Visiting Portmeirion: The Italian style Village in North Wales


“Mon, I didn’t know you were going away. Are you in Italy!?”

This was a text message I received from a friend immediately after I’d posted a photo from Portmeirion on Facebook. 

The sun was shining, it was 22C, I was licking chocolate chip flavoured gelato while staring out to sea. I was surrounded by colourful but slightly wonky buildings and narrow, cobbled paths. I could have been anywhere in the Mediterranean.

But I wasn’t in the Mediterranean, I was in Wales.

Yes, Wales!

This beautiful, Mediterranean-style village is Portmeirion.

I’ll give you a little minute to appreciate just how gorgeous it is….
Portmeirion village in Wales


Portmeirion Village in North Wales

Portmeirion Village in North Wales

Portmeirion Wales

Portmeirion in North Wales

Portmeirion Unicorn

Portmeirion Cottage


Portmeirion views to the beach

Statue in Portmeirion

Portmeirion buildings

Portmeirion Cottage

Portmeirion North Wales

Portmeirion religious statue

buddha statue in Portmeirion

Portmeirion is a village in North Wales, half way between Penrhyndeudraeth and Porthmadog in Gwynedd. Yea, that’s a bit of a mouthful.

Portmeirion was built between 1925 and 1975 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, a wealthy and eccentric architect. Clough wanted to recreate the atmosphere of the Mediterranean and bring it to the valleys of North Wales. Along with the Mediterranean vibe he also brought a lot of fun with his playful designs and unusual architecture.

Clough wanted Portmeirion to make people happy and he believed buildings didn’t need to be serious and boring. I think it’s fair to say that this enchanting little village has been bringing smiles to people’s faces since it was built.

One thing I love about Portmeirion is the random mix of styles. It’s as though someone has selected the best parts of lots of different styles and mixed them together to create this random but magical village. There are Italian style houses, pastel colours from the British seaside, art-deco designs, Christian monuments next to golden Buddha’s and palm trees next to fern trees. To say Portmeirion is random would be an understatement.

I love the randomness of Portmeirion and the fact that someone has simply thought, ‘I don’t care if these things don’t go together. I like them both so who cares!?”

There’s even a medieval castle from the 1850s on the property!

The first time I visited Portmeirion was in 2015 with my mum and George, my 12-week old son. We stayed in Chantry Row 2 which is the green and blue buildings in the photo below. They look like two separate places but it’s one big one. It just shows how nothing is really as it seems in Portmeirion. Everything has a grand exterior but it could all be for show.

Chantry Row 2 Portmeirion

Inside Chantry Row 2 Portmeirion

Views from the balcony at Chantry Row 2 Portmeirion

Our suite was gorgeous and perfect for the three of us. We had two large, double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. There was a living room in the middle and a small kitchenette with a kettle and fridge – perfect for storing and heating up George’s bottles (and keeping our wine cold!) There were small balconies off the living room and the master bedroom and they looked out over the centre of the village. We couldn’t have wished for a better room.

Portmeirion room service

Portmeirion breakfast

We’d planned to eat in the restaurant – which is at the bottom of the village next to the sea – but once we were settled in our room we didn’t want to leave. We ended up ordering room service and had a delicious dinner and a nice bottle of wine from the comfort of our sofa. I just want to say how great this room service was. The food was piping hot and arrived quickly in a little van – something you don’t always get when it has to travel to get to you. It was also great to eat in our suite as I didn’t need to worry about George crying in a busy restaurant!

We did the same again for our breakfast and both ordered a main breaky and enjoyed it on the balcony. What a perfect way to start the day!

We spent the morning strolling around Portmeirion. Portmeirion is open to the public throughout the day so it started to get busy at around 10am. It was great to stay overnight and have the place to ourselves first thing in the morning. Once the shops opened we had a rummage in the book shop and the gift shops before having a coffee and then stopping for gelato.

This was when I received that text message asking if I was in Italy. Once again I had to remind myself if I really was in Wales…?


UPDATE: It’s now six years later and Portmeirion is a place I’ve visited many, many times! In fact, we love it so much as a family that we have a Family Membership and visit around once a month. I’ve stayed in the castle once with Sam and Alba and once in the hotel just with Sam. Portmeirion is about half way between our home in Wrexham and the static caravan we own in Abersoch so we regularly visit on our way home from our weekends at the caravan.

It’s a gorgeous place to visit with young children as we all love it equally. When we arrive we head straight for the woodland walk where the kids love to climb trees and follow the signposts (which inevitably leads to us getting hopelessly lost in the forest!) We’ll find a bench somewhere magical and have a picnic under the dappled light and shade of the forest.

When we eventually make our way back into the village we get ice creams and coffees before admiring all the beautifully wonky buildings. If it’s a hot day we’ll paddle in the pond or walk along the beach and if everyone is in a particularly good mood Sam and I will get a nice cold beer and enjoy it under the palm trees.

