Oban, Argyll

Destinations and maps


Its name derives from the Gaelic language and means 'little bay', but when it comes to having an unforgettable break, Oban is definitely a place which is big on things to see and do. Surrounded by miles of dramatic coast and beautiful countryside, the seaside town is also known as the Gateway to the Isles, as a number of ferries depart from its main port and travel to the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

Set sail

Take a day trip to one of the surrounding islands and discover the splendour of the Inner Hebrides. You could pack three into one day and take a tour of Mull, Iona and Staffa. Or visit Kerrera, the closest island to Oban, and enjoy a pleasant stroll along the island's track roads and explore the ruins of Gylen Castle, one-time stronghold of the MacDougalls of Lorne.

In and around Oban

With so much to see and do in the surrounding area, Oban makes a brilliant touring base. Outwith the town you could spend days exploring castles, gardens, villages, beaches, forests, and fun and unusual attractions, from the power station hollowed into a mountain to the aquarium which doubles as a seal rescue centre.

Oban itself is compact and it's easy to get round on foot. There are plenty of small galleries and independent stores to browse through, as well as the centrally-located local distillery, chocolate shop, and museum. Wander along the seafront to the ruined Dunollie Castle and the sandy beaches beyond - often, the sunsets are phenomenal. When it's time to relax or refuel, take your pick from the town's offering of pubs, cafés and restaurants.

Seafood heaven

Oban prides itself on many things, but perhaps none more so than its claim to the title of Scotland's Seafood Capital. The town has a longstanding fishing heritage, and abundance of establishments serving local fish and shellfish. Book a table at an award-winning restaurant to try elegantly prepared dishes, or tuck into hot, freshly cooked seafood and hearty sandwiches, straight from eateries on the pier.

Learn about the Barbed Harpoon Point, which was found in Oban's MacArthur Cave, in the new Scotland's History in 25 Objects eBook

Travel in Oban

Getting here 

Driving from Glasgow or Edinburgh takes between two and a half hours and three hours. If coming from Glasgow, there are two route options - follow the A82 via the west side of Loch Lomond, or take the A83 over the Rest and be Thankful and via Inveraray. Oban can also be easily reached by train from Glasgow or by timetabled coach from Glasgow or Inverness. Oban Airport lies 5 miles out of the town and serves the islands of Coll, Tiree, Islay and Colonsay.

Get to Oban now!

Getting around 

West Coast Motors operate bus service routes around Oban and to the surrounding villages north and south of the town. Trains to Glasgow also stop at a number of villages along the railway line, including Connel, Taynuilt, Loch Awe and Dalmally. Local companies offer car rentals, and you can also take advantage of taxi services. When it comes to transport on the water to the surrounding islands, ferries are operated by CalMac or you can even charter small passenger boats.

Plan your trip around Oban

Cookie Policy

VisitScotland uses cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By using our website you consent to our use of cookies. Please read our new privacy and cookies statement for more information.