 750m of ascent, a great introduction to the route!
Accommodation in or near Dolgellau
Day 3: Walking to Trawsfynydd - 14 miles
Heading north along the River Mawddach, the trail today is 14 miles. It includes 790m of ascent, leading along mountain paths and upland tracks before dropping down to cross the river and enter the forest of Coed y Brenin. The giant trees of this forest form a spectacular backdrop as you follow tracks towards Trawsfynydd. Here you will have views out to the Rhinog mountains in the west. The final descent into the town starts in wide moorland and finishes along paths through farmland, with Lake Trawsfynydd visible ahead.
Accommodation in or near Dolgellau
Day 4: Walking to Beddgelert - 18.5 miles
This is the longest day of The Snowdonia Way, and also one of the most varied. With over 18.5 miles and 930m of ascent you pass from the south of Snowdonia to the north, across the beautiful Vale of Ffestiniog. You'll pass Lake Trawsfynydd, miles of woodland, and the wild hillsides of the Moelwyns, with the shapely mountain Cnicht as your backdrop. The day finishes along the River Glaslyn, on a spectacular path that drops right down to the rapids before taking you safely into Beddgelert. This is one of the prettiest villages in Wales.
Accommodation in or near Beddgelert
Day 5: Walking to Dolwyddelan - 12.7 miles
Definitely a day of two halves, and happily one of the shortest after the previous day's exertions. Today we'll walk 12.7 miles with 800m of ascent. Starting along the valley of Nantgwynant past two lakes and along quiet wooded paths. We will the climb up to the pass of the Bwlch y Rhediad and its unique view of Snowdon, which has been right next to us from the start of the day. Dropping down into the valley on the other side of the pass, we reach the ancient castle of Dolwyddelan before the town itself.
Accommodation in or near Betws y Coed
Day 6: Walking to Bethesda - 15.5 miles
One of the most dramatic low-level mountain walks in Wales. We begin this section of The Snowdonia Way with a traverse round the flank of Moel Siabod. Through forest and open moor, before spending the rest of the day walking through the Ogwen Valley. The Ogwen Valley divides two of the greatest mountain ranges in Wales, the Glyderau and the Carneddau. The scale of these famous mountains will keep us in awe all the way to Bethesda, one of Snowdonia's greatest slate mining towns. Today is 15.5 miles with 660m of ascent.
Accommodation in or near Betws y Coed
Day 7: Walking to Llanfairfechan - 11.7 miles
With the sea now visible in the north, we spend the day traversing the northern flanks of the great range of the Carneddau mountains, the highest area of land in England and Wales. The route also visits the Aber Falls, and gives you views down over Anglesey, Puffin Island, and the town of Bangor. Llanfairfechan is on the coast, and with the sea breeze you'll know you're nearing the end of the trail. Today is 11.7 miles but has two significant climbs.
Accommodation in or near Conwy
Day 8: Walking to Conwy - 9.3 miles
The final day of the trail, and it doesn't disappoint. We begin by heading back up onto the upland tracks and paths that lead over the northern edges of the Carneddau, passing ancient stone circles and admiring the steep sea cliffs. Walking through heather moorland, we reach Conwy mountain, with its Iron Age hill-forts, and begin the descent into Conwy. With the great castle always visible ahead, we reach the town, and walk along the river-front for a brilliant ending in front of the city walls and the harbour. This last day is 9.3 miles, leaving us plenty of time for a celebratory drink.
Accommodation in or near Conwy
Day 9: Depature/Drive back to Machynlleth
Today we will pick you up from Conwy and drive you back to Machynlleth, unless you would rather make use of the convenient train or bus station in Conwy . From here it is time to say goodbye and make your way home.
The Snowdonia Way Accommodation Options
All our Snowdonia Way guided walking holidays are offered with B&B accommodation, this is our most popular option for all our treks.
Bed & Breakfast
The Bed and Breakfast option provides you with good standard Bed and Breakfast accommodation, with breakfast included within the price of the holiday. The B&Bs we use are located within small towns or villages and so you will have access to local shops as well as a choice of pubs to make sure you have plenty of opportunity to have an evening meal. In areas where there are no B&Bs or there are no facilities such as shops or pubs we will instead drive you out to another nearby village where a better overall experience can be achieved.
About the Local Area
For our B&B accommodation option you will usually be staying one night in Machynlleth, two nights in Dolgellau, three nights in Beddgelert and then the final two nights in Conwy. This means you will not have to repack every day, however you will still get the opportunity to gain a great perspective of 4 different villages along the route by not just staying in one or two different places. Whilst we cannot guarantee your accommodation will be in these villages as listed, this is certainly the experience that most of our customers will get and we will do our very best to make sure you do to.
Dates & Prices
The dates of our scheduled treks can be seen below. We also off the option of private bookings for groups. Please get in touch if you'd like to book privately.
|Date of Trek||Availability|
|Saturday 21st July 2018 to Sunday 29th July 2018||Guaranteed - 3 Spaces Left|
|Saturday 8th September 2018 to Sunday 16th September 2018||Guaranteed - 10 Spaces Left|
No Suitable Date?
If there are no dates on this calendar to suit you please let us know, sometimes we can add extra dates if there is enough demand for an extra trip to be added.
If a trek is full but you would like to be added to the waiting list, please do let us know. The waiting list is there so that if anyone drops out of the trek we will contact you and let you know, so you can take their place on the trek instead.
We are hoping to publish our calendar for 2019 in the spring of 2018. If you are keen to book early and secure a trek on a date to suit you please do feel free to get in contact with us.
Price for Bed & Breakfast:
The price of this trip is £899 per person (based on two sharing).
To book this trip we will require a £200 deposit per person with the rest to be paid a month before your trip.
If you are booking as a solo traveller and happy to share a twin room with another solo traveller of the same sex the price is £899.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself there is a £20 per night single supplement (£160 in total).
How to Book
Booking is simple, you can either phone us, email us or use our online shopping cart below.
Book The Snowdonia Way Online
What Happens Once you Have Booked
Once we have received your booking (either through the online shopping cart, email or phone). We will then confirm with you that your accommodation option and room type, single, twin or double, is available. We will then send you a full booking form and information about paying your deposit for your trek. All deposits can be paid by cheque, bank transfer or debit/credit card. Once we have received back both your booking form and deposit we will let you know and your place on the trip will be secure.