Your trip starts on arriving at your Bed and Breakfast in Machynlleth. Machynlleth is a pretty market town located in the Dyfi Valley and is easily reached by train from Birmingham New Street Station. There are plenty of pubs in the town and shops in which to stock up on provisions before your walk.
B&B in Machynlleth (breakfast)
Red 3 (grade) 24.4km with 760m ascent, 760m descent
Although quite long, this stage is a straightforward introduction to the Snowdonia Way. From Machynlleth the route heads straight for Dovey Forest, passing the old slate mining villages of Corris and Aberllenfenni via the pretty Llefenni Valley. Great views open up to the mountain of Cadair Idris before the Way drops through in woodland to reach Dolgellau. Much of the route is on tracks and lanes meaning navigation is easy and ground can be covered quickly.
B&B in Dolgellau (breakfast)
Red 3 (grade) 22.5km with 860m ascent, 650m descent
A day of thirds. Firstly, the wonderful mature deciduous woodlands on the ascent out of Dolgellau, with some high open hillsides and views back towards Cadair Idris. Secondly, a walk among the pleasant trees in the Coed y Brenin woodlands. Finally, the route takes to the open hillsides with views of the high mountains to the North. On reaching Trawsfynydd, an easy bus takes you back to Dolgellau (20 mins) and your bed for the night.
B&B in Dolgellau (breakfast)
Red 2 (grade) 14.5km with 370m ascent, 580m descent
Return by bus to Trawsfynydd to start this pretty and relaxed stage to Penrhyndeudraeth. On this stage you'll cross from Southern Snowdonia to Northern Snowdonia, and with that comes a change of landscape. No more rolling hills with big forests, now we enter mountain country with rocky peaks and small woods of native trees. The approach to Penrhyndeudraeth affords fantastic views out to sea across the sandy estuary of the River Dwyryd.
B&B in Penrhyndeudraeth (breakfast)
Red 3 (grade) 15.2km with 540m ascent, 510m descent
From Penrhyndeudraeth the path rises through forests into the foothills of the Moelwyn Mountains. This stage offers great views down to the coast on the West and to the mountain of Cnict on the East. Finish the stage by walking through the interesting Pass of Aberglaslyn for a night in the mountain village of Beddgelert at the foot of Snowdon.
B&B or Hotel in Beddgelert (breakfast)
Red 3 (grade) 26.9km with 960m ascent, 820m descent
Todays stage starts with a pleasant stroll along the Afon Glaslyn past the picturesque lakes of Llyn Dinas and Llyn Glaslyn. From the heart of the Nantgwynant valley, the route then climbs into the Moelwyns and drops into a remote valley before climbing once more and dropping to Capel Curig. If this day looks a little long, it is possible to split the stage at Dolwyddelan. (Add a night at Capel Curig for an optional ascent of Snowdon which is easy climbed from Pen-y-Pass, just a 20-minute bus ride from Capel Curig.)
B&B or Hotel in Capel Curig (breakfast)
Red 2 (grade) 17.4km with 350m ascent, 390m descent
An easy day of walking today, through the dramatic Ogwen Valley. This valley section might be the most spectacular of the whole route, surrounded by the iconic peaks of Tryfan and Carnedd Llewelyn. After passing the Ogwen falls, the route enters the Nant Ffrancon with its glacial features. On reaching Bethesda, hop on the bus to Bangor to enjoy a night on the coast.
Hotel in Bangor (breakfast)
Red 3 (grade) 20.2km with 720m ascent, 840m descent
Catch the bus back to Bethesda for a final day in the mountains before tomorrow's more coastal stage. From Bethesda the route climbs along the northern flanks of the Carneddau with views to the Isle of Anglesey. The Aber Falls are a highlight on this stage with an impressive 37m cascade of water! The stage ends with a relaxed walk along a stretch of Roman Road before dropping into the seaside town of Llanfairfechan. Stay the night here or travel to Bangor or Conwy for a hotel night.
