(Gaelic meaning… The Little Bay)
The gateway to the Isles, Oban is charming in its own right; a busy, bustling port set in gorgeous countryside. From here there are endless possibilities for adventure, as many a journey along the Hebridean Whale Trail will start in Oban.
Very much a seaside town, a wander along the seafront is a feast for the senses; sea food, sea air and a chorus of seabirds. Overlooking the town, and with splendid views across the Hebrides, stands McCaig’s Tower. It’s a wee bit of a climb up, but the views are worth it from the top.
It’s rare to see whales or dolphins right in the bay but look out for seals, jellyfish and otters. A sight that never fails to delight are the many black guillemots that call the bay their home. Known locally as tysties, these charismatic birds have striking black and white bodies and bright red legs making them easily recognisable.
A bit about the site
Oban ferry terminal is a hub for Hebridean adventures, with ferry connections to several of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. The building is fully accessible and has excellent facilities and views. Oban town is easy to explore with plenty of shops, museums and cafes.
Wondrous creatures in the waters
Look out for
Black guilimots (tysties) Oysercatchers
Oban’s value for whale-watching lies in the many ferries that scurry in and out of the bay all day - a trip on board will take you out onto seas busy with marine life. The ferry operator CalMac has teamed up with conservation charity ORCA to get wildlife officers on board some of the ferries to monitor marine life, and help the passengers spot whales and dolphins. Some species like common dolphins are know to approach the ferry to play in the waves made by the ferry and delight the passengers on board.
An unexpected visitor
Oban is a busy wee bay, as the main port connecting many of the Hebridean Isles with the mainland. The sea front is a cheerful hubbub with visitors from all over coming to the seafood capital. Over the years Oban has also been visited by some rather unexpected creatures like humpback whales and even a sperm whale. Usually a very rare sight, sperm whales feed on squid down in the very deep sea, so it was quite a surprise when one turned up in Oban Bay!