This waterfront town offers a range of typical Scottish delights, including a famous distillery, evocative castle ruins and dramatic, wild landscapes.
The crescent-shaped port of Oban is one of the most picturesque destinations in northern Scotland. Explore the old buildings lining the hills of this Highland town and observe the boats coming and going from the bustling harbor.
Scan the buildings of Oban and look for McCaig's Tower, the striking monument shaped like a coliseum. Climb the hill to reach the tower and rest in its walled garden, where you can peer out through its arches for views of the ocean and the island of Kerrera.
Directly beneath the tower is Oban Distillery, immediately identifiable by its red chimney. Tour the building to see the age-old whiskey-making processes and sip a sample of finely crafted single malt. The town grew around the distillery, which was built in 1794.
Learn more about Oban’s history at the Oban War and Peace Museum, located in an old newspaper headquarters. The town also features two cathedrals, including the unique St. John's Episcopal Cathedral, an unfinished structure that combines stonework with metal girders.
Take a trip to two castles located near the town. Dunollie Castle, a ruin from the Iron Age, contains a museum displaying clan artifacts gathered from the local area. Dunstaffnage Castle, about a 10-minute drive north of Oban, is an imposing medieval fortress with an adjoining chapel.
Oban is sometimes referred to as the “Seafood Capital of Scotland.” Sample the day's catch in one of the many celebrated restaurants in town.
Glasgow Airport, which has frequent flights to the rest of the U.K. and to international destinations, is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) away from Oban. Trains to Edinburgh and Glasgow operate regularly from Oban's station, which is located next to the ferry terminal.
Oban has an attractive coastal setting, which makes it a particularly popular summer destination. Visit in spring or fall for a quieter experience or arrange your trip for May to attend the Highland and Islands Music and Dance Festival.