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Gabhla (Gola Island)
Gola -Gabhla, Co. Donegal
The stresses of the modern world rarely penetrate this 328 hectares oasis of peace and quiet, less than 2km from the Donegal mainland. Gola Island is a haven for artists, birdwatchers, photographers, walkers and rock climbers.

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.

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Tips from locals

The ferry, the MV Cricket, travels seven days a week from June to September.

Dog friendly
Hidden gem
Family friendly
Contact details
Gola Island, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Visit duration

We recommend planning to spend 3 to 5 hours here.

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