About Kinvara

Kinvara has most of the essentials: a chemist (pharmacy), two petrol stations, several grocery stores, and numerous pubs. Each grocery store has a butcher counter, a selection of wines, and a wide variety of fresh, frozen and canned goods. Many pubs have traditional Irish music, often informally. Just ask around town to see where and when to go if you’re looking for music.

Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle

Kinvara’s most famous (but by no means only) attraction is Dungraire Castle. Guaire was a kind of Connaught who built his stronghold on the site in the seventh century. The current tower was built in the sixteenth century and restored in the early 1900’s. The castle is open for touring daily during the summer season. There is also a craft shop, a tearoom, and a Bureau de Change. In the evenings during the summer, Dunguaire Castle holds medieval banquets. The banquets include a full meal served medieval style of course, followed by an evening of entertainment. The show highlights the history and legends of the area through music, dancing and poetry. It’s a bit “pricey,” but we highly recommend it.

For crafts, souvenirs, woolen sweaters and other gifts, try the castle craft shop or other shops along Kinvara’s main street. Gort has a unique pottery shop called Michael Kennedy Ceramics, located on Bolands Lane (off the main square). This shop offers modern designs based on Irish themes.

The Bank of Ireland has a branch office on Main Street, but this is open only one morning a week. For day-to-day transactions, go to Gort or Galway. As mentioned above, you can change money at the castle.

Gort has laundry facilities including overnight laundry service. The house is equipped with washbasins and an electric dryer for clothes.

The main road through Kinvara.

The main road through Kinvara.

The number of restaurants in town fluctuates from season to season. A small, informal café on the quay serves soups, salads and sandwiches. The Pier Head Restaurant serves a selection of fresh seafood and has commanding views of the castle and the pier. The hotel on Main Street has a well-appointed dining room (plus the largest thatched roof in Ireland, allegedly). Keogh’s has a family oriented dining room on the town square. Many pubs serve pub grub throughout the day. As noted above, the castle has nightly banquets.

There are two Catholic churches in Kinvara. St. Joseph’s is located in town across from    MacMahon’s petrol station. St. Colman’s is half a mile outside of town on the Ballyvaughn Road. Both attract capacity crowds at all masses, though St. Colman’s offers the more traditional experience

Kinvara has a festival called Cruinniu na mBad (Gathering of the Boats) every year in July or August. The three-day festival includes races for different classes of turf boats, curragh races, music, and dancing.

For more information about local history and interesting sites in Kinvara and the surrounding area, look for a map called the “Rambler’s Guide.” There should be a copy at the house or it can be found in most shops in town.