B&B in Llanfairfechan (breakfast)
Red 3 (grade) 15.8km with 530m ascent, 550m descent
This final stage offers something totally different again; coastal views and open moor around Tal y Fan. This is an easy stage crossing the Sychnant Pass before dropping to the characterful estuary town of Conwy with its impressive castle and myriad of independent shops. Enjoy a drink at a local restaurant to congratulate yourself on completing the Snowdonia Way!
B&B or Hotel in Conwy (breakfast)
Enjoy breakfast, a stroll along the Estuary and a visit to Conwy Castle before catching the train home. If you're looking for further travels in the UK, we love to share our knowledge so please ask for information.
Making your Snowdonia Way more challenging is possible by walking the full route over 6 long stages instead of our normal 8. This is suited to experienced hikers who are willing to hike 25-30km per day on consecutive days. This 6-stage trip combines stages 3 and 4, walking from Trawsfynydd to Beddgelert in a single 30km day, and also combines the final 2 stages from Bethesda to Conwy into a single day, making this stage 33km. If instead you'd prefer to walk just part of the route over 4 or 5 days, please ask us for details and we'd be very happy to offer suggestions based on your preferences.
Make the trip longer
Our 8-stage Snowdonia Way suits most walkers but does contain one long day between Beddgelert and Capel Curig. This day can be split at the village of Dolwyddelan, giving one 19.5km day and one 7.5km day, and a trip of 9 stages. It's hard to recommend trips longer than 9 stages due to the spread of accommodation along the route. Some days can be shortened by using public transport so please ask us for details if you'd prefer shorter walking days.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at 1,085m, and can be climbed by a number of walking routes. Although not included in your Alpine Exploratory walking holiday, we know the appeal of Snowdown and it is very feasible to add a day to climb it. This can be done from two locations along the route. Perhaps the easiest ascent is from Pen-y-Pass via the Miner's Track, and for this route we'd recommend an extra night at Capel Curig and catching the bus to Pen-y-Pass in the morning and back in the afternoon. Alternative ascent routes are possible from Beddgelert. Please note that while Snowdon by these routes involves walking paths, Snowdon is a serious mountain and should not be underestimated, especially in poor weather. The ability to navigate using a map and compass is essential.
Hike with a guide
Hike with confidence in the company of our fully qualified International Mountain Leaders (IMLs), with the navigation, accommodation and arrangements taken care of. You're welcome to walk on any date within our season and we can adjust the hike to suit your needs. We are also happy to include an ascent of Snowdon in our Private Guided trips. Please get in touch for more details.
2 May to 17 September 2021
105 per dog
135 per dog
1 rest day
150 per dog
Group of 4 or more
135 per dog
Group of 1, 2 or 3
Please ask us
To all stops
|Please ask us|
|Please ask us|
This holiday stays in a mix of friendly bed & breakfasts in the villages and hotels in the larger towns along the route. We place a lot of value in a friendly welcome and comfortable accommodation. Due to the location of villages along the route, we use the local buses to reach your accommodation on two nights of our main trip. From Trawsfynydd we take the bus back to Dolgellau, and from Bethesda we take the bus to Bangor.
For a touch of luxury while you trek, our ‘Comfy’ option upgrades your accommodation on 5 out of 9 nights. We book comfier B&Bs in Dolgellau (2 nights), Penrhyndeudraeth and Capel Curig. We also book a comfier hotel in Bangor.
We don't have a ready-made 'Hutty' option for our Snowdonia Way. However, it may be possible on some nights to stay in more basic accommodation. Snowdonia has a few good independent hostels and Youth Hostel Association ones. Please ask us for details if you are interested in a more basic option.
The single supplement covers the difference in cost between a single room and sharing a double/twin room.
Bring your dog
We're delighted that you can walk with your dog! We’ll follow our normal schedule in our classic mix of accommodation with a few adjustments. Sadly, there is no dog-friendly accommodation in Penrhyndeudraeth or Llanfairfechan. In place of Penrhyndeudraeth at the end of Stage 3, we would book a night in Porthmadog and we would book and pay for your taxi to and from Porthmadog. In place of Llanfairfechan, we would book a second night for you in Bangor, 10 minutes by bus or train from Llanfairfechan.
