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Cader Idris: Where to stay, What to do.

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

Are you looking for a 2023 hiking holiday? Do you fancy coming to explore the quieter southern side of Eryri/Snowdonia away from the tourist spots? Have you heard of the impressive Cader Idris and want to find out more?

Check out this awesome drone footage of Cader Idris by Joshua Paul Gardner

South Eryri/Snowdonia is an absolute gem of a region to visit, especially if you love walking and hiking. With spectacular scenery, dramatic mountains to climb and adventurous activities to do there is plenty to keep even the most active, entertained. And if you want a day or two to also relax after a long hike, look no further than a stroll on some of Wales' best beaches. What are you waiting for?

Cader Idris rises up beside the road behind our B&B and it is breathtaking. So if you are looking for somewhere to stay for Cader Idris maybe consider The Old Vicarage B&B in Corris. But more on that later...

The highlands of Southern Eryri/Snowdonia are greener and rounder than those of rocky Snowdon – but they’re still seriously mountainous. Cadair Idris and the Aran and Arennig above Bala are lofty outposts, looking down across a landscape of traditional farmland, forest and outstandingly beautiful lakes.

cader idris hiking snowdonia hotel accommodation
Cader Idris - World famous mountain range just on our doorstep at The Old Vicarage

Exploring Southern Eryri/Snowdonia is pure pleasure. Quiet mountain roads twist and climb into high country, narrow-gauge railways run alongside lakes and through vales, and in the Coed-y-Brenin Forest there’s world-class mountain biking and walking.

Is Cader Idris hard to climb?

At 893 m, Cader (or Cadair) Idris is the highest mountain in southern Eryri/Snowdonia, and one of the 3 Welsh Peaks challenge. There are a few routes which vary in difficulty. However don't walk un prepared, this mountain can be unforgiving.

Even after a challenging hike up Cader Idris, this area will continue to offer you more. Eryri (Eng. Snowdonia) National Park is over 2000km2! Cader Idris can be found at the southern point of Snowdonia. Eryri is often associated just with the region around the highest mountain Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), however the park has so much more to offer. Step away from the busy hubs and you'll find areas of wilderness and tranquility, where going for a walk, enjoying nature, and not seeing another soul, is common place.

What are the routes up Cader Idris?

Shortest/Steepest: Minffordd Path 10km, allow 5 hrs. Mixture: Pony Path, 10km , allow 5 hrs. Longest/Least challenging: Llanfihangel y Pennant Path, 16km, allow 7 hrs.

Even in July blue skies can rapidly turn as clouds come in and slam into the side of Cader Idris and visibility can swiftly reduce to 0

Be prepared for drastic changes in the weather (it happens frequently, even in high summer) and make sure you check the forecast before you go via the Met Office Cadair Idris forecast.

Plan your route carefully and let people know where you are going, and what time you expect to be back.

If you are staying at The Old Vicarage B&B, we have OS maps and OS approved compasses available and can help you plan your route. We also also partner with expert Snowdonia mountain guides Ar Y Trywydd to offer guests at the Vicarage private guided hikes up Cader (and other mountains). and packed lunches.

Minffordd Path up Cader Idris

10km / 6 miles, allow 5 hours there and back The shortest route but the steepest. The Minffordd Path starts near the Visitor Centre. The Minffordd Path is a hard/strenuous path. A good level of fitness is required and navigation skills are essential. The path will take you through Cwm Cau where Llyn Cau, a lake that is synonymous with Cader Idris, lies. To start with, you’ll climb up lots and lots of steps, before walking along the ridge above Llyn Cau toward Penygadair. Take care coming back down from the summit, as it’s easy to miss the path!!!!! The seasonal Visitor Centre is worth a visit as there’s plenty of information about Cader. There are also short walks around the nature reserve, including accessible broadwalks, to explore the lower lakes and waterfalls.

Pony Path up Cader Idris

10km / 6 miles, allow 5 hours there and back The Pony Path starts from the Dolgellau side of Cader. Starting from Tŷ Nant car park, it's a steepish climb with steps in several places to help you along. On the way you’ll see spectacular views over the Mawddach estuary towards Barmouth. Once you get to the ridge over Llyn y Gader you'll get fab views inland towards Bala and over the lake. Follow the steep path to Penygadair. Then it's a scramble up to the trig point.

Llanfihangel y Pennant Path up Cader Idris

16km / 10miles, allow 7 hours there and back The longer Llanfihangel-y-Pennant Path is often the more peaceful and steady route. Llanfihangel y Pennant is a hamlet deep in the remote Dysynni Valley and an interesting place to visit in its own right. It’s reached by a narrow single track road, passing the romantic ruins of Castell y Bere on the way. The small car park and toilets are opposite St. Michael’s Church. Compared to the other paths, it’s fairly gentle until you join the Pony Path, then it’s a tough hike up to Penygadair.

