Kinvara has become one of the most vibrant small communities in Ireland, with a fantastic mixture of old and new, encircled with a huge pride for our heritage and culture.
The entrance into Kinvara is marked by the remarkable 'Dunguaire Castle' (above left), which is open to visitors from May to October, and in which are held Medieval Banquets.
Kinvara celebrates its culture and heritage each year when it holds two festivals, namely 'Cruinniu na mBad' and 'Fleadh na gCuach'. Cruinniu na mBad (The Gathering of the Boats), now heading into its 25th year, is Ireland's best known Galway Hooker festival. The festival is held in August each year.
Fleadh na gCuach (The Cuckoo Festival) which is held each year on the May Bank Holiday Weekend is a Traditional Irish Music festival, where one will find over 50 music sessions in the villages' pubs. In addition to the music, one can also find Art & Crafts, Poetry, Drama during the festival.
Kinvara boasts some 10 pubs including including M'Asal Beag Dubh Bar named after the noted poet Padraic O'Connaire. Each of these pubs are unique in their own respect, and some are known to hold Traditional Irish Music on a regular basis. Infact, Kinvara is known both nationally and internationally for its music.
Just some Attractions you can find in the area:
Probably, the most famous land mark that is associated with Kinvara, Dunguaire Castle was built in the 1500's and has changed ownership many times down through the years. Today, Dunguaire Castle is owned by Shannon Heritage, and is open to visitors from May through to October. The castle also holds Medieval Banquets.
For further details please phone + 353 91 637108 www.shannonheritage.com
20km from the hotel, the Aillwee Caves are an ideal activity for a rainy day and a chance to see the subterranean Burren. See bear pits, stalactites and underground waterfalls. Sample their homemade organic cheeses, honey and fudge in their farm shop. www.aillweecave.ie
These are a group of three islands off the Galway/Clare coast. They are well known for their cultural and literary history as well as their traditional way of life. Islanders still speak Irish as their first language. Regular ferry services operate from Doolin, Rossavael and Galway. Access by air is also possible. More info at www.visitaranislands.com
Our local beach, Trácht, pronounced "trawct", is just 4 miles from the village. The beach, overlooking Galway Bay, has earned a "Blue Flag" for water cleanliness, is supervised by a lifeguard during the summer and has spotlessly clean toilets with wheelchair access on the shore. All in all, a very pleasant and safe place to go for a swim and enjoy the wildlife.
Also within 1/2 hour’s drive is Bishops Quarter and Fanore beaches.
The Burren is a unique area of 270 sq. kilometres of limestone pavement and green valleys. It is rich in flora and fauna, geology, archaeology, ancient settlements and ecclesiastical sites. Man has settled here for at least six thousand years and the area has the largest concentration of stone forts, monuments and ecclesiastical sites in Ireland. Botanists come from all over the world to study the flora. Uniquely, Mediterranean, alpine and arctic flowers and plants grow side by side, the seeds having been deposited by glacier millions of years ago. This is the mystical land of disappearing rivers and lakes, closed valleys, caves and limestone pavement. Many visitors come to The Burren simply to enjoy its wonderful walks. There are many walking trials to suit every ability with varied flora and fauna. There are also a number of seashore/beach walks.
Further information can be found on The Burrenbeo website. www.burrenbeo.com
Additional excellents maps of the area are available from www.tireolas.com
Cliffs of Moher
The most dramatic cliffs in Europe (250 metres) and home to a myriad of wildlife, many different species of birds, dolphins and the occasional whale. Beautiful views towards the Aran Islands and Connemara. There is a long cliff side walk for those who wish to brave the brisk Atlantic breeze. On your way, take the scenic coastal road to Kinvara via Black Head and Ballyvaughan. Not only can the cliffs be seen from above but from below.
Coole Park, Thoor Ballylee & The Kiltartan Museum
These three attractions are all situated near the town of Gort and within a few short miles of each other. Coole Park is formerly the home of Lady Gregory and a well known meeting place of Irish literary figures in the early 20th Century including W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. The famous autograph tree with the carved initials of all these writers is still in the walled garden. The woods and lake (See the Wild Swans of Coole!) are beautiful for a stroll. Thoor Ballylee castle was owned by Yeats and it is also open to the public. The Kiltartan Museum is a converted schoolhouse which documents the literary history of Coole.
The Burren Nature Sanctuary
Other Things to See & Do
Burren Nature Sanctuary is the interpretive centre for the natural history of the Burren, the finest karst landscape in the world- flora, fauna, karst. Also farm pets indoor and outdoor play, farm cafe, walks and fairies!
Burren Walking Tours
We are a young locally based professional tour company that offer guided walking tours in to the heart of the Burren landscape located on Irelands west coast.
We offer a full programme of day tours. Each tour covers a broad range of interests such as an introduction to a working farm where you learn of old and new practices. Irish history, the archaeology of the Burren, mythology, the Burren’s unique botany, story telling, folklore & folk traditions, Poteen distilling and much more.
Burren Chocolate Factory
Hazel Mountain Chocolates is Ireland's first boutique bean to bar stoneground chocolate factory located at the foothills of the Burren mountains. Come and taste the most delicious chocolate pairings from the Burren chocolate makers.
The Burren Perfumery
We make natural and organic cosmetics by hand from a small facility in the middle of the beautiful Burren.
We do our market research by chatting to the many visitors who come to the Perfumery to see what we do and how we do it. New products are developed by listening to what people tell us they like. It's very nice to meet your customers directly, to be able to talk to them about what they want, instead of trying to meet the expectations of a marketeer driven world. We prefer to create real products that real people need, than to 'create a market'.
This 16th century tower house sits on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay its architecture is simple yet magnificent. A short stroll from the village for you to enjoy as the castle is just 300 yards outside the lovely village of Kinvara.