Set on a peninsula facing into the River Dwyryd's estuary, Portmeirion has become one of Wales' most popular tourist attractions. The village, with its unique collection of Italian-influenced architecture, had been a local dignitary's private estate until 1925. It was then that the celebrated architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis began to develop the village. Inspired by architecture from towns on Italy's Mediterranean coast such as Portofino, he collected and salvaged parts of building work from ruined mansions or stately homes in need of repair.
Over the course of fifty years, Portmeirion became the ideal tour town - and a much-loved attraction in northern Wales. In 1966, the village was used as the setting for the cult TV series 'The Prisoner', which further boosted Portmeirion's popularity. Today the buildings are all listed and the entire site is a conservation area. Many of the tourist town's charming cottages are available as tour lets, and these are complemented by a range of pretty cafés, interesting shops offering beautiful crafts and souvenirs, and enticing restaurants offering varying selections of mouth-watering cuisine.