Oban is the largest town in Argyll and the Isles, and is known as both the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ and the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland.’ Due to the town’s easy acessibility to the western Scottish isles many people simply pass through Oban without taking the time to appreciate the beauty and the vast array of visitor attractions that are available.
With so many activities, tourist attractions and restaurants to choose from in Oban it can be difficult to know where to begin. So we’ve pulled together this handy guide outlining the top spots that you have to visit on your trip to Oban.
The most outstanding feature within Oban is McCaig’s Tower. The tower was built in 1897 by local banker John McCaig with the aim of providing wok for local stonemasons, and to serve as a lasting legacy for the McCaig family. The tower is 10 minutes uphill from the centre of town but provides spectacular views over Oban and onto the neighbouring islands.
Oban distillery is nestled beneath the steep cliff that overlooks Oban. Built in 1794 the distillery is one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt whisky. The distillery offers tours, where you will be taken around by a knowledgeable guide and get to explore part of the whisky making process. The tour finishes with a sample of the Oban 14-year-old single malt.
Dunollie Castle and Museum
Dunollie Castle is a small ruined castle located on a hill north of the town of Oban and was once a formidable stronghold of Clan MacDougall. Visitors to the castle and museum can learn all about its history, the MacDougall family and life on the west coast of Scotland.
Tourists can also explore the 1745 Laird’s House which holds objects and artefacts from the era. There is also fantastic woodland area surrounding the castle to explore, with the castle ruin themselves offering stunning views across Oban Bay.
The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary
The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary rescues and cares for seals and other marine animals, before releasing them into the wild when they’re well enough. Visitors can explore over 30 fascinating natural marine habitats containing everything from Octopus to Sharks.
Every day there are a range of talks and feeding demonstrations from the team of marine experts, where you can get the chance to hand feed some of the sharks!
Basking Shark Tours
Unleash your inner dare devil and swim with sharks on Oban’s one-day basking shark tour. The tour begins at 8a.m. and takes around 2 hours to sail to Coll and Tiree.
On the journey you will travel through prime wildlife country where you might catch a glimpse of whales, dolphins, porpoises and much more! Once a shark has been spotted, the crew will monitor its behaviour and if it looks to be relaxed you will be allowed to get in the water!
This is just a fraction of the activities that await you on your trip to Oban! When there, make sure to book a trip on our open top bus tour in the town. Find out more here!