Beara is an oasis of heritage sites. Let Baoi Tours take you on a journey to some of these archaeological gems and allow them to conjure up a deep connection with our spiritual past. These sacred sites span in age from over two thousand years ago to the present day. Take time out for peacefulness and tranquillity with only wind and waves to break the silence.
Beara is a place steeped in its own history, connection to a pagan ancestry is palpable in the megalithic monuments that litter the landscape. Eyeries church’s stained glass celebrates our ancients, and nearby stone spirit, The Cailleach Beara’s fossilised remains overlook Coulagh bay awaiting the return of her husband, sea god Manannan. Let your spirit soar at the site of The Hag of Beara; leave a coin or trinket as you pass.
Evidence suggests that Christianity was in Beara long before St. Patrick; a cleric named Caitighearn was brought from France in the 3rd century by Beara sea traders Na Luingseachain (now Lynches). We visit the site of his church.
Mass Rocks were sites where mass was said in whispers during the Penal Times of the late 17th century, a time when Catholicism was forbidden. Feel the trepidation that must have accompanied the worshipers at this isolated Mass Rock where they gathered for their clandestine masses.
The spiritual tour incorporates further sites, including Ireland’s first Buddhist Temple at Dzogchen Beara, and a Methodist church built by Cornish miners in the mid 19th century. Coffee and cake or lunch, either at the Buddhist Centre’s café or The Copper Mine café, is inclusive of the price.
Your guide, Carina from Garnish, is a member of the Beara Historical Society. A writer and storyteller, she conducts guided historical tours throughout the Beara Peninsula in South West Ireland. She aims to give the visitor an appreciation of the deep history, culture and dramatic beauty that is Beara. Her Mountain Skills qualifications are accredited by Mountaineering Ireland, and she operates under their ‘leave no trace’ policy. Carina is passionate about the layers of history woven into the landscape, and deeply appreciative of the magnificent environment that surrounds her. Her interests include the sustainability and protection of life in rural Ireland.
Private and specialised tours arranged by request, buses arranged. Accommodation and restaurant bookings can also be organised. Please contact Carina for further details.
‘group tours in French and German available on request.’
Discover the tranquillity and beauty of the Beara Peninsula on its bedrock of crystal.
Beara has often been called the treasure of Ireland’s South West coastline with its raw and rugged shoreline and breath-taking scenery. By car, bus or foot, Baoi Walking Tours combine folklore and local tradition whilst uncovering layers of history hidden within the landscape of this beautiful Peninsula; discover megalithic monuments, ruined vestiges of a vanished Gaelic aristocracy, Napoleonic war towers, and chimneys of the Industrial Revolution while enjoying the peninsula’s dramatic beauty. Learn about Irish mythology and legends of pirates, copper miners, lighthouse rescues, and The Bull, Cow and Calf Rocks. Wildflower and wildlife identification also included in the tours.
About the name
The Irish for Dursey Island, Oileán Baoi, recalls the ancient goddess Baoi. A version of the Cailleach Bhéarra (the Hag of Beara), she was a wise woman known throughout Ireland and Scotland. Her legacy lives on in many local name places e.g. Dunboy (Dun Baoi), Ballaghboy, Boharbui. Early names for Baoi meant ‘cow-like one’ and this bovine association has influenced the names of the nearby rocks, The Bull the Cow and the Calf which stand in the sea next to Dursey.
The Cailleach Beara’s fossilised remains overlook Coulagh bay, Eyeries, awaiting the return of her husband, sea god Manannan.