Oban
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Oban Culture & History

From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

1. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

Explore the stunning lochs and castles of the Western Highlands on this small group tour from Glasgow. You'll see the superb ruins of Kilchurn on Loch Awe, the bustling west coast harbor town of Oban, and the dramatic beauty of Glencoe. Depart Glasgow at 8:30 AM and travel through gorgeous Glen Fruin, driving parallel with Loch Long. You'll then cross the Highland boundary, where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically–the flat plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Continue your drive over the Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass before traveling through the Arrochar Alps. You'll then arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. From here you will drive along the shore of Scotland’s longest loch, Loch Awe, where you'll stop to take photos of Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin right in the middle of Loch Awe and the former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane. You will then continue to the harbor town of Oban, gateway to the Isles, where you will eat lunch. After lunch you'll travel north along the coast around Appin, passing imposing Castle Stalker, and into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain Ben Lomond. The last stop of the day will be in Luss, an 18th-century conservation village with old workers' cottages, built for the laborers of the estate.

From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe & West Highland Castles Day Tour

2. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe & West Highland Castles Day Tour

On this tour, you will experience the shimmering lochs, scenic mountain views, and romantic and historic castles of the western highlands. From Glasgow cross the Firth of Clyde, passing Dumbarton's famous and imposing rock fortress. The first stop is the pretty conservation village of Luss, on the 'Bonny, Bonny Banks' of Loch Lomond. Here you can walk along the shore or stay to admire the village. Pass several dramatic castles and lochs as the tour climb into the Highlands. Make a stop for lunch at the fishing town of Oban. Journey on a southern route that takes you past the spectacular Kilchurn Castle, majestically situated on Loch Awe. Our final stop is Inveraray, the historic seat of the Duke of Argyll, where you can choose to either visit Inveraray Castle (April-October only) or explore the town’s Georgian houses and wide streets. Return to Glasgow via the Rest and Be Thankful pass.

From Edinburgh: Islay and The Whisky Coast 4-Day Tour

3. From Edinburgh: Islay and The Whisky Coast 4-Day Tour

Explore Islay and become a whisky expert on this unique 4-day tour. Sit back and enjoy the action-packed itinerary as you are driven in style in a luxury minicoach. And learn about the long history and traditions of this special Island. Discover everything Islay has to offer, from stunning sandy beaches to fascinating wildlife and a vibrant local culture. And try the famous Islay whiskies, renowned for their strong peaty flavors and nurtured by the salty sea air. Day 1 On day 1 you’ll travel through Loch Lomond National Park, with visits to Inveraray, Loch Fyne and the Kingdom of Dalriada. Here you can see the Kilmartin standing stones and community museum before catching the ferry to Islay for 3 nights in Bowmore. Day 2 Day 2 gives you the flexibility to visit the lovely sandy bays of Islay’s west coast, Saligo Bay, Kilchoman Distillery, Machair Bay, the tiny harbor village of Portnahaven, Bruichladdich Distillery, Ardnahoe Distillery, and the Islay Museum. Day 3 On day 3 you’ll explore the south side of Islay followed by a tour, tasting and lunch with local produce at Ardbeg. Other options include the ruins of Kildalton church or a visit to the community craft producers at Islay House Square and the woodlands along the River Sorn. Day 4 On day 4 you’ll take the ferry back to Argyll and the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. Lunch will be at Kilmartin, home to 350 pre-historic monuments and stone circles, with some free time in Oban before returning to Edinburgh via Glasgow.

Isle of Mull and Iona 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

4. Isle of Mull and Iona 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

On your first day, saunter around Loch Lomond in the pretty village of Luss. Find the perfect spot to drink a coffee and sing the ‘Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.’ Journey with your driver through the unforgettable landscapes of Glencoe before a lunch stop at the traditional Clachaig Inn. Hop on a 10-minute ferry to a mountainous peninsula and travel to the port of Lochaline. Board another ferry and make your way to the east coast of Mull. Admire the abundant wild nature in Aros Park, a beautiful area boasting waterfalls and forest footpaths. In the early evening, arrive in Tobermory with time to wander where you will spend the night. The next morning travel past epic mountains to the south of Mull. Take a ferry to two of the most mysterious and dramatic locations in the region, Iona Abbey and Fingal’s Cave. After satisfying your adventurous spirit, head north back to Tobermory where you can perhaps try the seafood before your second overnight stay. On the third day, travel south to Craignure and catch a ferry back to the mainland. When you arrive in Oban, taste the fantastic local seafood and wander around this Victorian harbor town. Venture to Kilmartin Glen, an archaeologist’s dream. Discover around 800 ancient monuments, including burial chambers, rock carvings, standing stones, castles and more within this area. Enjoy learning about the significance of these monuments from your driver-guide. Make a final overnight stop in Inverary, a gorgeous little town which boasts an impressive view over Loch Fyne. Return to Glasgow the following morning.

