While many seasoned travellers and new experience seekers enjoy island hopping in exotic locations like Thailand or Mexico, our very own Oban boasts its island gems which are just as unique and picturesque.
With a multitude of regular boat tours departing from Oban every day, our guests often love the adventure that island hopping around Oban brings. Here’s why exploring the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides is so rewarding:
- Walking and Cycling – Kerrera, the closest island to Oban, is just 7km long and about 2km in width and its beautiful landscape and quiet roads make it a haven for cyclists and walkers. A ferry from Oban can get you to the island treat in a matter of minutes, making it perfect for guests at our castle who love cycling and walking against stunning backdrops. You can also see Gylen Castle while you’re there!
- Animal Spotting – Lismore is home to otters, seals and numerous birds making it a slice of heaven for animal and avian lovers. At ten miles long, the island is suitable for being explored on bike or foot, though there are limited car spaces on the car ferry from Oban which leaves every hour. Alternatively, you could take the ten-minute journey on the passenger ferry from Port Appin.
- Cave Exploring – The Inner Hebrides island of Staffa in Argyll and Bute is famous for its awesome deep caves and spectacular basalt columns, which are best to visit in the morning. There are many opportunities to venture deep inside the incredibly symmetric and mighty 227-foot Fingals Cave on tours when the weather permits.
- Castle Visiting – With the ferry journey from Oban to Mull taking a convenient 40 minutes you can discover the ‘ancient clan castle’ of Duart with its 13th century keep in no time. Better yet, you can catch traditional and charming events at the castle all year round. The Isle of Mull is also known as ‘Scotland’s Eagle Island’ for its large sea eagle population. You can find tips for bird watching on the island here.
- Historical Discovery – The Isle of Iona is often heralded as a beacon of Christianity. On the small isle you can admire the 13th – 16th century architecture of the Abbey’s church, explore St Oran’s Chapel, which according to folklore is the lasting resting place of Scottish Kings, and feast your eyes on St Columba’s Shrine, built in the 9th/10th century and still standing!
Note: Staffa Tours offer a popular tour of all three island treasures, Mull, Iona and Staffa, from Oban encompassing the magnificent Fingal’s Cave, Iona’s historic abbey and the soaring sea eagles circling over Mull.
- Sand Dune Admiring – Another unique Inner Hebrides Island near Oban is the Isle of Coll. A tranquil nature retreat and sparsely populated, Coll’s beaches boast remarkably high and distinctive sand dunes, some of which can reach impressive heights of up to 35 metres! As well as beaches, you can treat yourself to climbing, sailing, kayaking and golf by day and star gazing at night, since there are no streetlights on the island, the Dark Sky is as dazzling as it is twinkling! The ferry journey departing from Oban to Coll takes just over two and a half hours.