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About Oban

Up until the early 20th century, fishermen from Oban still observed the pagan tradition of sprinkling barley over the prow of their ship before setting sail, praying to the gods of the sea that their voyage would be safe and succesful. In many respects, this highlights the magic and wildness that shrouds Oban. A picturesque seaside town on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, she is the ideal destination for a rural escape far from the madding crowd: whether you're tasting whiskey, strolling down the quiet streets at sunset, hiking through Glencoe or learning about the history of local clans, you will find yourself in a different world, one that sweeps with romance and untamed beauty. The best places to stay in Oban will leave you breathless with wonder.

Oban looks out over the moody blue waters of the Firth of Lorn, where stand the islands of Mull, Kerrera and Lismore. The name Oban literally means "the Little Bay" in Gaelic, "An t-Oban", alluding to the fact that the sheltered harbour is shaped like a horseshoe. Oban is known as the Gateway to the Hebrides and it is from here that you can take a ferry to islands like Mull or Iona, where lie the tombs of ancient Scottish kings and the abbey of St. Colomba. To the south of Oban is Kilmartin Glen, which is well worth visiting: it is there you can find Dunadd Hill, an Iron Age fort where ancient Scottish kings were crowned, and a museum in the village. If you want to hike through dramatic Highland landscape, head over to Glencoe, a roughly 40 minute drive from Oban. A mesmerisingly haunted place, it was the site of the infamous massacre of the MacDonalds by the Campbells, their arch rivals.

Oban herself is a pretty and bustling town, full of some amazing seafood restaurants and old-fashioned oakwood bars. Many of the buildings were built in the 19th century, and the streets are raised terraces formed from extinct cliffs made in the last Ice Age. Overlooking the town is a vast Romanesque tower, built in the early 20th century by a local dignitary keen to leave his mark on the town. But rising high above Oban is one of her greatest attractions, Dunstaffnage Castle, built in the 13th century by the MacDougals. Reaching it makes for a lovely walk, particularly in the evening, and you get some gorgeous views. It is also close to the Falls of Lora, a stunning formation of natural beauty. Her heritage runs deep: she also boasts one of Scotlands' oldest whiskey distilleries, founded in 1794, who run guided tours and tastings.

Not to miss

  • Why not head over to Iona, an island off the coast, and see the stone circles and the "Road of the Dead", along which over 50 ancient Scottish kings are buried?
  • Take an evening stroll up to Dunollie Castle or on Pulpit Hill. Check out McCaig's Folly, the 20th century Romanesque tower overlooking the town.
  • Take a guided tour of one of Scotland's oldest whiskey distilleries and taste their fabulous malt.
  • Drive to Kilmartin Glen and see the stone circles and burial chambers. Then head over to Dunadd Hill, the fortification where ancient Scottish kings were crowned.
  • Walk up to Dunstaffnage Castle, a 13th century fort overlooking Oban, built by the MacDougals but subsequently taken by the Campbells, and learn more about the wars of the clans.

Oban is a place steeped in wild Scottish romance and folklore. An utterly spellbinding place full of natural beauty and sweeping with history, it is the ideal town to escape to. Our collection of the best places to stay in Oban will make you fall in love with this town.

The best places to stay in Oban

Romantic escape

  • Greystones: intimate and romantic, this hotel is ideal for couples. A big baronial house turned B&B, offering 5 spacious minimalist rooms overlooking the sea. Utterly gorgeous views.
  • The Manor House: a listed property offering 11 pretty and traditional rooms set in a beautiful country house. Ideal for a rural escape.

Local exploring

  • Perle Oban Hotel: a real charm standing on a gorgeous position on the waterfront. With 60 chic rooms and suites littered with luxury amenities, it has a gourmet restaurant serving local seafood. Ideal for exploring the town.

For an apartment or cottage

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of cottages and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Glasgow and take the Scotrail to Oban.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • For full visibility and maximum sunshine, the best time to travel is during the summer months when the temperature averages at around 15 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Oban

  • Perle Oban Hotel 60 rooms from £125

    Oban (Argyll)

    A welcome luxury addition to Oban's hotel scene! The recently opened Perle Oban enjoys an enviable harbour-front location and boasts chic rooms and suites with luxury accessories including Nespresso machines for all! The restaurant champions local seafood and steaks. A smart stay on the West Coast.

    Exclusive offer  -  15% discount for direct bookings
    Local exploring  -  A chic base for anyone wanting to explore Scotland's West Coast.
    Great walks  -  There are endless paths to be explored from short strolls to day-long hikes.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Oban Distillery or climb McCaig's Tower for panormic views
    Views  -  Lovely views over Oban Harbour
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  • The Manor House, Argyll 11 rooms from £120

    Oban (Argyll)

    Charming listed property with stunning views over Oban bay. Eleven cosy, individually designed bedrooms, traditional in style with pretty Toile de Jouy wallpaper and fabrics. The restaurant offers a daily changing menu showcasing the best of local ingredients. Great for exploring the West coast.

    Views  -  Stunning views across Oban Bay to Lismore, Mull and the Morvern Peninsula
    Sailing  -  For sailors there is a private 60ft deep mooring in front of the hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
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  • Greystones 5 rooms from £120

    Oban (Argyll)

    Grand baronial house turned boutique B&B in the heart of Oban. Five spacious rooms with contemporary interiors and large modern bathrooms. Minimalist feel is complemented with plenty of period features. An intimate, romantic base for exploring Scotland's west coast, with stunning views.

    Views  -  Greystones enjoys simply stunning views from its elevated location, over Oban Bay and beyond
    Sights nearby  -  There are lots of castles and gardens close by to explore
    Great walks  -  There are lots of lovely walks in the surrounding area.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children allowed - this an adults only property
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