Iona, Mull, and Isle of Skye: 5-Day Tour from Edinburgh

5. Iona, Mull, and Isle of Skye: 5-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Spend 5 spectacular days exploring the unruly beauty and fascinating history of the Scottish west coast, and visiting 4 of its beautiful islands. On your second day, take a ferry to explore the dramatic coastlines of the island of Mull, and then continue to the island of Iona to visit its ancient abbey and craggy cliff-side. Take advantage of the opportunity to take a small boat to Staffa to explore its beautiful basalt columns, and spend the majority of your third day exploring the famous Isle of Skye. Day 1: Edinburgh – Loch Lomond – Oban Your first day of the journey takes you north past Stirling Castle, and then west to Scotland’s first National Park near Loch Lomond. Travel through the mountains of the West Highlands, passing the magnificent white-washed town of Inveraray, and spend the afternoon in the heart of Argyll before arriving to bustling town of Oban, the gateway to the islands, for your 2-night stay. Day 2: Oban – Mull – Iona Begin early with a ferry ride across the Mull and spend the morning exploring the island’s dramatic coastlines and wild beauty, before taking the small ferry to Iona – the birthplace of Celtic Christianity and ancient burial ground of Scottish Kings. Visit the historic abbey and its intricate carved crosses or explore the rocky headlands and sandy coves of this island gem. There is also an opportunity to take a small boat out to the island of Staffa (except Saturday departures in September) and view the dramatic basalt columns immortalized by Mendelssohn in his Hebridean Overture “Fingal’s Cave”. You then return on the ferry to Oban for your second night. Day 3: Oban – Glencoe – Plockton Today takes you north along the west coast around Appin, passing the impregnable Castle Stalker and Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. You then pass through Fort William nestling in the shadow of Ben Nevis which at 1,344 meters is the highest mountain in the British Isles. The tour continues through the Great Glen, a natural fault in the earth’s crust that runs through Scotland and on through Ireland. From here you travel north to the picturesque fishing village of Plockton. You are then dropped off at your accommodation in the early evening. Day 4: Flexible Day  Your fourth day of the journey is very flexible, with many possibilities (depending on the weather). Your driver/guide will use his/her local knowledge to decide on the best day out for the group, which could include traveling north to the stunning Quiraing mountain pass for a walk through some of Skye’s extraordinary geological scenery or a visit to the Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns and cascading waterfalls. After lunch, you may travel to Neist Point for a walk out to the lighthouse at the most westerly point on Skye, or you may pay a visit to Dunvegan Castle, ancient ancestral seat of the Clan McLeod, returning to your accommodation in Plockton in the late afternoon to enjoy a free evening in the village. Day 5: Loch Duich – Loch Ness – Edinburgh You will be collected from your accommodation and travel south through the Cuillin Hills, stopping to visit the famous stronghold Eilean Donan Castle, before traveling east to take in the stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Onto Loch Ness for lunch and the possibility of spotting “Nessie,” and then head south through the Grampian mountains and long Loch Laggan, passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland’s highest whisky Distillery. Stop in at Perthshire for some refreshments before heading back to Edinburgh over the Forth Road Bridge, arriving at approximately 19:00.

