Starting from a roundabout junction on the A487 close to the site of Llanwnda railway station (1867–1964), the route heads off southwestward through terrain that is low-lying and gently undulating, in contrast to the nearby Snowdonian uplands. We reach the coast at the end of a long straight section, near Pontllyfni and Aberdesach. The presence of the coast does little to change the straight nature of the road, however, before we reach hillier ground at Clynnog Fawr, today bypassed on its northwestern side. Now, on our left, there are steep hills, with a glimpse of a wooded valley in the dip near Gyrn Goch.
At Trefor, there are mountains ahead preventing us from continuing down the north coast of the peninsula, and this is our cue to begin to head south, passing to the west of Moel Pen-llechog and to the east of Yr Eifl (The Rivals). In the valley that follows, we reach a junction with the B4417 (which links to the end of the A497 at Nefyn) at Llanaelhaearn, at the head of the pass.
We then descend again into a broader valley, along another markedly straight stretch through open farmland, eventually crossing the B4354 at Y Ffôr before meeting the A497 at a mini-roundabout by the ASDA just outside the centre of Pwllheli.
Pwllheli – Abersoch
There's a multiplex of about a mile along the A497 through Pwllheli before we continue south-west, splitting from the A497 at a roundabout and continuing along a causeway over marshland. We stay within a very long stone's throw of the south coast (half a mile or more). Just after Penrhos (where the road is often flooded), we round a small corner and again cross marshland on a fairly new bridge/causeway (Pont Rydd-John). Ahead you can see Trwyn Llanbedrog, the distinctive headland which sticks out into Cardigan Bay. On the end of the headland used to be a tin man, since fallen victim of the weather, which was replaced recently by a different sculpture.
In the village of Llanbedrog, we climb slightly and turn round a couple of corners. After passing a pub, the Glyn-y-weddw, we meet the B4413 to Aberdaron, along which much of Llanbedrog village is. We now have the steep headland to our left and more hills to the right. A riding stables and two more camping/caravan sites passed en route are indicative of the tourist nature of the area during the summer. As we descend into Abersoch a small bay on the left gives us our first real close-up view of the sea since leaving the northern side of the peninsula. Passing two boatyards, the road then enters the town itself, where seemingly every second shop sells beach or diving equipment. A quick trip round a small one-way system terminates the road.
The works in 2008
The Aberdesach to Llanaelhaearn stretch of the A499 is now mostly completed with a mixture of online and offline widenings, and the current T-junction with the B4417 being converted to a roundabout. And only work on the road will then be to building walls and any other work needed. The A499 is also a candidate for being upgraded to a trunk road under current Welsh Government plans.
The A499 is described in the 1922 Road Lists as Pwllheli - Carnarvon - Bangor, running between the A497 and A5 and later being extended along Bangor High Street when the A5 was given its current route through the city.
In 1935 the A499 was extended west from Pwllheli to Abersoch along a couple of B-roads and a multiplex along the A497. Then in the 1960s the A487 was diverted around (rather than through) Snowdonia and also extended from Caernarfon to Bangor. As such it took over most of the eastern section of A499, except for the final few miles into Bangor which became the A4087.