You won't be surprised to learn that we think that Oban's a great place. To see why, watch the video below (produced for Oban's community owned Phoenix Cinema) or see our list of things you must see and do:
If you are spending a couple of days in Oban here’s our Top 10 list of things you must see and do:
An energetic climb up the hill behind the hostel takes you to McCaig's imposing granite folly. You'll be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views over Oban bay and beyond.
The fresh seafood shack near the Ferry Terminal is FABULOUS. Or go to the Oban Fish and Chip Shop, two hundred metres from the hostel and use your Backpacker Plus discount card to get a reduction on their normal price. If you’re feeling rich, try out one of the delicious seafood or Scottish restaurants in Oban – there’s plenty of choice.
Visit Oban’s pubs by night. There’s Markie Dans – a lively bar with frequent live music gigs. Then there’s Aulay's Bar, The Lorne, Coasters – the list goes on. Each has it’s own mix of pub food, live music and good craic.
Head for Skippinish Ceilidh House for regular dances and traditional music gigs. It’s lots of fun – you'll soon pick up the dance steps - or invent your own! More details at . www.skipinnishceilidhhouse.com/ceilidh-house/.
Oban Distillery, established in 1794, is in the heart of Oban, a stone's throw away from the sea. Take the guided tour to see how Oban's 14 year old West Highland Malt whisky is made. Open all year round.
Take the wee ferry over to Kerrera – the island opposite Oban. Walk around the island, look out to sea from the ruined Gylen castle and munch homemade cakes at the island’s Tea Garden. A fun day out full of fresh air and stunning views!
Oban’s Dunollie castle stands guard over the entrance to Oban bay and nearby Dunstaffnage Castle is where Flora MacDonald was held captive in 1746. Soak up the history, breath in the sea air. Oh and take a few photos.
Enjoy a memorable day out with Oban Sea Kayak Guides. Explore the coastline by kayak with your enthusiastic guide, Colin, and look out for sea birds and seals. Definitely one to write home about! More info>
For an introduction to sea kayaking in Oban bay, spend a day with Sea Kayak Oban based in the town. More info>
Backpackers Plus' Peter recently discovered Lismore - a ferry ride from Oban. What a find! The island is ten miles long and one mile wide, with two mediaeval castles, a well preserved iron age broch, a mediaeval church, abandoned lime workings, a lighthouse, a heritage centre and cafe and more besides.
With no really long or steep hills, it's the perfect place to take a bicycle for a day. Lismore Bike Hire will deliver anywhere on the island. Telephone: 01631 760 213 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Lismore here>
The Sky Room on the top floor of the Old Church is designed for relaxation.....make use of it! Enjoy good company, meet fellow travellers, help yourself to tea and coffee, play giant Jenga or take on the hostel's famous pool challenge!
There's lots to do in and around Oban throughout the year - Highland shows, sporting events, stone skimming and live music and dances. In the winter, there are Bonfire Night events, Oban Winter Festival and Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) events to look forward to.
All year round - every Saturday is Club Night with local DJs at Skipinnish Ceilidh House. www.skipinnishceilidhhouse.com/nightclub/
Throughout the summer, Thursday night is Scottish music and dance night at Backpackers Plus when we all head down to the Scottish ceilidh evening at Skipinnish Ceilidh House. www.skipinnishceilidhhouse.com/ceilidh-house/
Never ceilidh danced before? - no problem, you'll be shown what to do - it's great fun!
Oban's pubs have a great atmosphere - many have quiz nights, live music and karaoke at the weekends. Check out the pub quiz in Markie Dans on Sundays and in Coasters on Fridays. Plus there's folk music sessions in Grassroots Cafe on Sundays.
Check out the latest events listing here: obanwhatson.co.uk
10 June 17: Annual street fair and parade, most local charities have stalls and there will be music and entertainment in Station Square. Parade from Corran Halls led by the Oban Pipe Band at 1pm.
2-3 June 17: A 2-day open air concert in the heart of Oban with famous folk bands. This year's line-up includes We Banjo 3, Skipinnish, Skerryvore, Trail West & Ceol an Aire. For more info or to book tickets go to obanlive.com
21 April 17: Ceilidh and Dinner supporting the charity Friends of Kilbride’s capital fundraising campaign to preserve Kilbride Kirk. Tickets include dinner by Silver Laced Catering, a glass of Prosecco, music by the Hollow Mountain String Band, raffles and transportation back to Oban if needed. See www.friendsofkilbride.scot
28-30 April 17: The 34th Highland & Islands Music and Dance Festival - the biggest year yet with new venues, over 1100 participants, 125 competition classes in eleven disciplines. Cafes, pubs and public spaces in Oban will host a wide range of entertainment for all the family to enjoy. See www.obanfestival.org
7-9 July 17: A three day annual sailing race based on the West Coast of Scotland. Boats gather from all over the UK for some of the world’s finest sailing and scenery.
22 July 17: 1st annual festival of Scotland’s west coast distillers. Masterclasses, nosing competition, sample whiskies, festival bottling. More here: www.westcoastwhiskyfeis.co.uk/about.html
19 August 17: Come to George St Beach in Oban to join in the fun with the Raft Race, there is a £20 per raft entry fee and £5 for each person. Bring your raft to the beach for 12.30pm, judging is completed on best raft and it finishes at 3.30pm. Lots of prizes including best fancy dress and best raft. No charge to stand on the sand and shout for your favourite!
23 and 24 September 17: The annual event – world stone skimming championships on the stunning island of Easdale. Come and join in the fun and compete in tossing our slate stones across a disused quarry. There's T-shirts & hats for sale, a tombola, face painting, tea, coffee, eats, BBQ and more. Pre-skim dance on Sat 23 Sept with live band. More info: stoneskimming.com
25 June: Lorne Highland Games
15 July: Loch Lomond Highland Games
18 July: Inveraray Highland Games
20 July: Mull Highland Games
24 Aug: Argyllshire Gathering Oban
More here: www.shga.co.uk/events.php
Traditional Gaelic Singing, Dancing and Piping competitions.
2-3 June 17: Oban Provincial Mod
13-21 Oct 17: Royal National Mod in Lochaber (Fort William)
More here: www.ancomunn.co.uk
Plan your journey to Oban by public transport at www.travelinescotland.com
From Glasgow: six times a day
Travel via Crianlarich/Tyndrum or via Inveraray.
Journey time: 3 hours.
From Edinburgh: six times a day
Two direct from Edinburgh, 4 via Glasgow.
Journey time: 3 hrs 45mins.
From Fort William: three times a day (not Sundays).
Journey time: 90mins.
From Inverness, Skye and Mallaig: regular services to Fort William, then connect to Oban services.
Local buses in the Oban area: www.westcoastmotors.co.uk
From Glasgow: 4 trains a day to Oban.
Journey time: 3 hours.
From Edinburgh: frequent service to Glasgow, then connect to Oban services as above.
Regular ferry sailings between Oban, Mull and other Hebridean islands:
Local ferry for day trips to picturesque Kerrera:
Fly to/from Oban Airport at North Connel. Regular flights to the Hebridean islands of Tiree, Coll and Colonsay. To book see www.hebrideanair.co.uk
We can provide transport to or from Oban for small groups, for example connecting to Glasgow or Inverness airports. Just give us a call on 01631 567 189 or drop us an email at email@example.com to discuss!
Weather: see above or news.bbc.co.uk/weather
Local tourist info: www.aboutoban.com and www.oban.org.uk
Online guide to Scotland: www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk
National tourist board: www.visitscotland.com