Portmeirion is a stunning tourist village designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. It is a taste of the Italian Riviera whilst being a stone’s throw away from the Welsh coastline. It truly is the jewel in North Wales’ crown!
This small town was once one of Wales’ best-kept secrets, however, recently has become a “must-see” destination! Although its increasing popularity may be good for business and the surrounding communities, it comes at a cost – and we are not just speaking about the admission price of £15.
Entering Portmeirion will evoke the same reaction as walking through the wardrobe into Narnia. It is awe-inspiring and drop-dead gorgeous. Bright colours fill the space and lure you further into the heart of this enchanting little village. Portmeirion has all the architectural charm of the Mediterranean without the accompanying glorious weather! Its perfectly manicured gardens and stunning outlook onto the estuary of the River Dwydrd are among the many reasons that Portmeirion draws massive crowds year upon year.
Unfortunately, as more and more people discover this little Mediterranean oasis in Wales, the busier it gets. When we visited Portmeirion in August 2021, it was unbelievably crowded. If you want to browse the shops you often had to queue outside just to get in. If you want to get an ice cream, you will find yourself in another queue of at least 20 people. And finally, if you want to dine at the restaurant – forget about it if you haven’t pre-booked. Not only were all the facilities busy, but even trying to take a photo wasn’t the most enjoyable experience. You will feel like you are the cause of congestion in the never-ending foot traffic throughout Portmeirion.
So is it worth visiting Portmeirion?
The only honest answer to this question is maybe, as it is extremely circumstantial. Depending on whether you are visiting in summer or winter, or whether you are visiting for a day or spending the weekend the answer to this question will differ.
Firstly, I think it is worthwhile noting that this is NOT a free attraction. The price for admission is £15.00 per person.
If you are planning on visiting in Summer (particularly during the school holidays), the answer is a definite no. Don’t even consider it if you hate crowds.
However, if you are planning on going during the off-season between October and April, then we can not sing Portmeirions praises highly enough.
Obviously, there are exceptions to this extremely vague rule of thumb. One of which is if you are staying at the on-site hotel or cottages in Portmeirion. This will give you access to the village when all the other guests have to leave, furthermore, you get full use of the facilities exclusively for the guests, including an outdoor swimming pool.
If you have any questions regarding Portmeirion, or the surrounding area, do not hesitate to ask, you can always find us in the comments. Furthermore, if you are looking for more content from the UK, make sure you check out this page for all things travel in the UK and Wales!