Offshore Islands

Offshore Islands

Gola Island - Gabhla


Gola Island
Republic of Ireland

Gola Island, or in Gaelic Gabhla, is the ideal destination for a walker seeking an 'off the beaten track' walk.

Gola Island, less than 2km from the mainland at Gaoth Dobhair (Gweedore), has been uninhabited since the 1960's. Evidence of the Island's heritage remains, though, in the form of stone cottages of families who have long since moved to the mainland.

The launching of a regular ferry service and the growing interest in ecology and cliff climbing is bringing back new life to the Island. Ferries now leave from Magheragallan (Machaire Gathlan) County Donegal.

Gola Island is a haven for artists, birdwatchers, photographers, walkers and rock climbers. Near the Island's lake, bird life abounds; cormorants, razorbills, guillemots as well as gannets and kittiwakes can be admired.

Towering cliffs provide some of Europe's finest challenges for rock climbers, on immaculate granite with amazing friction. With long sandy beaches, gorgeous oceanic scenery and an abundance of angling opportunities, the visitor to this island is guaranteed a unique and memorable experience.

Gola can be explored in a few hours over easy walking terrain. Once on the Island it is difficult to comprehend that you are just a short distance from mainland Donegal, one feels a world away.

Services ProvidedKEY
  • IrishSpoken
General DescriptionsKEY
  • Activities : Rock climbing (one of the best in Europe), guided walks, swimming, birdwatching, photography and art.
  • Population : Up to 35 in main season. A Gaeltacht island.
  • Size : 328 hectares
  • When to visit : Busiest time is July and August. Best time to visit is May / June and Sept / Oct.

Sailings from Machaire Gathlán.
Seod Ghabhla
Daily July and Aug.
Other times by booking.
Capacity: 12 Passengers
Tel: +353(0)87 6607003


Prehistoric kitchen middens; Sea arch at Scoilt Uí Dhugáin; Leac Cuimhneacháin Ché Thrá na mBlathán – memorial to islanders lost at sea; Cladach na Croiche – hanging rock; original examples of Gabhla Longhouses (the island’s vernacular cottage architecture).

Things To Do Nearby

Summer festivals