Known as the Dragons Tail, this 30-mile peninsula poking into the Irish Sea feels like a place apart: a stronghold for Welsh language and culture with a distinct microclimate which can see it basking in sunshine while the rest of north Wales is lashed by rain. The chichi yachting town of Abersoch may have been colonised by well-heeled holidaymakers and second homers, but elsewhere youll find empty golden beaches, fishing hamlets and peaceful clifftop walks.
What to do
Start by visiting Porth y Went, the new National Trust centre in Aberdaron (nationaltrust.org.uk). You can pick up maps, walking routes and ideas for days out, such as a visit to the “whistling sands” at Porthor which squeak as you walk on them, or a boat trip to Bardsey Island, a medieval pilgrimage site. Llyˆn Adventures can organise canoeing, kayaking and coasteering (llynadventures.com), but if you prefer to stay on dry land, the Wales Coast Path runs right around the peninsula. For a day at the beach, Llanbedrog is postcard-perfect.
Where to eat
Llyˆn is famous for its lobster, crab and mackerel, all of which youll find on the menu at Twnti Seafood Restaurant, in a converted barn in the hills behind Pwllheli (twntiseafood.co.uk). At Venetia in Abersoch, chef Marco Filippi puts an Italian spin on seafood dishes such as Aberdaron crab linguini (venetiawales.com).
Where to stay
The National Trust has cottages and apartments to rent in Porthdinllaen, Aberdaron and Rhiw, some of which are just yards from the sea (from £475 per week, nationaltrustcottages.co.uk).
Gwyn Jones, director of Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre (oriel.org.uk), recommends a walk along the north coast. “Park in the car park at Morfa Nefyn and walk along the beach to Porthdinllaen, once a bustling ship-building village. After a brief refresher at the beach tavern, Tyˆ Cooch – recently voted the third-best beach bar in the world – carry on around the headland to see dolphins and seals. “