Make a splash: watersports in Snowdonia

Hiking, biking, mountain climbing… adventures on land in Snowdonia are well documented. But there are countless ways to explore this breath-taking landscape on the water, too.

Here you’ll find pristine lakes and cascading falls, winding rivers and babbling streams, surrounded by some of the country’s very best facilities and instructors.

Whether you’re a watersports expert or simply fancy trying your hand at something new, we’re sure you’ll find an aquatic adventure that’s perfect.

Wild swimming

There’s nothing quite like swimming in the great outdoors, surrounded by glorious natural scenery; take to the waters in Snowdonia and find crystal-clear freshwater perfect for taking an al fresco swim.

With a backdrop of dramatic mountains and magnificent peaks, wild swimming in Snowdonia really is an unforgettable experience. For a great introduction, Snowdonia Watersports offers sessions on Llyn Padarn on weekend mornings, which cost £5 per person and are suitable for those over 12, catering for a range of abilities.

watersports Snowdonia

White water rafting

For the adrenaline junkies out there, white water rafting is a popular choice. Snowdonia’s rivers are perfect for rafting, with rapids, waves and wild waters aplenty.

And where better to experience these thrills and spills than at the National White Water Centre on the River Tryweryn? The centre for rafting in the UK, the water here is controlled by a dam, so you’ll find white waters year-round for optimum rafting.

There are a range of options here – from Taster sessions to the family-friendly Safari. Particularly daring visitors might enjoy an adventure on an Orca, which resembles something between a raft and a kayak!

Kayaking & canoeing

With so many beautiful lakes, Snowdonia is perfect for both kayaking and canoeing.

In Llanberis, you’ll find Llyn Padarn, a glacial-formed lake that is also home to both the rare Arctic Charr and superb canoeing and kayaking at Boulder Adventures. More excellent boating can be found at Plas y Brenin, where kayakers and canoeists of all experience levels can find a class to suit.

Near Beddgelert, you’ll find Llyn Gwynant, which has appeared in television series Merlin and the Hollywood Tomb Raider series; canoes and kayaks are available to hire at Gwynant as well as FatYak sit-on-top kayaks, rafts and paddle boards.

watersports Snowdonia

Diving

Learning to dive is on lots of people’s bucket lists, and Vivian Dive Centre’s PADI courses make this dream a reality – and all among the stunning surrounds of Llanberis!

Duttons Divers runs the centre, which has its own quarry diving space and a training cage. If you’re brand-new to diving and aren’t sure if its for you, the Discover Scuba Dive courses are the perfect introduction. Other courses include Advanced Open Water sessions for experienced divers and a Rescue Diver course. The centre is unique in that it’s completely self-contained, so you can change, train and dive all in one place.

Sailing

Snowdonia’s many lakes offer plenty of opportunities for sailing away.

Llyn Tegid in Bala is the largest natural lake in Wales, and offers qualified instruction and classes for beginners and veteran sailors alike; opt for a half-day sailing course to get the basics, or choose one of the RYA courses to really test your sea legs.

Nestled in Gwydyr Forest, tranquil Llyn Geirionydd is another superlative option for sailing adventure and is popular with boaters and jet-skiers.

Surfing

With the world’s first inland surfing lagoon sitting right on our doorstep, we’d be remiss not to mention Surf Snowdonia as a premier watersports destination.

Not only are you guaranteed waves here, but they’re the longest man-made waves anywhere in the world. With a range of classes, sessions and tutorials on offer you’ll be up on your board in no time, whether you’ve ‘hung 10’ before or are a complete novice.

For something a little more zany, head to the Crash & Splash lagoon for an obstacle course like no other, or if you’re visiting with some land-loving little ones, make for the Soft Play Shack for plenty of fun.

watersports Snowdonia

Windsurfing

Spoilt for choice between sailing and surfing? Why not combine the best of both and head out on the water windsurfing?

Adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike will relish a windsurfing session on Llyn Tegid as you glide across the water, glimpsing the breath-taking natural surroundings (if you can keep your eyes open!)

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Traditional watersports like sailing, surfing and kayaking not floating your boat? Stand-up paddle boarding might be just the ticket!

The sport is ancient, but has recently resurfaced and is growing in popularity. And little wonder; armed with a long board and a paddle, most anyone can take to the push off from land and enjoy a waterborne extravaganza.

Psyched Paddleboarding is committed to spreading the paddleboard gospel, with an array of classes and sessions perfect for everyone from the age of 8 up!

With warmer weather just around the corner, what better time to make the trip to Llanberis and combine these exhilarating watersports with a stay at the Royal Victoria? We offer a range of rooms and packages to suit all travellers and make your stay here the holiday of a lifetime.

Images courtesy: © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales, all rights reserved.