The Perfect 2 to 3 Days in Snowdonia Itinerary

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by Neota Langley

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Renowned for its untamed landscapes and soaring peaks, Snowdonia, or Eryri in Welsh, is the heart of the Welsh wilderness. Encompassing an area of 823 square miles, it is the largest National Park in Wales so there are endless adventures to add to your Snowdonia itinerary.

At its core stands Snowdon, the eponymous peak and Wales’ highest summit, but Snowdonia is not merely a haven for mountaineers. You will find meandering valleys, quaint villages, ancient castles, lakes, and forests to explore all around.

Spending 2 or 3 days in Snowdonia National Park is a delight, whether you are an avid adventure enthusiast or want to enjoy the slower pace of life surrounded by the Welsh countryside. 

How Many Days in Snowdonia?

Before we dive into our jam-packed Snowdonia itinerary, you will first need to decide how many days to spend in Snowdonia. To make the most of the national park, taking a long weekend is the most popular way to visit but if you don’t want to use up any holiday, you can squeeze a lot into just 2 days in Snowdonia. 

Depending on what you want to achieve during your stay and how far you have to travel, 2 to 3 days will most likely give you plenty of time to explore.

With 2 days, you will be able to summit the iconic Mount Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh), discover the local history at a museum, hike to one of Wales’ most impressive waterfalls, visit a 12th-century castle and live like a local in the village of Betws-y-Coed.

Snowdonia is a large national park so with just 2 days in the area, our itinerary is focused on the northern half so you don’t end up wasting too much time in the car. 

However, if you can spare an extra day to spend 3 days, this opens up the southern half of the national park or you could opt to take a day trip further afield.

Spend your third day visiting the more off-the-beaten-track locations such as the abandoned slate quarries in Tanygrisiau, one of North Wales’ long sandy beaches, the historic island of Anglesey or, if you are a real adrenaline seeker, take on the world’s fastest zip line. 

Stunning Snowdonia National Park
Stunning Snowdonia National Park

Getting To & Around Snowdonia

There are various options when it comes to visiting Snowdonia, depending on where you are travelling from. The most popular is domestic travel, either by car or by public transport but if you are hoping to make Snowdonia your primary destination and are visiting from further afield, Manchester is the closest airport.

From there, you can either hire a car or take a scenic train ride to Bangor, the gateway to Snowdonia.

You can also reach Bangor by train from Birmingham, Cardiff and London but these journeys are not direct and can take up an entire day with multiple connections. 

Local and national buses offer regular services connecting Bangor with the smaller towns and villages so if you are travelling without a car, it is still possible to get around but bear in mind the timetables can be sporadic, especially in the off-season. You can view train & bus schedules here.

Relying on local buses requires a good amount of pre-planning but there are a handful of taxis and shuttle buses that operate in the more popular villages if you get stuck. 

The best way to see the national park is by car. Planning a Snowdonia road trip itinerary is a joy, giving you the freedom to visit iconic spots for sunrise, stop for photographs on the picturesque mountain passes and enjoy the late-night atmosphere of the mountain towns without worrying about timetables.

If you are travelling from abroad and don’t have your own car, you can browse to compare prices and hire one either from the airport or from Bangor itself. 

Finally, if you only have one day to spend in the area, it is possible to organise a day trip from cities like Liverpool or Manchester. For example, this full-day tour from Liverpool or this full-day tour from Manchester will give you a taste of the highlights.

Driving through Snowdonia NP
Driving through Snowdonia NP

2 to 3-Day Snowdonia Itinerary

Day 1 – The Lone Tree and Snowdon

Llyn Padarn – The Lone Tree 

Our first day starts at sunrise, along the shores of Llyn Padarn. This glacial-formed lake is one of two in the village of Llanberis and is home to one of the most iconic sights in the national park. 

The lone tree stands on its own, jutted out into the lake on a mini island. Behind the tree is a layered backdrop of the mountains of Snowdonia, making it a photographer’s dream. It’s a popular spot, especially during sunrise or sunset seeing as you can park your car right next to it.

As the seasons change, so does the tree. With a blanket of snow coating the mountains behind the bare branches in the winter and a full green bush of leaves and beautiful sunrise colours in the summer. 