Scotland: West Highlands, Mull and Iona 4-Day Tour

6. Scotland: West Highlands, Mull and Iona 4-Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the scenic splendor and ancient history of Scotland’s West Highlands, and the Hebridean islands of Mull and Iona on a relaxed small group sightseeing tour. The 4-day adventure is by comfortable climate controlled Mercedes minibus for a more intimate and personal experience. Drive across the mountain pass of the Rest and Be Thankful, discover the scene of the infamous Clan MacDonald massacre, marvel at the baronial Inveraray Castle, meander through the mountains of Morven, and much more. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and travel north past Stirling Castle to the bustling town of Callander. From here, continue through Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and the bristling Trossachs, before reaching the remote expanse of Rannoch Moor, one of the largest wilderness areas left in Europe. A short drive north brings you to Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of Clan MacDonald in 1692. Take a short ferry ride across Loch Linnhe to explore the impressive mountains of Morven. At Lochaline, take another ferry to the Hebridean island of Mull. A short drive brings you to Tobermory, the island’s capital and location for your 3-night stay. Tobermory, meaning “Well of Mary,” is one of the prettiest harbor towns in Scotland with its brightly painted houses overlooking the sea. Day 2: This is a leisurely day, with a drive to the more remote areas of the island. Visit the pretty settlement of Dervaig, with its own festival theater, and Kilmore Church, with its round steeple. From here, venture to the wild thrashing sandy shores of Calgary Bay. If you are lucky you might see the sea eagles that live in the area. An early afternoon return to Tobermory will provide the chance to soak up the atmosphere of the pretty town, with a chance to peruse the small shops, and the local Tobermory Whisky Distillery. Day 3: Bask in the glory of Mull, as you head south to Fionnphort to take a passenger ferry to the small Island of Iona. Iona is an island of quiet charm, lapped by glorious turquoise waters. Located in the cradle of Celtic Christianity with the arrival of St. Columba in 563 AD, enjoy plenty of time to explore the Abbey and its museum of Celtic heritage. Visit the magnificent Celtic crosses and headstones, or enjoy a stroll along the quiet sandy beaches. In the afternoon there will be the chance to catch a small boat to the Island of Staffa, where nature enthusiasts can look for the abundant marine life. With its basalt columns of 5 and 6-sided hexagonal stepping stones, Staffa and Fingal’s Cave are an amazing tribute to the effects of nature and are known locally as “Nature’s Cathedral.” After a great day outdoors, return to Tobermory for the night. Day 4: Depart Tobermory and head south to Craignure, the main ferry terminal for the short crossing to Oban. Continue west to the whitewashed 18-century town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. Marvel at Inveraray Castle’s mix of Scots Baronial and Neo Gothic architecture, featured in an episode of the TV miniseries “Downtown Abbey.” Next, go to the National Park of Loch Lomond and climb more than 800 feet to the “Rest and Be Thankful” mountain pass before hugging the shores of Loch Long and Loch Lomond. Continue towards Stirling, with opportunities for impressive photos of the castle, before your early evening drop off in Edinburgh.

Oban: Guided Town Highlights Walking Tour

7. Oban: Guided Town Highlights Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the town of Oban on this guided walking tour. Feel like a local as you hear about the town' s facinating stories and traditions. Discover the town's top sights and follow your guide to some hidden gems.  Meet your guide and start your walking tour. Make your way to sights like the 18th century Oban Distillery which is known for producing a signature malt whisky. Learn about the SS Breda Shipwreck as you look out to where it rests in the seabed of Ardmucknish Bay.  Stop to snap a picture of the War and Peace Museum. Admire the Ancient Roman architecture of McCaigs Tower which is perched atop Battery Hill. Return to your meeting point at the end of your tour. 

Isle of Skye, Oban, St Andrews and Highlands 5-Day Tour

8. Isle of Skye, Oban, St Andrews and Highlands 5-Day Tour

Departing from Edinburgh, travel through Scotland’s Central Belt to Glasgow, here there's time to visit the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, opened in 1901. Then cross the Kingston Bridge over the River Clyde and head north to the village of Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond. Next, it’s onwards and upwards over the steep pass of 'Rest and be Thankful' in the village of Inveraray, a town lapped by the sea water of Loch Fyne and famed for its oysters and seafood. Next head to Dunadd Iron Age Fort, the coronation site of kings and queens of Dalriada, the ancient Gaelic speaking kingdom. Follow in the footsteps of kings and queens and take the steep but thankfully short path to the summit of the hill. After a stop at Kilmartin Museum, drive through the stunning Argyll scenery to the bustling port and fishing town of Oban, the location of your first night’s stay. In the morning discover the beautiful Glencoe, considered to be the most impressive glen in Scotland. After a short hike and photograph stop, head to the Glenfinnan Monument and Viaduct. Fom Glenfinnan travel to Fort William where you have two options – a tour of Ben Nevis Whisky distillery or a visit to Inverlochy Castle and Neptune’s Staircase. Time to head north and arrive at the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Your route then takes you into some of the most spectacular scenery in all of the Highlands as you pass through Glenshiel and the iconic Five Sisters of Kintail to the meeting point of 3 sea lochs – Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh – the wonderful setting for Eilean Donan Castle. On Day 3, explore the sights of the Trotternish Peninsula to the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing, hear about the local folklore of how the Fairies, Fishermen and Giants created the landscape. Next, visit the Museum of Island Life, and then loop around north Skye to take in magnificent views across the sea, east to the Torridon Mountains and west to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Journey onto the Cuillin Mountains and travel through Kyle of Lochalsh to the unbelievably pretty village of Plockton. At Plockton there is the option of taking a one-hour cruise or a short hike through nearby woodland. In the evening, visit a local highland pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. On Day 4, visit Kessock bridge and then head to the North West Highlands. The first stop of the day is at Corrieshalloch Gorge, Scotland’s deepest gorge, and then onto the legendary North Coast 500 Route traveling passed towering peaks to the ancient ruin of Ardvreck Castle. After this fascinating slice of Scottish history, head to the very wonderful Knockan Crag to learn more about the incredible geology of this area, next head to the pretty ferry port and fishing town of Ullapool. After lunch, travel to Rogie Falls and find frothing water cascading down the falls and gentle trails among the forest. From Rogie Falls it’s a short drive to the town of Beauly, the one time favorite town of Mary Queen of Scots. On the last day the first stop is Clava Cairns, the site of incredible standing stones and burial chambers dating back to at least 4000 years ago. Culloden Battlefield is the next stop location of the last battle to be fought on British soil. Onto Cairngorms National Park next, and then the final stop of the tour at the ancient east Fife town of St Andrews. This medieval walled town is home to St Andrews University, the oldest in Scotland, as well St Andrews Cathedral. It’s always hard to drag yourself away from St Andrews but in the early evening it's time to start winding your way through the fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, across the Forth Road Bridge with views of the 1890 Railway Bridge and the 2017 Queensferry Crossing, and back into Edinburgh.

