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Relatively small and sparsely populated (400 square kilometers/150 square miles, pop. around 20,000) the Llyn Peninsula of northwest Wales is bucolic, a center of Welsh language and traditional identity, and also one of this country's most sought-after holiday destinations, popular because of its lovely scenery, seascapes, and towns and villages. Here are my top five:
A spirited market town of just over 4,000 - many of them Welsh speakers - Pwllheli (above) is regarded as the capital of the region and has a lot of things to offer including the markets, shops, and art galleries, as well as a picturesque marina and the region's most popular water sports center. Be sure to visit the Penarth Fawr Medieval House, a local 15th-century landmark.
A traditional fishing village on the western tip of the peninsula, it was known as the last stop for pilgrims on their way to offshore Ynys Enilli (Bardsley Island), and today its charming streets, beaches, and nature (especially the diverse bird life nesting and the captivating views from the nearby Mynydd Mawr Headland) make Aberdaron a prime lure for Brits looking for a laid back summer holiday.
Situated on the peninsula's north coast, this quaint little seaside village of just over 2,600 is home to dazzling and sun-kissed sandy beaches surrounded by a dramatic coastal landscape. Head down to the village's pretty harbor or just walk around the semi-moon-shaped beach, Porth Dinllean. The old St. Mary's parish church now hosts a museum of maritime history.
On the peninsula's south coast and with fewer than a thousand permanent residents, it's best known for its plethora of water sports such as surfing, wakeboarding,jetskiing and boating/sailing.