It’s simply magical and it’s one of our favourite places to visit as a family.

Visiting Portmeirion in North Wales

Visiting Portmeirion

They often have special maps for kids and they’re encouraged to find all of the mermaids around Portmeirion. My kids have done this 10+ times and they still love it!

Visiting Portmeirion

You can’t visit without getting an ice cream!

Visiting Portmeirion

Visiting Portmeirion in North Wales


Views from Portmeirion

Woodland walk in Portmeirion

Woodland walk in Portmeirion

Portmeirion swimming pool

Always searching for Mermaids in Portmeirion

Portmeirion hotel

Portmeirion beach

Portmeirion village

Portmeirion village

Kids in Portmeirion



  1. Lucy 7 years ago

    I must’ve been in Portmeirion about a week before you! Such a fascinating and gorgeous place. We were saying that we’d love to stay there next time so thanks for the peek inside too.

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      It’s well worth staying overnight. It’s lovely visiting for the day but staying over is even more magical!

  2. Dearbhaile 7 years ago

    Wow, Portmeirion looks stunning! Maybe when I head back home to Ireland I’ll pop across for a look! 🙂

  3. Jodie Young 7 years ago

    I’m sold, Portmeirion looks amazing and so does your hotel room. Will definitely need to take a road trip here at some point! How long would it take to drive from South-West London?

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      About 4.5 hours according to Google! It’s a long drive but definitely worth it.

  4. Linzi Clark 7 years ago

    Wow, what a place – looks like a mixture between Palma, Burano and Barcelona! I was in Snowdonia for the bank holiday a few weeks ago and actually got sunburnt. Maybe the weather is changing…….

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      I got sunburned in Swansea last weekend too. I always forgot to put suncream on in this country, I forget that it ever gets hot enough to burn!

  5. Ever since I first heard of Portemeirion a couple of years ago, I have wanted to go! It really is so hard to believe that this isn’t continental Europe, I just love the look of all the colourful buildings and beautiful architecture 🙂 Your accommodation looks so cosy and charming as well!

  6. Erin 7 years ago

    Oh what fun! Just one more reason to visit Wales. Gorgeous and colorful photos.

  7. Polly 7 years ago

    Portmeirion is so photogenic! My parents refer to it as ‘the place from The Prisoner’ because it was such a great backdrop to the series. It looks like such an unusual place to stay, and the room service is an added bonus!

  8. […] 3.) Monica’s blog The Travel Hack is an old fave of mine and her latest post on Portmeirion in Wales is absolutely fantastic. Portmeirion is an Italian style village in Wales and is absolutely stunning. It makes for amazing photography fodder too! I visited several years ago and have gone on and on for ages on here about Portmeirion so it was a delight to come across this post and relive the experience though Monica’s blog post and photos. Check out the full post here. […]

  9. How gorgeous – I haven’t been to Portmeirion for ages, I’d forgotten how lovely it is. And that hotel looks amazing.

  10. […] our first night we stayed in Portmeirion and had everything we could have wished for. We had two double bedrooms, a living room, two […]

  11. Festival No.6 Line Up + 10 reasons why I’m so excited! 6 years ago

    […] Here’s a post from my last trip to Portmeirion, take a look and you’ll see why this festival is going to be magical. It’s a far cry from your usual muddy field! […]

  12. […] arrive in Portmeirion which has to be the most unusual village in Wales. Take a look at my post, Visiting Portmeirion, to see why. It’s […]

  13. […] hotels. We were in North Wales and spent our first night in Portmeirion. We’d loved our time in Portmeirion so our second hotel had a lot to live up […]

  14. […] my trips to Portmeirion and Criccieth during my trivago challenge were less than 2 hours […]

  15. […] Read more: Visiting Portmeirion, the Italian style village in North Wales […]

  16. […] romantic break or relaxing holiday. Unspoilt, sandy beaches are a mere 15 minutes away, as is Portmeirion village, so there’re plenty of sight-seeing opportunities and things to […]

  17. […] Number 6 is a chance to lose yourself in the beautiful, Italian-style village of Portmeirion in the most unforgettable way possible. The village was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and […]

  18. […] Visiting Portmeirion: The Italian style village in Wales […]

  19. […] The Travel Hack’s Visiting Portmeirion: The Italian Style Village in North Wales […]

  20. […] Read more: Visiting Portmeirion, the Italian style village in Wales […]

  21. Postcard Stories 3 months ago

    It really looks like something between Italy and Portugal. Beautiful place 🙂

  22. John 3 months ago

    Someone might want to mention the British series The Prisoner filmed at that location..

    I’m curious if they have facts about the show intermix within the village

    I’m glad they kept the place current, clean , maintained..

    • Monica 3 months ago

      It’s not really mentioned that much while you’re there. I was surprised because it was such a huge show (so I’m told) but there aren’t many references to it around the village (unless I’ve just missed them all!?)

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