You can find the tree by taking a small slip road down towards the DMM climbing equipment factory. There is a free car park and a handful of benches around so it’s the perfect place to enjoy the start of the day with a flask of hot coffee. 

Llyn Padarn at sunrise
Llyn Padarn at sunrise

Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

Next stop when you visit Snowdonia National Park is the most iconic feature in the entire area, the tallest mountain in Wales, Snowdon — or in Welsh, Yr Wyddfa.

You don’t have to be a mountaineer to hike to the top, with 6 different paths maintained by the National Trust to the summit, there is one to suit all manner of abilities. Better yet, if you don’t like hiking but still want to visit the summit, there the Snowdon Mountain Railway from the village of Llanberis that climbs all the way to the top. 

For the purpose of this itinerary, we will be discussing the Llanberis Path which is the main tourist route from the village and the Pyg Track which is a slightly more challenging but very accessible route that offers incredible views across the Snowdon Horseshoe. 

Climbing Snowdon is a full day out, with the entire walk taking around 6-7 hours on average. It’s best to start early to avoid the main bulk of the crowds around lunchtime. If you are hiking from Llanberis, the path starts from just behind the train station and follows alongside the funicular railway to reach the summit.

This path is often referred to as the ‘easy route’ as it is the longest and therefore the least steep. It is perhaps the easiest trail but you will still need to wear appropriate footwear, pack enough layers (even in the summer) and make sure you have enough food and water to keep you going. 

Alternatively, for those who want a little more diversity on their hike, the Pyg Track is a little more interesting but with that, is slightly steeper in parts. The Pyg starts from Pen Y Pass, a mountain pass that weaves its way down into the valleys a short drive from Llanberis. 

If you have a car, there is a large car park at the start of the trail but from April-October, you have to pre-book a spot in advance. You will be turned away if you arrive without a booking, even if there are spaces.

During the off-season, the car park operates as a regular pay and display though it’s best to check in advance for any changes.

If you prefer, you can take the ‘Sherpa’r Wyddfa’ shuttle bus which is a convenient service that picks up and drops off at all 6 official routes to the summit.

There is a bus stop in Llanberis where you can park your car for free beside the lone tree or, from Bangor, Betws Y Coed and several other nearby towns. The shuttle bus can be a much cheaper option than parking. 

If you are an inexperienced hiker and prefer to go with a guide you can join a hiking tour or organise a private hike.

View from Mount Snowdon
View from Mount Snowdon

If you are lucky with the weather, the views from the summit are incredible. Stretching all the way across the ocean to Ireland. Once you have filled your phone’s photo gallery, make sure to visit the Hafod Eryri, a visitor centre and cafe at the summit.

It is England and Wales’ highest refuelling station, selling traditional baked goods and cakes such as Welsh cakes and pasties. You can learn about the history of Snowdon and the railway, buy souvenirs and even post a postcard home via the summit post box.

If you have already climbed Snowdon, there are several other mountains in the nearby area worth visiting instead. 

Tryfan: A vertical shard of a mountain, piercing the skyline above the Ogwen Valley. The easiest route up Tryfan is classed as a grade 1 scramble so this mountain is best saved for experienced hillwalkers and mountain climbers. 

Pen Yr Ole Wen: Directly opposite the mighty Tryfan, this peak stands tall at 978m but the ascent is much more straightforward, with just a small section of scrambling before the summit. It is worth the effort for the incredible views over to Tryfan and across to Snowdon. If you want to extend this, you can continue to Carnedd Llewelyn, the second-highest mountain in Wales.

Crib Coch: Technically part of the Snowdon Horseshoe, Grib Coch is a knife-edge ridge that continues on from the summit. Again, this is a technical route so if you are not a fan of sheer drops, this one may not be for you. 

Moel Eilio: Leaving the scrambling behind, this mountain is one of Snowdon’s smaller neighbours standing at 726m high. This one is much more accessible than the rest but offers incredible views of its own.  


There’s only one thing that can make a day in the mountains even sweeter, finishing off with a great meal and an evening spent in a traditional Welsh pub.