From Glasgow: Oban, Lochs & Inveraray Day Tour

9. From Glasgow: Oban, Lochs & Inveraray Day Tour

Depart Glasgow and travel to Loch Lomond (the largest expanse of fresh water in the country) where you will stop off at the conservation village of Luss for coffee and sightseeing. Then head deep into the Highlands, passing through breathtaking scenery (including views along Loch Awe, the longest loch in Scotland). The countryside here is rich with history and you will pass the haunting Kilchurn Castle (historically a stronghold of the Campbell Clan) and the Pass of Brander (where Robert the Bruce had a notable victory). By lunchtime, you'll have reached Oban where you will have time to explore this Victorian seaside town, climb up to McCaig's Tower, take in the views to the isles of Mull and Kerrera and try some of the freshest seafood you've ever tasted. On the way back to Glasgow, you'll visit the seat of the Campbell Clan at Inveraray, where you'll stop to enjoy ice-cream, homemade sweets, cakes and coffee and drink in the beauty of Loch Fyne.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Mull and Iona 3-Day Tour

10. From Edinburgh: Isle of Mull and Iona 3-Day Tour

The tour departs from Edinburgh and heads out along the banks towards Luss and stop for a short break to stretch your legs. Travel along the famous Rest and Be Thankful on your way to Inveraray and admire its spectacular fairy-tale castle. Arrive at Oban and visit a local distillery, or climb to the top of McCaig’s Tower and admire breathtaking views across the bay. Finally, hop on the ferry to Mull where you’ll spend the next two nights in Tobermory. Wake up on day two to a hearty breakfast then drive to the small port of Fionnphort for the foot passenger ferry to Iona. Head to the Iona Abbey and Nunnery, and learn about its rich history which dates back to 563. As you travel back to Mull, there’s plenty of opportunities to see native wildlife including seals and otters. After breakfast on day three, head back to the mainland towards the remote Ardgour Peninsula, passing through Glen Geal and the Sunart and Linnhe lochs. Catch the ferry which crosses at Corran into Glen Coe and listen to the stories of the massacre which took place here in 1692. Stop for some photographs and soak up the magnificent scenic surroundings. At the end of an unforgettable adventure, sit back and relax on the return journey to Edinburgh.

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What people are saying about Oban

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 275 reviews

Such an amazing trip. Well organised, the trip started on time but was slightly confusing to identify where the starting point was (good we started early to the meeting point). Multiple picture stops and such great information during the trip. Lovely seafood lunch . would highly recommend this trip

First ever small group trip and thoroughly enjoyed. Guide Stefan was knowledgeable, experienced and a delight to travel with. Also fabulous bake for money. Have no hesitation in recommending these trips. I am already looking at my next one.

Guide George was excellent. I really enjoyed the commentary and it made the place more memorable. The views are breathtaking, highly recommend this tour.

The guide was both friendly and knowledgeable. The sites were stunning and it was an amazing experience.

Every place was worth the tour, our tour guide Stevie was super n funny n kept us entertained