Walk the Wales Coast Path Porth Oer to Aberdaron
Coastal walking doesn’t get much better than this! Rugged, exposed and with views across to Ynys Enlli. If you do one section in North Wales, do this one.
Distance: 13.7 km
Ascent: 614 m
Time: Allow 4 hours
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Porth Oer to Aberdaron
Toilets and cafe in Porth Oer. Shop, pubs, cafes and toilets in Aberdaron – nothing en route.
Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.
Some narrow and exposed sections between Mynydd Mawr and Pen y Cil. Optional final section along beach in Aberdaron is tidal, but a clifftop route provides an alternative. This section is short, but makes up for it with something in the region of 500m ascent! Don’t take it lightly.
Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Keeping Safe on the Wales Coast Path, Navigation and the Gear and Equipment you’ll need.
The Bws Llyn is only £1, and can be used to get from the start/end of this route as far as Nefyn or Abersoch.
Businesses on this section of the Wales Coast Path:
Walk the Wales Coast Path Porth Oer to Aberdaron Details
This Llyn Peninsula section of the Wales Coastal Path from Porth Oer (Whistling Sands) to Aberdaron is the highlight of this section of the long distance path. A wonderful coastal walk awaits all the way to the end of the Llyn Peninsula and Mynydd Mawr, before turning left for Aberdaron. While this leg is relatively short, the remaining half day allows you to charter a boat to Ynys Enlli.
This section of the Wales Coastal Path from Porthor to Aberdaron is much tougher than it appears on paper. Only 14km, but with something in the region of 600m of ascent, this is the equivelent of a decent hill walk.
Porthor is also named Porth Oer on the Ordnance Survey maps and is another one of those place names where there’s an element of debate about which is the correct usage. We’re going on the logic that Porthor is the ‘correct’ wording, but that Porth Oer is also used as this is the name used on the OS map, and so needs to be included for clarity. The beach is also known as Whislting Sands, but we’ll say no more on that.
1 Start from the car park at Porthor, which has toilet facilities and a cafe on the beach. It’s also on of the Bws llyn stops. Head towards the sea, and the path is clear through the hedges past the toilets. You soon emerge onto the coast proper, with an excellent view over Porthor providing you with your first photo opportunity.
2 The coast continues to become wilder, more rugged and slowly higher in altitude as you approach Mynydd Anelog. You’ll pass the small islets of Dinas Bach and Dinas Mawr, plenty of spectacular coves before climbing up and sround Mynydd Anelog. The small cottage at Mount Pleasant, nestled into the hill, marks a good stopping point on this leg.
3 The path contours around Mynydd Anelog, and dishearteningly descends rapidly downhill towards Porth Llanllawen, bringing you down to sea level.
4 It re-ascends stepeply, with the next 1km offering some rather steep sections on the way to the summit of Mynydd Mawr. Rest assured, the effort is worth it.
5 Mynydd Mawr offers a superb view in all directions, especially across Swnt Enlli towards Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island). Not only have you reached the summit of the walk, but the best section is yet to come. A concrete path leads downhill again, as you lose most of the altitude you’ve gained, before contouring across the steep cliftops. This next section towards Mynydd y Gwyddel has one exposed section that contours deliciously along the top of a steep slope.
6 The path continues, less exposed but no less spectacular, with views to Enllli dominating the way. The steep cove of Parwyd is one of the features – with the path veering reasonably close to some sheer cliffs here.
7 When you reach Pen y Cil, a headland with a cairn on it, you need to turn right. There’s no signposting at this section, and the immediate instinct is to turn left towards Aberdaron. It’s otherwise well signposted all the way. The path continues, with the cliffs becoming less rugged but views across the bay to Aberdaron being equally stunning.
8 The ascent continues as you descend once more to Porth Meudwy, pass a few fishing boats, before immediately having to work to regain the height you’ve just lost! At least Aberdarion is now within reach, and if the tide is out you can finish the walk on the shore. If it’s in, you’ll have to climb back up at Porth Simmdde, before descending back to the village of Aberdaron.
You’ve plenty of choice of establishments at Aberdaron, with two pubs, a cafe and a chippy within the village centre; as well as a local shop just over the bridge.