Whilst Llanberis is a small village, here you will find an excellent Indian restaurant and several cosy pubs complete with roaring fires. 

Day 2 – Snowdonia Museums, Castles, Villages & Walks

National Slate Museum 

To understand the history of Snowdonia and how this dramatic landscape has influenced the local industry, the Slate Museum is a must-visit. Set within the historic Dinorwig Quarry in Llanberis, this living museum showcases the story of slate mining, once a vital industry in North Wales.

Here you can explore workshops where skilled craftsmen wield hammers and chisels. Authentic slate-splitting demonstrations provide an immersive journey into the grit and craftsmanship of Wales’ slate industry. You can also hike up into the hills surrounding the old slate quarries, discovering a land frozen in time. 

Dolwyddelan Castle
Dolwyddelan Castle

Dolwyddelan Castle

After a short drive down into the Conwy Valley, you will find the small village of Dolwyddelan. Perched atop a rugged hill just outside of the village, Dolwyddelan Castle is a mediaeval gem.

Dating back to the early 13th century, it was one of a group of fortresses constructed by Llywelyn the Great as both a defensive stronghold and a symbol of Welsh sovereignty. 

Parking is a layby just off the A470, from there you make the short walk through fields up to the castle. From April – October you can enter the castle for free to explore the well-preserved towers and chambers, delving into the castle’s storied past. 

Its strategic location offers breathtaking views of Snowdonia’s peaks so even if you are visiting in the off season, it’s worth making the detour to stroll around the external walls. 


There are several villages dotted around the national park but if you only have enough time to visit one, Betws-y-Coed should be at the top of your list. Known as the “Gateway to Snowdonia,” it rests along the banks of the River Conwy and is surrounded by dense woodlands. Quaint stone bridges cross the river, adding to the village’s timeless allure.

The village itself boasts a variety of shops, cosy tearooms, and traditional inns. There are outdoor equipment stores where you can treat yourself to a new pair of hiking boots or a much-needed waterproof jacket (this is Wales after all!), souvenir shops, clothing boutiques and local galleries.

Once you have had enough shopping, it’s time to settle down for some lunch. On the edge of the village green, you’ll find a street full of foodie spots including the famous Hangin’ Pizzeria. Here you will find the best stonebaked pizzas in North Wales.

Sit outside in the sunshine on the village green in the sunshine or, if it’s raining, you can sit on the benches under their umbrellas.   

Bridge in Betws-y-Coed
Bridge in Betws-y-Coed

Aber Falls

After grabbing lunch in Betws-y-Coed, it’s time to visit another natural wonder. A short hike through the Welsh countryside, and the dramatic Aber Falls emerges. Cascading approximately 37 metres down a rugged rock face, creating a breathtaking display of nature’s power.

The car park is relatively small, with room for only 30 cars. If you are visiting mid-summer or on the weekend, you can park down in the village for free which extends the walk by 30 minutes.

The round trip is around 6.5km, which takes approximately 3 hours. The trail is well-maintained and easy to access and offers views across the Carneddau mountains. You can loop back round on higher ground, with views out to Anglesey or, go back the way you came to reduce the walk by 2km. 

Day 3 – Anglesey, Beaches, Zip World or Tanygrisiau


Connected to the mainland by two iconic bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge, the island of Anglesey is a popular day trip when visiting North Wales.

It is a large island with 140 miles of coastline so whilst you may not be able to explore the entire place in one day, there are a few must-see destinations that are easy enough to visit on an extended road trip.

Begin your exploration by visiting the historic town of Beaumaris, home to the mediaeval Beaumaris Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander through its well-preserved chambers and battlements, soaking in tales of centuries past.

Famously known as the ‘Greatest castle never built’ it was constructed as one of the ‘iron ring’ castles in an attempt to conquer North Wales by Edward I. 

There are miles of unspoilt coastal paths around the island, passing through farmland, woodlands, sandy dunes and wild heaths. If you are going to walk just one small section of the coast path, the South Stack Lighthouse should be at the top of your list.

