Located on the northwest coast of Wales, Portmeirion is an Italianate style tourist village which you honestly won’t believe is in the UK! There are plenty of things to do in Portmeirion that make it perfect for a day trip to Portmeirion, or even an overnight stay!
The village was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 – 1975 and is said to be modelled on the famous Italian town of Portofino.
There are so many things to do in Portmeirion and this holiday village is perfect for a day trip, overnight stay, family trip or couples trip, with Portmeirion attractions to suit every age.
Read on to plan your trip with our complete Portmeirion travel guide.
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Where is Portmeirion in Wales?
You can find Portmeirion in North Wales, located on the west coast and along the western edge of Snowdonia National Park.
Portmeirion is 35 minutes from Barmouth, a 1 hour drive from Conwy and 45 minutes from the Isle of Anglesey, so it’s also a great option to incorporate into a North Wales itinerary or road trip.
How to visit Portmeirion Village
Portmeirion is open all year round and the easiest way to reach the village of Portmeirion is by car.
It’s an easy addition to a North Wales road trip, particularly if you’re already in the area to visit Snowdonia.
If you travel to Portmeirion by train, the nearest station is Minffordd, around 1.5 miles from the village. To get here, express trains run from London, Manchester, Chester, Cardiff and more to Llandudno Junction or Bangor. From one of these stations, take a train to Blaenau Ffestiniog and from here you’ll find the narrow gauge steam railway, Ffestiniog Railway, which takes you to Minffordd.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a car, you might wish to visit Portmeirion as part of a tour. This tour from Llandudno to Portmeirion gives you the chance to do that as well as see Snowdonia National Park and Conwy Castle. (entry fee to the village is not included in the price)
Parking at Portmeirion
There is a large visitor’s car park at Portmeirion with plenty of spaces – just make sure you’re arriving at your allotted time as the road down to the village is narrow and can get congested with traffic.
If you’re staying at a hotel such as Hotel Portmeirion, they offer free onsite parking for guests.
Portmeirion prices to visit
At the time of writing, day ticket prices for Portmeirion are £17 for adults and £10 for children, with concession tickets and family tickets also available.
It is recommended that you book in advance here. Especially during the summer peak season when the village can become very busy.
Your tickets are based on a timed entry, so make sure you arrive at the time you’ve chosen to maximise your time at the village – you can stay as long as you like once you’re inside.
Where to stay in Portmeirion
There are a few Portmeirion hotels available if you do decide to extend your stay in the village.
The highly rated Portmeirion Village & Castell Deudraeth would be our choice, situated on the estuary waterfront in Portmeirion with beautiful views, spacious cosy rooms, brilliant food and just a minute from the centre of Portmeirion. You’ll also have use of the stunning outdoor pool overlooking the water which is open daily until 28th September – it’s honestly like a Portmeirion infinity pool overlooking the estuary!
To avoid the higher prices of staying in the village itself, if you want to stay nearby, consider looking at options in nearby Porthmadog.
Portmeirion: things to do
When you’re in Wales, Portmeirion is a completely unique experience and unlike anywhere else in Wales. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped to the Italian riviera or to a quaint European village, so a Portmeirion day out is a great opportunity to enjoy a slower pace and the small, unique things to see and do in this village.
Picnic on the lawn
With a lido fountain pool in the centre, surrounded by palm trees, vibrant flowers and colourful buildings, the heart of Portmeirion is where you’ll find most people spend their day – especially if it’s sunny!
Children can paddle in the shallow pool and fountain, there’s plenty of seating for picnicking and enjoying the sunshine.
Admire the colourful Italianate architecture
You can’t visit Portmeirion without taking some time to simply wander around this fascinating village.
The pastel pink, orange and yellow buildings, the stonework and architecture, the ornate carvings and colourful details all are part of what makes visiting Portmeirion so unique and charming.
Even if you don’t want to spend any more money other than buying the day ticket, simply exploring this unique Italian village in Wales is one of the best things to do at Portmeirion.
Explore the art galleries
Perfect for things to do in Portmeirion in the rain, the village itself has a surprising number of galleries and independent stores which are perfect for hopping between if the weather is not ideal.
Check out local artists’ work at the Rob Piercy Gallery, take home souvenirs from the 3-storey homeware store, Siop Fawr.
Buy famous Portmeirion pottery at The Seconds Pottery Shop or browse the shelves at the Golden Dragon Book Shop.
Enjoy afternoon tea at Hotel Portmeirion
Located on the waterfront, Hotel Portmeirion is also home to The Dining Room, an art deco restaurant focused on locally sourced ingredients and dishes.
As well as a traditional Sunday Roast, they also offer an Afternoon Tea in Portmeirion, perfect for a small indulgence with a stunning view of the water and hills.
Also another great option for a rainy day activity.
You do not need to be a guest to dine at the restaurant.
Explore the subtropical Gwyllt woodland
Did you know Portmeirion has a subtropical forest?
The Portmeirion Gardens are a must do in Portmeirion and they’re so beautiful to see regardless of the season – Portmeirion is not just a summer destination!
With 70 acres of woodland, nearly 20 miles of paths and trails to explore and exotic coves and gardens like the Japanese Garden, complete with a pagoda and red wooden bridge which is stunning in the autumn.
You’ll also find the ghost garden and the Shelter Valley.
There are many tropical species here that were planted before Clough started his project, with famous botanist, Sir Williams Fothergill Cook, planting exotic species such as Redwoods and Monkeypuzzle.
