Salt flats and sandy beaches, sparkling lakes and sugary-sweet ice cream, the village of Aberdyfi (also known as Aberdovey) is an unforgettable destination. Located at the heart of the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere Reserve Wales, it's the perfect place for a holiday on the West Wales coast.
This ancient community is set at the mouth of the Dyfi Estuary, with colourful cottages lining the seafront, and provides plenty of things to do whether you’re travelling as a family, planning a dog-friendly holiday, or looking forward to a romantic couple’s trip.
Soak up views across to the Ynyslas dunes, share a coffee and cake down by the sea, or step out on a waterfall walk in this impressive landscape. Read on and get to know this remarkable region in our guide to Aberdyfi.
Walking trails around Aberdyfi
Bearded Lake & Happy Valley
This peculiarly named lake is said to have once been home to a large, hairy monster who was defeated by King Arthur. While the monster has long gone, you’ll still be able to take in far-reaching views of the landscape and glistening waters of the lake on this moderate 3-mile walking trail.
Dolgoch Falls Walk
If you get rainy weather during your Aberdyfi holiday, you might be one of the lucky ones as that’s the perfect time to see the enchanting waterfalls of Dolgoch! After heavy rain, the waterfalls crash down into deep pools, showcasing the impressive force of the water that flows through the Snowdonia National Park. This easy 1-mile waterfall walk near Aberdyfi does have stone steps and steep sections to navigate, and these can be slippery so do come prepared for this pretty Dyfi trail.
Rhydyronen Loop in Pendre
If you're up for something a bit more strenuous, this Rhydyronen Loop near the neighbouring coastal town of Tywyn will take you up the steep-sided and beautiful valley of Nant Braich-y-rhiw. It begins and ends at Rhydyronen Station so you can hop on the train - no need to bring the car for this one. There are streams, stiles and rural terrain to contend with on your way around, and views of classic Snowdonia landscape all around. If you do have your own transport you can extend this walk and explore part of Happy Valley too.
If you’re bringing the family pet along on your Wales holiday, discover a few of our favourite dog-walking routes in our guide to pet-friendly walking trails around Aberdyfi/Aberdovey.
Beaches in Aberdyfi
This award-winning sandy beach is the perfect place for a day by the seaside, with beautiful views right across the estuary. The currents can be very strong so we would not recommend swimming, however, building sandcastles, playing beach games and sharing a picnic on the sand are all very much encouraged! It’s also dog-friendly so your four-pawed pal can join you for a leg stretch; read our guide for more dog-friendly beaches around Aberdyfi.
This quiet pebble beach is around 12 miles from Aberdyfi and just a couple of hundred metres from the village of Llwyngwril, where you’ll find shops and a pub. It’s a delightful beach for a coastal walk with mountainous views, and when the tide goes out, a host of rock pools are revealed making this a great place for a family trip.
Clamber over the pebbles, follow paths through the dunes and you’ll arrive on the golden sands of this wonderful family beach. Ynyslas Beach is around 20 miles from Aberdyfi and over 3 miles long, stretching from the Ynyslas dunes and Dyfi Estuary in the north, down to the seaside resort of Borth in the south.
Nature reserves in Aberdyfi
Cors Dyfi Wildlife Centre
Home of the Dyfi Osprey Project, the Cors Dyfi Wildlife Centre boasts a variety of habitats including a bog, a swamp, wet woodland and scrub that’s teeming with wildlife - you might even spot an otter or a dormouse. You can see the osprey nesting platform with a 4K video camera from the Dyfi Wildlife Centre, and there’s also a 360 Observatory with views of the Dyfi Valley, an elevated hide, boardwalk, visitor centre and shop.
RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve
Keen birdwatchers should head over to the RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve where you could spot the ducks and geese who overwinter here, and lapwings, redshanks and other wading birds who visit the saltmarsh during the summer months. You’ll also see a host of dragonflies and butterflies around the freshwater pools, reedbeds and lowland grasslands at this time of year. In spring, bluebells appear in the Welsh oak woodland too.
Ynyslas Sand Dunes and Dyfi National Nature Reserve
Combine a beach day with a visit to a nature reserve at this wildlife-rich dune system at the north of Ynyslas Beach. You might spot interesting flora and fauna, including orchids, mosses, liverworts, fungi, insects and spiders, as you explore this section of coast. Wildflowers appear in the summer, and a boardwalk leads through the dunes to the beach, where you might even spot dolphins out to sea.
Places to eat and drink in Aberdyfi
During your escape to the coast, plan an evening out to this delightful seafood restaurant where they serve up a variety of fine Welsh local produce. Sample seared king scallops, pan-fried fillet of hake with marinated prawns, or battered fish of the day with tartare sauce. Alongside their mouth-watering fish offerings, they have red pepper and cauliflower curry or Welsh rib-eye steak to tuck into.
Medina Coffee House
Wake up and head down to this seafront cafe for a big breakfast with bacon, sausage and fried egg, or pop by for lunch – they serve a wonderful selection of baguettes, sandwiches and homemade soup. As you would expect, they also have a delicious range of coffees - from lattes to iced coffees - that you can pick up before heading out on your next coastal adventure.
The Sweet Shop
We couldn’t write about Aberdyfi food and drink and leave this enchanting artisan ice cream shop off of our list! Set right in the heart of the village, The Sweet Shop boasts sugary ice cream and sorbet made at their dairy just across the road, alongside sweets, gifts and other goodies. For anyone on a dog-friendly holiday to Aberdyfi, make sure you stop by to pick up some tasty doggi yoggi (dog ice cream/yoghurt) for your faithful friend.
Enjoy a meal out with the family pet at one of these dog-friendly places to eat in Aberdyfi during your break.
More things to do in Aberdyfi
Waterfall next to Dyfi Furnace
Head out on a historical journey into Wales’ past and uncover this restored mid-18th-century charcoal-fired blast furnace used for smelting iron ore. The Dyfi Furnace is one of the best-preserved of its kind in Britain and would have used the mighty River Einion to turn the furnace’s water wheel. Book ahead to explore this beautiful Welsh heritage site.
Aberdovey Golf Club
If you’re a golf fan, you’re going to want to visit this championship links course that overlooks the Dyfi Estuary. Soak up the incredible coastal views as you make your way around this course before dropping by the clubhouse, where there’s a restaurant, bar, TV lounge and balcony with views over the 1st and 18th holes.
Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
Purpose-built for housing all manner of narrow-gauge locomotives, you can discover this special railway-centric world through video, sound and over 800 items that are on display in this wonderful museum – from tickets to complete locomotives. These machines transformed the Welsh slate industry, so it’s another great place to gain an insight into the region’s history.
Holiday cottages in Aberdyfi/Aberdovey
Stay at one of our self-catering holiday cottages in Aberdyfi and experience the beautiful Dyfi Biome first hand, with scenic walks, golden beaches and wildlife-rich reserves to discover. Browse our wide range of retreats, including luxury, family, and dog-friendly cottages, to begin planning your next Wales coastal escape.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.