The lovely little village of Kinvara in Galway is a fine little base for an adventure.
A picturesque coastal village nestled on the shores of Galway Bay, Kinvara is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend getaway in the west of Ireland.
From traditional Irish pubs and a vibrant community to annual festivals like Cruinnui na mBad, this cosy seaside village has everything you need for a memorable weekend trip.
In the guide below, you’ll discover everything from things to do in Kinvara in Galway to where to eat, sleep and drink. Dive on in below!
About Kinvara in Galway
Well-known for its 16th-century castle, the seaport village of Kinvara in Galway is a great place to base yourself from if you fancy exploring the lower half of Galway and a good chunk of the Burren in Clare.
This charming village has a population of about 1,500 people. This makes it an ideal destination for travellers who fancy swapping the county’s busy city for some peace and quiet.
This travel guide allows you to discover some of the finest things to do in Kinvara, provides tips for places to eat and drink, and offers a guide to the best accommodation options.
Things to do in Kinvara and nearby
While there’s only a handful of things to do in Kinvara, there’s tonnes of places to visit nearby, which makes the village the perfect base to explore from.
Below, you’ll find a mix of things to do in Kinvara village along with places to visit a short distance away.
1. Visit Dunguaire Castle
A visit to the mighty Dunguaire Castle is arguably one of the best things to do in Kinvara. Originally built in the 16th century, this finely maintained castle is well worth the visit.
There’s a self-guided tour on offer and there’s also a very popular banquet that needs to be booked in advance.
If you don’t fancy heading inside, you can always park nearby and admire the castles exterior from afar (you’ll quickly realise why this is one of the finest castles in Galway)
2. Make your belly happy at Kinvara Farmers Market
Foodies visiting Kinvara can look forward to paying a visit to the amazing Kinvara Farmers Market. The market takes place on Main Street every Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Expect to find over 20 stalls selling everything from fresh seasonal veggies and fruits, free-range eggs, and cheese to lobster, cakes, olives, and honey.
In addition to a variety of foods, the market is a place where you can also purchase jewellery, paintings, natural soaps, creams, and much more.
3. Head for a stroll along Traught Beach
Located just a few miles from the centre of Kinvara, Traught Beach should definitely be included on your itinerary of things to do in Kinvara during your visit.
On a clear day, you can actually see the city of Galway from the beach. There is a car park adjacent to the beach, as well as a few picnic tables where visitors can relax and enjoy magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean.
4. Discover the story of wild Irish salmon
Travellers visiting Kinvara can stop by Kinvara Smoked Salmon and discover the story of wild Irish salmon.
A family-owned business, Kinvara Smoked Salmon transports seafood products including their signature Irish organic smoked salmon to nearly 30 countries across the world.
During your visit, you will have an opportunity to hear stories about the wild Irish salmon and see the traditional Irish way of smoking salmon.
Food-wise, the village of Kinvara is known for everything from freshly caught seafood from Galway Bay to authentic wood-fired pizza and local grass-fed beef.
You’ll have worked up an appetite after a long day spent exploring Galway. The good news is that Kinvara is home to a few fabulous restaurants that serve delicious foods.
Kinvara has a great selection of traditional Irish pubs, which means that staying thirsty is not an option. Whether you wish to enjoy cocktails or have a few pints of beer and listen to traditional Irish music, there is something for every thirsty traveller in this charming seaside village.
One of the most popular pubs in the village, Connolly’s Bar is steeped in history. They’ve been around for more than a century and have new proprietors who have done a complete refurbishment of the bar. Green’s Bar is also a great option for going out in Kinvara.
Where to stay in Kinvara
If you fancy staying in Kinvara in Galway, you’ve plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
Below, you’ll find a mix of B&Bs, Airbnbs and holiday homes in Kinvara, each of which boast great reviews at the time of writing.
Kinvara B&Bs and Holiday Homes
1. Breacan Cottage B&B
A charming rustic cottage with panoramic sea views, Breacan Cottage B&B is a perfect place to stay in Kinvara. Rooms are nicely furnished and feature en-suite facilities.
Guests staying at Breacan Cottage B&B can enjoy a delicious continental breakfast each morning.
A reliable Wi-Fi connection is available throughout the property and free on-site parking is available. If you need to wash your clothes, a laundry service is provided for a small fee.
2. Fallon’s Bed & Breakfast
Located in the centre of Kinvara in Galway and just a stone’s throw from the harbour, Fallon’s Bed & Breakfast is a family-run property that offers nicely decorated en-suite rooms fitted with tea/coffee making facilities and a TV.
It’s an excellent base for visiting tourist attractions like Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Guests can enjoy a hearty full Irish breakfast in the elegant dining room each morning.
3. Atlantic Retreat Lodge
Welcome to the Atlantic Retreat Lodge, a completely remodeled luxurious cottage located just a short drive from Dunguaire Castle and the vibrant village of Kinvara. The popular Traught Beach is within walking distance.
As for the interiors, the lodge features a picturesque patio and a garden and offers spacious and comfortable accommodation that includes 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, and a dining area. Free private parking is available.
4. Glebe cottage
If you wish to stay in the heart of Kinvara, look no further than the Glebe Cottage. You will be staying minutes away from Kinvara’s finest restaurants and traditional Irish pubs.
The property boasts an open-plan living room, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen with a refrigerator and dishwasher. The living room opens onto a lovely terrace and a garden where you can enjoy the sounds of nature.
1. The Thatch
Nestled on the edge of Burren and located close to the village of Kinvara, this 1-bedroom cottage accommodates 2 people and is an ideal place to stay for couples exploring the west of Ireland.
The kitchen is fully-equipped and has everything you need to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The owner, Liadain is an excellent host and welcomes guests with fresh fruit and organic eggs.
Guests will also find many entertainment options inside the house ranging from board games and TV/DVD players to books.
2. A Luxurious Cottage
With spectacular views across the Burren, this luxurious cottage is located just a short drive from the village of Kinvara.
Walnut floors, a real fire stove, and a nicely decorated lounge make this place one of the finest accommodation options on this list.
If you are visiting with kids, you’ll be pleased to hear that a playhouse and a trampoline are available in the garden.
3. Niamh’s House
Spend a few days at this 2-story cottage located just a short walk from the harbour. The property has three bedrooms and can accommodate up to 5 guests, making it an ideal place to stay for families on vacation in Kinvara.
Guests say that the living room with a log burning fire is a great place to unwind and add that kids love the outdoor courtyard.
Have you been to Kinvara in Galway: What have we missed?
I’m sure that we’ve unintentionally missed out on some brilliant things to do in Kinvara in Galway along with places to eat, sleep and drink.
If you’ve been to Kinvara recently and you have something that you’d like to recommend, let us know in the comments section below.
Emma Baird is a lifestyle editor and novelist. She has worked in the communications industry for more than 25 years, and loves animals, the countryside and lingering in a great pub for the food and the craic.