Snowdonia National Park where this cycling tour takes place, boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales and the largest natural lake in Wales. It's an area of superb natural beauty with a wealth of picturesque villages, an unspoilt coastline, a plethora of castles and small railways and a colourful local history. The area is steeped in distinctive culture.
We are thrilled to have created this special ride which embraces all these wonderful and varied elements as it transports you from Mid Wales to Mount Snowdon and on to the island of Anglesey in North Wales. Stay in artful Portmeirion, view Cader Idris close up, visit castles from royal and grand to relic and haunted, freewheel along coast and estuary past weird and wonderfully sounding villages and towns and reward yourself with a final night's stay chateau style on Anglesey.
Of course Wales is hilly, but our careful route planning and delightful use of local railways, means the ride is do-able with regular bikes and an utter dream with E bikes. With plenty of traffic free miles on disused railway tracks and a couple of forays aboard steam trains, from the summit of Snowdon to the depths of a slate mine, this is a unique and in many ways, gentle journey. With 2 night stays in gorgeous boutique hotels and a castle stay option too, you will steam through this glorious Celtic landscape.
from £2,165 per person
Based on two people sharing a room
Transfer from Machynlleth station and to Bangor station. Train from Harlech to Portmeirion, return steam train to Blaenau Ffestiniog, return train to Snowdonia summit. See what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts Machynlleth station and finishes Bangor station. Machynlleth station connects to Manchester airport and Birmingham. Bangor station connects to Crewe and Manchester airport and is close to Holyhead for the ferry to Ireland.
Two 4 star and two 5 star boutique hotels
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Not so gentle cycling. More info...
Available at additional cost
5 days of cycling of which 2 optional 14 - 22 miles (22 - 35 km) per day
Some hills most days
20% rest on back lanes
- Stay a 2nd night on Anglesey
1. Day one
Arrive Machynlleth and Dolgellau
We will meet you at Machynlleth station and transfer you the short distance to Dolgellau. Settle into your hotel where you will stay the next 2 nights, smell the fresh Welsh air and love the mountains on your doorstep. Your host will meet you with your cycling equipment and run though your itinerary either later this evening or tomorrow morning. Croeso! A little of the Welsh language will help you along the way...
2. Day two
Dolgellau circular ride
Your first day's riding is a true taster of things to come - some gorgeous flat traffic free cycling along a wooded and beautiful river estuary and a climb of 1100' up the hills for a close up view of Cader Idris. This mountain peaks at 893 metres and your route will give you fantastic views - of the sea too and lead you past several natural lakes and hill farms. Linking the two scenes is Dolgellau, a typical small Welsh market town with a population of just 2,500.
15 miles (24 km)
3. Day three
Dolgellau to Portmeirion
Today you head north along the coast, first meeting the sea at Barmouth by pedalling along the Maddach river. Cross the estuary here on the long scenic bridge and enjoy the sandy beach. Gradually the flat coastal route gives way to hills as you head a little inland for Harlech. This seaside resort with its spectacular castle oozes charm and history. Unless you are super keen for more hills, you will hop on a train here for the short chug to Portmeirion where you will spend the next 2 nights. This enchanting folly of a village sits on the coast and was built in the mid 20th century in the style of an Italian village. You can stay in the village or the adjacent castle.
14, 19, 22 or 34 miles
4. Day four
Train from Portmeirion to Blaenau Ffestiniog and back
You've earned a day out of the saddle! You might like to relax in Portmeirion village as an Italian and enjoy the pool and sea, topped off with a gelato. Or put on a local's hat and take the world's oldest narrow gauge railway on its 11 mile steam up the mountain to the slate capital of the world Blaenau Ffestiniog. From this small village you can tour inside the Llechwedd Deep Mine on the steepest cable railway in Britain. Return back to sea level by train!
5. Day five
Portmeirion to Dinas
Enjoy a different scene today as you speed across inlets and skirt the coast to take in Porthmadog and Criccieth - one an old harbour town with great craft shops worth seeking out and the other with sandy beaches, some great food and a 13th Century castle. Hop on a train between these two if you want to keep your mileage down! Its pretty riding beyond on rural back lanes through a mellow landscape and then a glorious traffic free pedal as you follow a disused railway line bordering the lower slopes of Snowdonia. Almost in the wilds, and with connections to today's Royal family, you will love your overnight stay for the next 2 nights.
22 or 29 miles (35 or 46 km)
6. Day six
Dinas to Snowdonia and back
You reach the summit of Snowdonia today - all 1085 m of it where the view of course is amazing. Your two wheels take you part way, along back lanes, up and down, but the for the final climb the steam train whisks you up to the top. It's quite an experience, take in the panorama and drama before returning on the train to your bikes and freewheeling, partway along a lake shore, back to your hotel. What a day!
21 miles (34 km)
7. Day seven
Dinas to Anglesey
There's a final day of magic ahead with 2 formidable castles and a chateau on an island to finish. Freewheel into Caernarvon on an old railway line and stop to explore the medieval fortress palace that is Caernarvon Castle, one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages. It guards the Menai Straits which separate mainland Wales from its island of Anglesey. Riding along the Straits, much of it traffic-free is scenic before crossing onto Anglesey using the impressive old bridge. Pretty seaside Beaumaris and its 13th century unfinished castle stand at the far end of the tidal straits and are gems not to be missed. Your final short pedal takes you to your overnight stay on the coast, a chateau inspired by the castles of the Loire and fittingly unique, like the rest of this holiday!
20 miles (32 km)
8. Day eight
We will transfer you to Bangor station on the mainland for you to depart at leisure.