Colourful Kinvara: A Hidden Gem on Ireland’s West Coast

Today I wanted to share a short but sweet post about a gorgeous town I fell in love with when we were travelling around Ireland last year! Kinvara was just a town we were simply supposed to pass through on our drive along the Wild Atlantic Way to the Cliffs of Moher but ended up stopping and staying for a few hours as her charm won us over instantly.

Kinvarra Ireland Colourful Shops

We were staying in a gorgeous cottage in the countryside near Galway and our only plan for that day was to explore the area and ultimately end up at the Cliffs of Moher which had been on my bucket list forever.

Galway Ireland CottageGalway Ireland Countryside

As we were driving along the Wild Atlantic Way we saw the charming Dunguaire Castle in the distance and decided to stop and check it out. Dunguaire Castle is a 16th Century Tower House that is built on the southeastern shore of beautiful Galway Bay. The beautiful castle has been restored to its former glory and we were lucky enough to explore the castle and its grounds just before a few busloads of people arrived (talk about good timing)! The castle was so lovely and charming and truly had the most wonderful location overlooking Galway Bay.

Sign to Dunguaire Castle IrelandDunguaire Castle with signDunguaire Castle IrelandView of Dunguaire Castle through wallsFamily standing at front of Dunguaire CastleDad standing in front of tower of Dunguaire CastleGirl posing in front of Dunguaire CastleDunguaire Castle Ireland

Everyone decided they needed coffee and so that was our next stop. We didn’t have to drive for a long because a few minutes later we arrived in beautiful Kinvara, one of the cutest, most colourful towns I’ve ever seen. We parked up immediately and set off exploring with coffee now at the back of our minds.

The village was beautiful and I loved that every building was painted different vibrant colours!

Colourful shopfronts in Kinvarra IrelandPurple cafe in Kinvarra IrelandColourful houses in Kinvara IrelandBright colourful houses in Kinvarra IrelandBright blue door in Kinvarra IrelandPink and red pub in Kinvarra IrelandColourful shops in Kinvarra Ireland

The sun also began to shine and we spent the next half hour exploring the shops and wandering along the port and waters edge. The tide was completely out at this stage with all the boats almost lying on their sides in the bay! For my parents and I this was so strange and we had never seen anything like it and Dan assured us it was quite a normal thing in the UK!

Kinvarra HarbourKinvara Harbour on low tideKinvara Harbour on low tide with boats resting on wallsKinvara Harbour on low tide with boats resting on walls

Dan and Dad then decided they were hungry and so we all set off in search of a cafe. We settled down for coffees and they boys enjoyed some cake as well. We couldn’t believe our luck with the weather too because the moment we stepped inside the cafe it began pouring with rain and a not long before we were ready to leave the sun was shining again!

Gentian Cafe Sign Kinvara Ireland

Kinvara was such a charming village and port that won us over immediately and we even appreciated their quirky warning/road signs!

Car sign Kinvara Ireland

Later in the day we drove back through after a big day of exploring the Wild Atlantic Way and the town had completely come to life. The streets were full of cars and the pubs were bursting at the seams with people. It made us feel so appreciative that we experienced it as we did earlier in the day… peaceful, quiet, quaint and perfect enough to make me fall in love with it.

Map of Wild Atlantic Way Ireland

We loved Kinvara so much because we didn’t even know she existed and when we stumbled across her we fell in love with her charm.

Have you fallen in love with a place you didn’t expect to, or didn’t even know existed?