Book with confidence for 2021
Tryfan in the Ogwen Valley

Snowdonia Way
Self-guided walking holiday


Key information Summer 2021

Start: Machynlleth, Mid-Wales
End: Conwy, North Wales
Season dates: 2 May to 17 Sep 2021
Length: 8 days' walking
Typical walk: 20km, 650m ascent
Total distance: 156km or 97 miles
Highest altitude: 405m
Grade: Red 3 (Walking grades)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups

The Snowdonia Way runs for 156km (97 miles) through the unique countryside of the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. With dramatic mountains, atmospheric forests, quiet river valleys and comfy accommodation, the Snowdonia Way makes for a fantastic week-long walking holiday.

Starting in the rural market town of Machynlleth in the Dyfi Valley, the route winds its way through peaceful valleys with mountain views to the pretty coastal town of Conwy in the North. The views along the way are inspiring and the mountains of the National Park provide a wonderful backdrop to this trail.

We walk every step of the Snowdonia Way, using buses on a few nights to reach accommodation where options on the trail are not possible. We also offer flexible itineraries, ranging from 6 to 10 days and we would be happy to book additional nights along the way to allow for rest days, local exploration or to climb Snowdon. Please just ask us for details.

Walk at your own pace on a self-guided trip, or please email us for details of walking with a leader.



Map

Alternative trips in the UK
Prefer a different style or length of trip?
Lake District Tour - 6 days in the English Lake District
West Highland Way - 7 days in the Scottish Highlands
Coast to Coast - 14 days across England
Options
Make the trip shorter
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.

Climb Snowdon
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.

Snowdon
Snowdon - Optional ascent with extra night in Capel Curig
Prices
Snowdonia Way
2 May to 17 September 2021
Hutty Classic Comfy
Self-guided
6 stages
(7 nights)
Please ask
GBP 720
Singles 175
105 per dog
GBP 830
Singles 195
8 stages
(9 nights)
Please ask
GBP 860
Singles 225
135 per dog
Main Trip
GBP 990
Singles 250
8 stages
1 rest day
(10 nights)
Please ask
GBP 940
Singles 250
150 per dog
GBP 1080
Singles 280
Private guided
8 stages
(9 nights)
Group of 4 or more
Please ask
GBP 1760
Singles 225
135 per dog
GBP 1890
Singles 250
8 stages
(9 nights)
Group of 1, 2 or 3
Please ask us
Options
Baggage transfer
To all stops
Please ask us
Baggage transfer
Direct
Please ask us


Accommodation
Where we stay
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.

Comfy
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.

Hutty
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.

Single Supplement
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.
Route
Our approach to the Snowdonia Way
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.

People at Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory's 2020 research on the Snowdonia Way was led by Pete Ellis in September

The Terrain
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.
Sychnant Pass
Stage 8: Solid footpath over the Sychnant Pass
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.

Difficulty
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.
Pass of Aberglaslyn
Stage 4: Narrow rocky trail with handholds at the Pass of Aberglaslyn
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.
How to get there
Arrive by train or plane into the city of Glasgow
The start of the Snowdonia Way at Machynlleth Clock Tower


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.
Included
  • 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)
Not included
  • 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 transfer

Our 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
2021

Your dates

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First walking day


Departure day


Your party


Please add any more people in the Comments box below.
If you are adding to an existing booking, please give the main contact's details and just the new people. Thanks.

Number of people in your group


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Contact details


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Medical conditions relevant to a walking holiday?
(Please tell us in confidence. Thank you.)


Vegetarians, special diets or allergies?


Room types?


Dogs?


Please could we ask your dogs' type (breed or size?) Thanks


Baggage transfer


Baggage transfer?


Differences from the normal trip


Differences if any (extra nights, comfy or hutty mix, fewer rest days, etc.)?


Party's walking experience


Please may we ask for details of everyone's experience?
Especially helpful are names of trails, national parks, peaks or regular hikes. Thank you.


Main contact


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Please add any more people in the Comments box below. Thanks.

Emergency contact


Please tell us about a friend or relative who we can contact in the event of emergency during your holiday.

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Please ask any questions or tell us anything else:

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If a friend recommended us may we ask who it was? We might send a thank you!


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Payment
We will reply to your booking form with a confirmation email giving the details of your balance and deposit amounts.
We'll send you instructions to pay your deposit by card, bank transfer, or cheque.
Your deposit will be 20% of the cost of your trip with a minimum of GBP 200 per person.
Your balance is due 8 weeks before your trip and we'll email you with a reminder.


Terms and Conditions
By submitting this form you confirm that you have read and agreed to Alpine Exploratory's Terms and Conditions (PDF).
In particular, as the main contact you confirm that:
+ Everyone in the group has read and agreed to the T&Cs.
+ Everyone in the group has the fitness and experience for the trip.
Please ask us if you have any questions. Thank you.



Got questions about the Snowdonia Way?
Feel free to ask us any questions you have about any aspects of your planning and preparations! Lucy, Steph, Hannah W, Hannah G, or Nicky will reply with expert advice. We spend a lot of time walking our routes and more broadly exploring ski and hiking trails around the world so do feel free to ask anything at all.


Snowdonia Way enquiry form

Your name


Your email address


Optionally, where did you first hear about us? We're always curious!


Your intended arrival date on the Snowdonia Way? (This helps us give you an idea of availability and doesn't need to be exact)


How many people will you be?


Any questions or preferences?


If you prefer, please feel welcome to email or call us. Thanks!

Contact Alpine Exploratory
Email info@alpineexploratory.com
Phone +44 (0)131 214 1144
Our times 9am to 5pm UK time
Monday to Friday
Australia 02 8319 2266
Canada 416-548-4819
Hong Kong 25 803 0282
New Zealand 04 889 4515
USA 646-757-1102

Open to the world
Since Alpine Exploratory started in 2005 we have loved getting to know our clients from around the world. Along with the UK, our best-represented countries are the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Please use our national-rate numbers for a cheaper call to contact our office in Edinburgh.

View onto Blackrock Cottage
  View towards Snowdon across Llynnau Mymbyr, Capel Curig.    Photos from the Snowdonia Way


Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.

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