We follow the official Snowdonia Way route from Machynlleth to Conwy. We split the route into 8 stages rather than 6 to avoid any unduly long days. We also offer the option of a second night in Capel Curig to climb Snowdon if you wish.
You'll set off from a characterful market town, Machynlleth, before meandering through the forests, along rivers and up to higher ground with long mountain views. As you travel North, the views open out; the mountains get bigger and the views more majestic. You'll walk through the mountain ranges of the Rhinogs, Moelwyns, Snowdon Massif, Glyders and Carneddau before reaching your final stopping point in Conwy in the far North of Snowdonia National Park.
The walking is generally good underfoot and comprises a pleasant mix of tracks, country lanes, woodland paths, field paths and a few short sections of rocky mountain paths. One particular rocky section is encountered at the Pass of Aberglaslyn and care will be needed, especially in wet weather, as the path above the river is quite narrow. In places, the path is not always visible on the ground, necessitating good navigation, particularly in low cloud.
Our route sticks mainly to the valleys and shoulders of the mountain ranges, with the mountains providing an exciting backdrop to this trail. As a result, all walking is within the context of hillwalking in the UK and is achieveable for a normal fit walker. Is it for me?
The Snowdonia Way is a long-distance trail suited to most fit walkers. The scenery is consistently varied and interesting, starting in wooded valleys and progressing to the open hillside around the Snowdon Massif and then to the coastline of North Wales. The route, completed in 8 stages, has no unduly long days and the longer days are on solid trails making the miles pass easily. Similarly, the ascent and descent on each day is reasonable and would be achievable for most fit walkers.
Although the route mostly follows solid paths making navigation relatively straightforward, the landscape should be treated as wild terrain in which you will need to be self-reliant. It is essential that at least one person in your group knows how to navigate with a map and compass.
The Snowdonia Way would be a great trip for those who are confident walkers in the hills but for whom this would be their first long-distance trail. It’s not technically difficult and, taking the standard stopping points, none of the days are exceptionally long.
We describe alternatives to vary the level of the walk a little. There are a few tricky sections of narrow path at the Pass of Aberglaslyn where careful footing is required and where handholds aid progress. This should not be of issue to a regular trail walker. For walkers up for a challenge, the Snowdonia Way lends itself to further exploration of the Snowdonia National Park. Please ask us to book you extra nights to climb Snowdon or Tryfan. While your routecards make up the walking for the trip, you are of course free to walk wherever you choose, taking side trips or going by a different route of your own choice. Please note that if you follow your own route you will have left the holiday for the duration.
Your holiday starts in Machynlleth in the Powys county of Wales. Machynlleth has a train station which is served by direct trains from Birmingham New Street Station or from Manchester Picadilly with a change in Shrewsbury. Both Birmingham and Manchester airports give easy access to the train network.
From Conwy at the end of your holiday, trains are again available to key cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. You may need to change trains in either Chester or Shrewsbury. If you're travelling elsewhere in the UK after your trip, we'd be happy to make recommendations and welcome you to ask our team about their favourite places in the UK.
Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.
- Bespoke accommodation and Itinerary - tailored to your preferences
- Breakfast every morning
- Detailed Routecards SNW1-8 of the Exploratory system, printed on waterproof paper
- The 3 UK topographical maps needed
- Expert advice and local information
- A comprehensive Season Update following our pre-season recce
- Full support during your trip from the Alpine Exploratory team (8am until 8pm in the UK)
- Travel to and from your trip
- Local transport during the trip unless specified
- Travel insurance
- Lunches, snacks, drinks and evening meals
- Baggage transfer (available as an extra)
Baggage transferOur baggage option on the Snowdonia Way takes your bag to each night's accommodation. Each morning simply leave your bag with your host or at reception and it will arrive at your next accommodation. Alternatively we offer a direct baggage transfer from Machynlleth to Conwy. Please ask us for details and costs.
Booking form for the Snowdonia Way
Snowdonia Way enquiry form
If you prefer, please feel welcome to email or call us. Thanks!
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