Traveling to the Abbey

By Plane

It is best to fly to Halifax (YHZ). When booking your flight, try to arrive at Halifax airport the day before your arrival date. If that is entirely impossible, arrive as early as possible in time to catch the shuttle departing the airport at 8:30 am, making sure to leave time for plane delays and customs and immigration clearance. Return flights should be scheduled no earlier than 5:00 pm.

Arrival and Departure Shuttle at Gampo Abbey via Shuttle from Halifax

For those arriving and departing via the Halifax airport, you will need to take a shuttle to get to the Abbey. Our office coordinator will arrange shuttle reservations for you. Contact our office coordinator at 902-224-2752 or at office@gampoabbey.org.

Traveling by Car From Mainland of Nova Scotia

  1. Take the Trans-Canada 104 to the causeway to Cape Breton Island.
  2. Take 105 off the traffic circle there to Whycocomagh (also the highway to Baddeck and Sydney).
  3. Turn left at Whycocomagh to 395 then follow highway past Lake Ainslie, Scotsville and Upper Margaree to T-intersection (about 50 kms.) Turn right and follow highway to the next T-intersection at Margaree Forks. (5-10 min.)
  4. Turn left and continue through Cheticamp and over MacKenzie Mountain through the Highlands National Park to Pleasant Bay.
  5. Turn left at the sign to Red River, at a disused gas station. Proceed along this paved road and you will enter the small township of Red River where the road becomes gravel/dirt across a small bridge.
  6. Keep going for the another 3 kms or so and watch for the Gampo Abbey sign on your left. The parking area is just beyond the Abbey, on the right.

Driving Times (approximate):

  • Halifax to Antigonish 3 Hrs.
  • Antigonish to Whycocomagh 1 Hr.
  • Whycocomagh to Cheticamp 1 Hr.
  • Cheticamp to Gampo Abbey 1 Hr.

Total Trip: 5.5 to 6.5 hours

Gas and Weather – Be Prepared

The last gas stations on your way are in Cheticamp.

Weather on MacKenzie Mountain can be intense. During Spring, Fall, and Winter, if there is any risk of snow or freezing rain, ask for road conditions before leaving Cheticamp or phone 800-307-7669 or 902-224-2041.

Traveling by Train to Truro, Nova Scotia

Take the East-bound Via Rail train (800-561-8630) to Truro, Nova Scotia. The Montreal train, which runs daily except Tuesdays, arrives in Truro at 2:26 p.m. Please confirm this as schedules change. The Acadian Bus stops at the Truro bus station at 2:35 pm. This makes for a very tight connection and will only work if both Via Rail and the Truro bus station (902-895-3833) are notified that you need to make this connection. It saves time if you carry on your luggage instead of checking it. The return trip gets you to Truro at 1 pm in plenty of time for the 3:08 pm Truro-to-Montreal train.

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Gampo Abbey
Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton,  NS B0E 2P0
Tel. 902-224-2752    Email:

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