Later, Caton Haig planted rhododendrons and Himalayan flowering trees.
The Victorian walled garden has also been restored so you can explore the gardens as they developed through the ages.
Find the secret Dog Cemetery
Located in the Portmeirion gardens, you’ll also find the unusual Dog Cemetery.
Adelaide Haig was a rather eccentric former resident who lived at the Portmeirion Mansion (now the hotel) from 1870 to 1917. She loved dogs so much and would read to them in the house. She couldn’t bear to be apart from them and set up the Dog Cemetery in the grounds.
Paths to the cemetery were uncovered and restored so visitors can pay homage to the dogs that have lived there!
Enjoy the sandy beaches
Although Portmeirion is situated on an estuary, there is a sandy beach area close to the village which is safe at all times and is great for family fun, swimming and beach activities with stunning views.
When the tide is out, you can also walk out onto the sands although please be aware of incoming tide times as the water can rise fast. Tide times are displayed at many points in the beach area and on entry to the village.
Soak in the atmosphere with lunch on the waterfront
There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Portmeirion, but the outdoor dining cafes and terraces along the water really are a spectacular place to relax and enjoy some food or drink.
See the stone boat of Portmeirion
While you’re on the waterfront, you might spot the curious stone boat on the waterfront, often a favourite spot for children to enjoy playing sailing or pirates games.
The stone boat is a homage to the Amis Reunis, which means ‘Friends Reunited’.
When Clough opened the village in 1926, he bought and moored a boat on the quay here – the Amis Reunis. She was used as a houseboat until becoming stranded out off the coast of Portmeirion. Clough salvaged what he could, including the mainmast and built the stone boat as a homage to his original Amis Reunis.
Indulge in a spa treatment
Luxurious spa treatments are available at the Mermaid Spa in the village, perfect for a bit of indulgence, especially if you’ve got a full day or overnight stay to enjoy the slower pace of village life.
Open Tuesday to Saturday, bookings can be made by calling 01766 770000.
Play chess on the huge chessboard
Probably one of the most well-recognised Portmeirion tourist attractions is the big chessboard.
Play a game of chess with the human sized chess pieces on the large grass chessboard on the main lawn in the centre of the village.
Perfect if you’re enjoying the sunshine out on the grass or a picnic in the sun.
Enjoy some Italian gelato
In an Italian village, you can’t miss the chance for some gelato!
Angel Ices Gelateria is the perfect option to enjoy with a stroll along the waterfront or while you’re wandering through the colourful pastel streets.
Walk along the coast path
Portmeirion has access to the Wales coast path which is a great walking activity even in rainy weather.
You can walk along the estuary to the tip of the peninsula where you’ll have stunning views of the sea, the mountains and the surrounding coastline.
Things to do near Portmeirion
If you’re looking for things to do around Portmeirion village, a day trip to Anglesey is the perfect option.
Located around 1 hours drive north of Portmeirion, Anglesey is an island on the northwest tip of Wales, connected to the mainland by a bridge.
Benllech Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Anglesey, so spend a day in Benllech, exploring the village, grabbing a bite at one of the many restaurants or cafes and enjoy time by the sea.
Alternatively, head over to Llanddwyn beach and see the lighthouse on Llanddwyn Island. It’s a short walk to the beach from the car park and you can reach the lighthouse from there too.
Or head to the very tip of Anglesey to explore Holyhead, see South Stack Lighthouse or enjoy Trearddur Bay Beach.
Explore Snowdonia National Park
Perfect for a Portmeirion-Snowdonia adventure if you’re looking for things to do near Portmeirion!
Snowdonia National Park is located immediately east of Portmeirion and is full of North Wales activities from hiking, climbing and biking trails, to the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe at Zip World!
Have an adventure day at ZipWorld
Speaking of Zip World…
While the zipline is spectacular, not everyone loves heights and thankfully, ZipWorld also offers loads of other activities which are perfect for family days out in North Wales or things to do in North Wales with kids and adults alike!
How about huge trampolines underground in slate mines at Bounce Below? Or an Alpine Forest Coaster? There’s also go karting, crazy golf, treetop courses, quarry tours and mine tours.
There is literally so much to do here, it’s the perfect option for things to do in North Wales in the rain and also for a day trip from Portmeirion!
Visit Shell Island
Tidal islands can be found in several places in the UK and there is one located just 30 minutes south from Portmeirion and is one of the brilliant Welsh tidal islands you need to visit!
A tidal island is an island which is only reachable from the mainland at low tide via a causeway. The island is then cut off from the mainland at high tide.
Shell island is a camping island covered in sand dunes with spectacular views, walking trails and brilliant camping facilities – you could easily spend a day or two here.
You can camp wherever you line on the land or dunes, roast marshmallows on the beach or join in with the events, music and fun at the pub and facilities at the main camp area.
The campsite will give you the tide times so you can come and go as you wish – just make sure you keep an eye on the times and don’t get stranded!
Summary: Portmeirion what to do
Hopefully this Portmeirion travel guide has given you plenty of inspiration for things to do in Portmeirion, places to visit nearby and helped you plan your trip to Portmeirion, Wales.
Many people think of Portmeirion as a summer destination, but the village is beautiful in summer or winter, the crowds are less outside of the summer season and there is just as much to do in the cooler months as there is in the summer!
Pin for later to plan your future trip!