Find out the origins of one of Ireland’s most iconic castles with mesmerizing views of the water and scenic Galway.
Dunguaire Castle is a fascinating restored 16th-century castle that overlooks Galway Bay. Above its elegant design of stone walls and charming windows flies the Irish flag. Among the highlights are varied banquet dinner events, which replicate jolly medieval feasts. Follow the winding path that climbs the hill to reach the main portal of the castle.
Take a tour of the site to learn about its history and uses. Gaze up at the tower, which rises over the bay at a height of 75 feet (23 meters). Climb to its summit for spectacular views of the bay and the surrounding Galway countryside. Many patches of grass rise above the water, appearing like dozens of tiny islands.
Pass through the kitchen, banquet hall and chamber for a sense of how people lived centuries ago. Peruse the gift shop on the ground floor for souvenirs and memorabilia with a castle theme. Listen to tales of legends and aristocratic families from a docent in one of the rooms.
The castle is majestic at night, when lights generate a white glow. Reserve a spot at one of the banquet dinners that take place twice per evening. Singers, harpists and poetry readings are among the entertainment. Dine in candlelight and immerse yourself in the medieval good cheer.
Learn the history of the castle, which the O’Hynes clan constructed in 1520. Hear about its former inhabitants, including Galway’s 17th-century mayor and his family. The castle takes its name from King Guaire from the 7th century. It was reconstructed in the 1920s, when it became a hub for literary masters such as George Bernard Shaw and W.B. Yeats.
The castle and its banquets are open between April and mid-October. There is a small fee to enter the castle, which is open from morning until late afternoon.
Walk east along the coast for just over 10 minutes from the main part of Kinvara to reach Dunguaire Castle. It stands on a small outcrop jutting into Galway Bay. Drive south around the bay for 1 hour from the city of Galway to reach the castle.