Castle-crested Criccieth is graced by beaches, mountain scenery, and a number of campsites.
Criccieth is one of the Llyn Peninsula’s most charming little communities, a small seaside town wrapped by sand-and-pebble beaches and crested by one of the finest native Welsh-built castles. Dreamy beaches spread out on either side of town, including the vast expanses of Black Rock Sands to the east and those at Llanbedrog and the watersports mecca of Abersoch to the west. Wild mountain scenery is close, too, with the western flank of Snowdonia National Park to the north. Criccieth also perches on one of the most caravan- and campsite-rich parts of the Llyn, with a spate of camping options along Black Rock Sands.
The Llyn Peninsula and its AONB extend tantalisingly west beyond Criccieth—a tranquil green protuberance extending some 30 miles into the sea. Many of North Wales’ best beaches hem the coast, and there is good surfing at Abersoch and Porth Neigwl. The long-distance Wales Coast Path skirts the shore, too, offering beautiful walks. Among the excellent pitching places scattered across the Llyn, the coast between Criccieth and Porthmadog, as well as the peninsula’s southwestern tip, stand out for their array of campsites.
Some top-drawer shoreline awaits around Harlech, 14 miles southeast of Criccieth. It’s headlined by Morfa Harlech NNR’s tremendous, wildlife-rich dune systems and by Morfa Dyffryn’s vast sands, with a skyline featuring Snowdonia’s summits and the Llyn Peninsula’s sandy coast. Try tenting up north of Morfa Dyffryn for a prime spot.
The rocky reaches of the 2,569-foot Moel Hebog are the closest part of Snowdonia National Park to Criccieth, rising above Cwm Pennant, five miles northeast. From the top, gorgeous views spill over the mountains and the Llyn Peninsula, and Moel yr Ogof’s intriguing cave awaits, where Welsh freedom fighter Owain Glyndŵr once hid. Excellent hikes begin in Cwm Pennant, perhaps Snowdonia’s loveliest valley, and head onto the peaks, while area riverside campsites are especially idyllic.
The main season in Criccieth runs from April to September. July is warmest, while July and August see the most visitors. If you’re here for hiking, April and May can be best, as this is before summer crowds arrive. Meanwhile, the surfing season runs from November through April. The Criccieth Festival, a long-established extravaganza of music, dance, and lectures, takes place each June as the liveliest time in Criccieth itself.