To reach the lighthouse itself, you must first descend 400 steps cut into the cliffside and cross a bridge over the crashing waves below. It is a real adventure but worth it for the incredible views and bird-watching opportunities. If you are lucky, you may spot puffins alongside colonies of razorbills, choughs and guillemots.

If one island isn’t enough, you can go one further and visit the island of Llanddwyn. This romantic outcrop is one of the most beautiful locations in Wales and attracts photographers from all over the world.

This tidal island is steeped in Welsh folklore, associated with Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. Connected by a sandy causeway during low tide, Llanddwyn unveils pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and panoramic vistas of Snowdonia and the Irish Sea. Stroll along its pathways adorned with wildflowers and explore the remains of St Dwynwen’s Church.

Menai Suspension Bridge
Menai Suspension Bridge

Beach Day

Snowdonia is not just home to rugged mountain landscapes, it also encompasses 200 miles of coastline with 35 beaches to explore. Of these, the most spectacular are Barmouth and Harlech.

Long stretches of white sand, the wild Atlantic Ocean, a warren of sand dunes and a large castle overlooking the sea. Barmouth is home to several separate ‘beaches’ but you can walk the entire 9 mile length for the ultimate stroll along the shore. 

Harlech is just around the corner from Barmouth and the beach is another long stretch of white sand. Harlech however, is also home to a large castle, perched on the hill above the beach.

Both of these beaches look out towards Ireland and on a clear day, you can see the Snowdonia mountains in the backdrop. 

Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle

Zip World

The ultimate day out for adrenaline seekers, Zip World is based at the heart of Snowdonia and is home to several high-octane adventures.

Perhaps the most well-known is Velocity 2,  the fastest zip line in the world. Velocity 2 propels riders at exhilarating speeds of over 100 mph, soaring over Penrhyn Quarry, providing breathtaking views of the landscape.

If you want to enjoy the ziplining experience but aren’t too sure about flying through the air at 100mph, there is also the Titan zipline, a collection of four wires so you can ride alongside your friends and family. There are several ‘zones’ where you can get a bird’s eye view over the former quarry. 

Zip World also offers underground adventures, allowing visitors to explore the depths of the earth through exhilarating activities like zip lining, go-karting and an underground playground set within caverns.


A real hidden gem, Tanygrisiau is not typically included in the bog standard trips to Snowdonia. For starters, the area around Blaenau Ffestiniog and Tanygrisiau, although right in the centre of the national park, are not actually included.

This is because when the park was created, the slate mines of this area were considered ‘too ugly’ and therefore were left out of the official boundaries. Now, the area is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the beauty of the abandoned slate mines and mountain villages can be truly appreciated. 

There is a car park at the Cwmorthin Falls, and from there, head up into the village ruins, hidden in the mountain. You can explore the walls of old houses, a school and an abandoned chapel alongside the workings of the slate mine.

It’s one of the most interesting hikes in the area but it seems to be a well-kept secret, it’s never busy. It is, however, a popular location for caving. If you can cope with small, dark spaces, you have the option of hiring a local guide, harnessing up and heading down into the network of old mines. 

Cwmorthin Slate Quarry at Blaenau Ffestiniog
Cwmorthin Slate Quarry at Blaenau Ffestiniog

Where to Stay in Snowdonia 

Hafan Artro – Located in the village of Llanbedr, this cosy hotel is an excellent base for exploring Snowdonia. There are several rooms to choose from, free parking and a a full breakfast served each morning.

The Tilman – This 5-star hotel is great for those after a luxury stay in Snowdonia. There are countless plush rooms, an exceptional breakfast, an inviting on-site bar and plenty of other great amenities to enjoy.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Snowdonia hotels!

Snowdonia is the ultimate destination for both adventurous thrill seekers and nature lovers. With towering mountains, serene valleys and endless stretches of sandy beaches to explore, there really is something for everyone in this Welsh paradise. 

Are you planning a trip to Snowdonia? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Neota Langley

Neota is a writer for The World Was Here First. Born and bred in Cornwall, she can usually be found with hiking boots on, ready to embark on an adventure. For the last 6 years, she has travelled throughout Europe in her self-built campervan with her trusty canine companion, Ivy. She loves exploring France, the Nordics and spending time in Alpine destinations.

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