Preparing to Come to Gampo Abbey

Located on the northwestern coast of Cape Breton Island on the beautiful Cabot Trail, Gampo Abbey is surrounded by meadows and wooded hills rising above the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

If you would like to locate Gampo Abbey on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, try the Travel Maps link. If you are travelling by car, information on possible route(s) are provided through the Car link. If you are flying you will arrive in Halifax and need to take a bus to one of the pick-up points. Information is provided on possible bus routes. Cape Breton is famous for its striking scenery and rich cultural heritage. Additional pictures of the surrounding country can be found off the Points of Interest link.

Here is a Quicktime VR movie of the Abbey and the landscape around it. Drag your mouse over the image to pan across and up and down. Press Shift to zoom in; press Control to zoom out.

(If you can't see the Abbey in the movie, you might need to download the Quicktime plug-in.)

Travel Information We Need

1. If driving: Please confirm your travel plans with the office as soon as possible so that we will be prepared for your arrival.

2. If you are being picked-up/dropped-off in Baddeck: The trip from Baddeck to the Abbey is about 2 1/2 hours. To uphold the container of the monastic environment at the Abbey we try to keep traveling to a minimum. Therefore we ask that you contact the office manager (office@gampoabbey.org) as soon as you have decided on a date of arrival so that we can coordinate pick-up. There may be other people arriving the same day or week and it helps considerably if we can arrange same day pick-up.

3. We will need to know the following:

  1. Name and telephone/email contact.
  2. Are you driving? If so, will you be traveling through Halifax?
  3. Are you willing to offer a lift to others?
  4. Are you taking a bus or shuttle to Baddeck? If so, what is the date and arrival time in Baddeck and which company will you be traveling with?

Gampo Abbey Transportation Fees

The Abbey will provide transportation to residents and in-house guests needing to make trips to and from the Abbey, please contact the office manager for more information.

What to Bring

1. Clothing and Footwear: See the Resident's Handbook for dress appropriate for a monastic environment. Those planning on receiving ordination may wish to bring sleeveless saffron (yellow) tops, long-sleeved maroon or saffron shirts, and maroon socks.

We do not wear outdoor shoes inside the Abbey, so you should bring slippers or indoor shoes.

  • June: Hat, light coat, warm sweater, boots for the mud
  • July–August: Light clothes, light coat, warm sweater, bathing suit, shorts
  • Year-round: Be prepared for cold, windy, wet weather; boots, water-resistant outer-wear, hats, ice-grippers, etc. are appropriate. A raincoat and one set of dress clothes for special occasions.

2. Linen: The Abbey provides sheets, blankets and towels. However, you can bring your own if you wish.

3. Toiletries: Bring what you will need during your stay or plan to purchase them in town. The Abbey does not supply them. Earplugs if needed as some people snore.

4. Other Helpful Items: You may bring your own oryoki set or use one provided by the Abbey. For the audiocassette library, a walkman is very useful. A flashlight (remember to bring batteries), coffee/tea mug, and study materials (notebook, pens, etc.) may also be nice to have.

A meditation cushion will be provided for you. You do not need to bring your own cushion.

Learn more about meditation and buddhism at shambhala.org
Read more about meditation and buddhism at shambhalatimes.org


Search our website

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

Shambhala, Shambhala Meditation Center, Shambhala Training, Shambhala Center and Way of Shambhala are registered service marks of Shambhala International (Vajradhatu).   Website by Blue Mandala