The Cailleach Beara is one of the oldest living mythological beings associated with Ireland. Called Baoi, she is one of the original great land Goddesses. She never got old! It was said “she passed into seven periods of youth, so that every husband used to pass to death from her, of old age, so that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were peoples and races.” The ultimate Earth Mother, she was the source of fertility and female power. As a corn goddess, she was a protector of wild nature.
Let Beara Baoi Tours take you to Kilcatherine where you can learn more about the Cailleach. We visit her fossilised remains which overlook Ballycrovane bay as she awaits the return of her husband, sea god Manannan, now sitting as a stone herself in her landscape of stone.
An old mining village nestled between the Sliabh Miskish Mountains and Ballydonegan Bay, Allihies boasts a vibrant community of artists. The light and energy of the place has long been synonymous with Irish Art. This tour allows you to visit artists in their homes and studios as well as the area that inspires them. With an option to buy, this tour gives visitors a unique opportunity to engage with local artists.
Dursey Island, accessible by Ireland’s only cable car, offers one of the most exciting day trips in Ireland. Learn of Pre-Christian divinities, Vikings, monks, mariners, bishops, press gangs, pirates and shipwrecks which are all part of the island’s story.
Dursey often found itself central to religious and political turmoil; The Napoleonic Wars, Elizabethan massacres and quarrelling Gaelic chieftains have all left their mark. Standing stones, holy wells, ancient monasteries, the Signal Tower and the O’Sullivan Bere’s family tomb stand as a testimony to the island’s past. Stories of the Bull Rock lighthouse and the 1881 Calf Rock rescue are all recalled on this tour.
Dursey Island is one of only 15 signature discovery points located along the Wild Atlantic Way. The views from the Dursey include Scariff and Deenish islands, the mountains of Iveragh, Skellig Michael and to the south the Mizen and Sheep’s Head. Dolphins, whales, seals, and otters are regular visitors to the rich waters that surround Dursey.
Dursey is 6.5 km long and 1.5 km wide and has no shops, pubs or restaurants, so walkers are advised to bring food and water.
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.