Kinvara is a serene fishing village with rocky outcrops and rugged beaches. Its highlight medieval castle offers stunning views of Galway Bay and rural Ireland’s green meadows. Walk along the coast and visit the quaint pubs and old buildings that give this village its charm.
Attend a traditional medieval banquet at Dunguaire Castle, a 16th-century treasure overlooking grassy islands peeking above the water. Entertainment includes a harpist, a poet and costumed hosts helping to place you in the 1500s. Learn from docents about the history of the castle as you peruse its rooms. Hear about the writers who gathered here in the 1920s to discuss literature.
Travel west for 7 miles (12 kilometers) from Kinvara to discover the fascinating ruins of Corcomroe Abbey. Inspect the intricate carvings in this 12th-century religious complex. Legends say that the king who commissioned the building murdered the five builders so they couldn’t replicate it elsewhere. Spot his tomb effigy in the medieval cemetery beside the church and chapel.
Chat with locals as you get to know this quaint village. Capture photos of the colorful houses typical of Irish fishing villages. Watch fishermen at work in the port and admire traditional reddish-brown-sailed Galway hooker sailing vessels.
In Irish, the village is spelt Cinn Mhara, which means “head of the sea.” Learn about the Terry Alt resistance movement, active in this region and unsuccessful in challenging the English crown.
Arrive for the Cuckoo Festival in May for Irish music and the Gathering of the Boats in mid-August. The regional climate is fairly mild and wet with pleasant summers.
The village is on an inlet on the southern shore of Galway Bay, directly across the water from the city of Galway, about 30 minutes away by car. Drive west for about 2.5 hours from Dublin to reach the village.
Let Kinvara transport you back in time with its entertaining castle, legendary abbey and quaint port setting.