Gola Island in western Donegal is the epicenter of the Donegal climbing scene with well over 200 single pitch routes from Diff to E5 on the Granite sea cliffs and inland outcrops scattered throughout the island. In the main the rock is immaculate sea washed granite with only some of the sheltered zawns containing sections of loose rock.
What Gola Island provides is outstanding rock climbing in a wild, remote and truly beautiful setting. The island sits far out in County Donegal's rainshadow and it is not unusual to be climbing on the island in bright sunshine and blue skies whilst the rest of the county is under a deluge of heavy rain.
The daily Gola ferry service is ran by Sabba Curran (+353 (0) 872245881) and as the Gola pier is tidal it is always best to give him a call to book a sailing prior to leaving home.
By far the best place to stay on the island is to wild camp between the Loch and the sandy beach at the head of the huge sea inlet on the western side of the island, this campsite allows an easy 10 minute walk to all of the islands climbing locations and provides an outstanding place to wake up on a summers morning.
Pretty much all of Gola Islands sea cliffs require calm sea's to safely climb on them. If the sea is bouncing from the South West then the Binatok Bay and the North West Zawn offer sheltered climbing. If the sea is bouncing from the west then there are the two inland crags which both offer non tidal climbing on immaculate rock. An alternative to the climbing on Gola and which does not require the use of a ferry service or camping is Cruit Island. Cruit Island offers the same excellent sea cliff climbing (on slightly lower sea cliffs) and is not prone to the same big seas as Gola.
For all the other rock climbing locations found throughout Donegal and for more PDF guidebook downloads visit Undiscovered Donegal.
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