Whilst you are researching your 2023 holiday, why not consider putting South Eryri/Snowdonia and Mid Wales on your list, whether it be for a driving holiday, a week long stay or a short getaway. You certainly won't leave disappointed. South Snowdonia will stay in your heart long after you leave.

Cader Idris mountain range is just a stones throw from The Old Vicarage B&B in South Snowdonia

It's easy to think that South Eryri/Snowdonia is all mountain scapes and valleys, but far from it! Eryri offers fantastic coastal and seaside scenery within just a short drive. There's:

Just make sure you bring your camera you wont want to miss a thing!

And of course, don't miss out on the incredible wildlife to be seen in this Dyfi UNESCO Biosphere

Where do you stay to climb Cader Idris?

The beautiful village of Corris (made up of Corris and Corris Uchaf) is located just 4 min (1.5 miles) from the carpark for the Minffordd Path up Cader Idris and has plenty of accommodation options.

Corris, holiday accommodation ideas snowdonia
The stunning village of Corris, boasts a great local pub and fabulous views toward Cader Idris

Some of our favourites can be found in the links below.

Are you looking for Small luxury hotels? Award winning campsites? Luxury self-catering properties for large groups? 5* Bed and breakfasts? Warm and inviting pubs and inns? Unusual glamping ideas? Budget friendly guest houses?

B&B, Guest houses, Hotels for Cader Idris

The Old Vicarage has the Visit Wales welcome award for hikers, has been featured in Country Walking magazine, and is located just 7 mins from the Dol Idris carpark (Cader Idris start point for minffordd path) and as well as their award winning breakfasts which are included in the nightly rate, you can optionally choose to book packed lunch for your hike and there is always free cake in the lounge for when you return. You can look for availability at The Old Vicarage in Corris here and get an additional discount for booking direct which is automatically applied to your final cart.

Tyn y Cornell, Hotel, Tal-y-llyn

This hotel is situated on the lakeside of Tal-y-llyn, easily drivable to the Dol Idris carpark. The views from this hotel are stunning and you can even enjoy dinner in their restaurant. Click here to check availability.

Self Catering Homes, Cottages, Airbnbs for Cader Idris

Corris village is just a stones throw from the base of Cader Idris and therefore picking a cottage in the heart of the village means you get easy access to hike Cader Idris and can also experience the beating heart of the village itself.

The Granary, Corris - Self Catering Cottage

A great location right in the heart of Corris village, The Granary is a lovely open plan annexe situated on the ground floor of this beautiful property.

The Beautiful Granary in the heart of Corris Village, perfect for access to Cader Idris

Fronwen Lodge

If peace and quiet is what you are after then situated just up the road from Corris is the beautiful lodge nestled under the forest canopy.

Bars, Pubs, Inns, with Rooms for Cader Idris

Experience the lively atmosphere of staying in a pub with rooms. This is a great way to get immersed in the day to day of the village.

The Slater's Arms - Inn & B&B

Why not stop at the Slater's Arms, in the centre of Corris village?

Camping, Glamping, Pods, Shepherd Huts and Caravan sites for Cader Idris

Switch off and relax with these off grid options in Corris, set into the grounds of the old quarry masters residence, these fantastic huts won't disappoint.

What is the legend of Cader Idris?

The great giant Idris, was known as a poet, philosopher and astronomer and he used the mountain as his throne. Cadair or Cader Idris, means the chair or throne of Idris. Legend has it that those who sleep on the mountain will awake as either a madman or a poet, or else never wake again. It is also said that the huge boulders at the bottom of the mountain were stones he shook out of his shoe.

If you're interested in some of the folklore of this region why not visit King Arthurs Labyrinth in Corris?

Key Facts About Mid Wales

Mid Wales - the counties of Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Merionnydd - are distinctive parts of Wales. From the foothills of Southern Snowdonia, to the western coast of Ceredigion, the stunning landscapes of the Brecon Beacons and everywhere in between.

  • We have 2 National Parks: Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.

  • We have 2 National Trails: Offa's Dyke Path that takes you through Mid Wales as part of a 177-mile journey, and Glyndwr's Way, 135 miles long; linking Welshpool, Machynlleth and Knighton (the only town in Wales that’s on two National Trails).

  • The Wales Coast Path is one of the few footpaths in the world to follow a nation's coastline.

  • The Cambrian Mountains comprises 467 square miles of Mid Wales and has some of the darkest skies in Europe.

  • Mid Wales has the UK's first dedicated mountain bike trail centre at​ Coed Y Brenin. And also hosts the Redbull Hardline in Dinas Mawddwy

  • There are over 200 listed buildings in Dolgellau - said to be the highest concentration of listed buildings in all of Wales, just 20 min from The Old Vicarage B&B

  • We have three Eryri/Snowdonia railways named in the top 10 most scenic European rail journeys.

We have created lots more itinerary options for you, so take a look at and click the button 'Itineraries' to see the full list.

See you soon, we're looking forward to welcoming you to our home in Southern Eryri/Snowdonia,

Kirsty & Gareth

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