Day 1: Discovering the village and surrounding countryside. Meet your guide and fellow travelers over a light lunch at 1:00 p.m. at the hotel, followed by a walk/drive around the village and the immediate vicinity. Visits to St. Mary’s church which stands on a site of a 6th century Celtic community and onwards to visit the Grave of Gelert the site that gave the village its name as well as Wales’ best known legend our visit continues to Dinas Emrys believed to be the setting of one of the most enigmatic tales of early British history. Overnight, lunch and dinner at Sygun Fawr.
Day 2: Oldest Art Gallery, 16th century Manor House. Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw has recently celebrated its centenary-and-a-half, making it not only one of Wales’ most picturesque art venues, but also its’ oldest. After lunch, our journey continues along the south coast to Plas yn Rhiw (NT) a small 16th century Manor House rescued from neglect and lovingly restored by the three Keating sisters, who bought it in 1938. The views from the grounds across Cardigan Bay are very spectacular and the garden contains many beautiful flowering trees and shrubs, with beds framed by box hedges and grass paths. Overnight and dinner at Sygun Fawr.
Day 3: Mountain Roads, St. Beuno’s Church, Welsh Heritage Center. The day begins with a scenic drive through the Beddgelert Forest over the old mountain road, through small villages and hamlets (some abandoned), to the north coast of the Llyn Peninsula to visit the remote sixth century church of St. Beuno. Even today, this small church is freshly strewn with rushes and sweet smelling wild medicinal herbs three times a year. From here to Nant Gwrtheyrn, where it is believed the first to settle in the valley, where the village now stands, was the Brythonic king Gwrtheyrn in around 300 B.C.
In later times this calm and quiet village is the background for one of the most famous and sombre love stories in Welsh, the story of “Rhys and Meinir”. The by now "ruined" village was bought in 70’s by a group of local people, who had the vision to create a Welsh Language and Heritage Center, their vision became a reality and the center became very successful having seen over 25,000 Welsh language learners pass through its’ doors. Breakfast, overnight and dinner at Sygun Fawr.
Day 4: Welsh Highland Train Journey, Royal Town of Caernarfon. We start the day with a pleasant journey to the Royal Town of Caernarfon. Caernarfon's symbolic status was emphasized when King Edward 1 of England made sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284. In 1969, the castle gained worldwide fame as the setting for the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. Your guide will take you on a tour of the castle followed by some free time in the town. Today Caernarfon is a lively market town, with a fine array of interesting shops and restaurants along its narrow streets. Mid afternoon, for our return journey to Beddgelert, we’ll board the Welsh Highland Railway on a 19 mile journey through some of the fabulous scenery of the Snowdonia National. Breakfast, overnight and dinner at Sygun Fawr.
Day 5: Morning at leisure - the Aberglaslyn Pass, Cricieth. After lunch we take a scenic drive through the Aberglaslyn Pass, a narrow gorge of considerable beauty alongside the Glaslyn River, to the village of Prenteg and onwards to Cricieth. This is a small picturesque seaside town with wonderful views over Cardigan Bay and the “Rivals” mountain range, and where there is a delightful tea shop and also where the best “home made” ice cream can be found. Breakfast, overnight and dinner at Sygun Fawr.
Day 6: Bardsey - the island of 20,000 saints and the village of Aberdaron. We drive to the westernmost point of northern Wales then take the short sea crossing to Ynys Enlli, (Bardsey Island) – the island of 20,000 saints. The 14th century was a Golden Age for pilgrimages, while the wealthier pilgrims were attracted to Jerusalem or Rome, in northern Wales, the shrines at Holywell and Bardsey Island attracted vast numbers of devout Christians. Three pilgrimages to Bardsey were rated as equivalent to one pilgrimage to Rome. The island is now a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest and covers an area of 180 hectares, which is mostly farmed. On our return to the mainland we will spend some time in the village of Aberdaron a former fishing village that has changed little over the centuries. Breakfast, overnight and dinner at Sygun Fawr.
Day 7: The Villages of Ardudwy valley and Portmeirion. We board our coach for a drive through the villages of Ardudwy to the remote valley of Cwm Nantcol on the way to visit Portmeirion village and gardens. This unique "fantasy village" built between 1925 and 1975 by the late architect Clough Williams-Ellis is located alongside the picturesque Dwyryd Estuary. The village was also the setting for the 70’s cult TV series the "Prisoner" staring the late Patrick McGoohan. Returning late afternoon to our hotel there will be some free time to prepare for departure the next day and our evening visit to a Country Pub for our farewell dinner. Breakfast, overnight at Sygun Fawr.
Day 8: Tour ends after breakfast.
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