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Oban is one of the most popular resort towns in the Scottish Highlands. It is situated in the Argyll and Bute area and, although small, Oban is a thriving town during the tourist season. The picturesque town is located in the Firth of Lorn, which makes it so popular with tourists from all over the UK and beyond.

The history of Oban dates back to Mesolithic times and there are archaeological remains in the town that prove cave dwellers once inhabited the site. While the town was once a small fishing town with very few residents, it has grown over the years around the distillery, which was established in 1794.

The main industry in Oban has become tourism since the 1950s and many holidaymakers travel to the beautiful town each year. The scenery is dramatic and there are plenty of attractions, including religious sites, ancient castles, and stunning mountains.

Where to Stay

If you are planning to travel to Oban in 2015 then you will be glad to know that there are many places to stay in and around the town. Oban has a number of guesthouses, hotels, and self-catering accommodation to suit every budget. Below are a few examples of where one can stay in Oban.

  • Bed & Breakfasts – A bed & breakfast – or B&B – is typically a house at which overnight accommodation is available. Characteristically, B&Bs include breakfast but other meals are not normally provided. A B&B will usually have less than ten rooms, therefore offering a more intimate service. There are many B&Bs in Oban at which visitors can enjoy comfortable accommodation and delicious breakfasts. There are a number of B&Bs within the town itself as well as in the surrounding areas, including Ardchoille and Greenacre Bed and Breakfast.
  • Guesthouses – Guesthouses are similar to B&Bs in that most of them are family homes. The family members generally live on the premises and may not be available to guests during the day. The Highcliff and Gramarvin guesthouses are just two of the guesthouses available in Oban.
  • Self-Catering – Self-catering accommodation usually comes in the form of private apartments and houses, which are rented out to guests during tourist seasons. Some people will buy holiday properties with the purpose of renting them out to others when they are not using them themselves. These types of accommodation have their own cooking facilities that allow guests to prepare their own food, or they can simply eat out at various restaurants in the area. In Oban, there are many self-catering accommodation options including Cologin Country Chalets and Lodges and Lagnakeil Highland Lodges.
  • Hostels – For those looking for budget accommodation, hostels are the ideal choice. Hostels are typically dormitories in which guests can rent a bed per night. Most hostels will have a number of bunk beds per dorm, and the dorms can be single-sex or mixed. Some hostels will have shared lounges and kitchens but all will have communal bathrooms. In Oban, there are a number of hostels providing budget accommodation, including Corran House Hostel and Jeremy Inglis Hostel.
  • Hotels – Oban has some fantastic options when it comes to hotels. The 4-star Knipoch Hotel is set against a backdrop of wooded hills; it offers luxurious accommodation for those staying in Oban. There are a number of other hotels in and around Oban too, including Loch Melfort Hotel & Restaurant and Ranald Hotel.
  • Caravan Parks – Camping and caravanning is another fantastic way to enjoy Oban. For those that like the simpler things in life, camping in the beautiful Scottish Highlands is the way to go. However, camping is not for everyone and, thankfully, there are caravans for hire in Oban too; these offer a little bit more comfort than a tent. Oban’s caravan parks include Sunnybrae Caravan Park and Bayview Caravans.
  • Yacht Charter – For a completely different way to see Oban, chartering a yacht is another option. Caprice Yacht Charter provides visitors to Oban with the chance to charter a six-sleeper vessel for completely private, luxurious accommodation.

Things to Do in Oban

A holiday in Oban is delightful and besides the many fantastic accommodation options, there is also plenty of choice in terms of things to see and do in and around the town. The Scottish water system provides for many activities, with kayaking just one of them. Sea kayaking is popular in Oban and many people from all over the world arrive in the town just to experience this activity. With such stunning scenery and the chance to get up close and personal with a host of creatures, Oban is the perfect location for kayaking.

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Many sea kayakers will use Oban as a base from which to explore the many islands and waterways in the Scottish Highlands. Oban is actually known as the Gateway to the Isles, and for good reason. For those new to kayaking, Oban has a number of places from which the kayaks can be hired, and there are plenty of experts on hand to offer advice and local information.

Cycling is a great way to see the area around Oban and there are numerous cycling routes all over the Highlands. The area has plenty of forest tracks and cycle paths with magnificent scenery along the way.

Canal cruises are also a great way to see all that the Highlands have to offer. Clyde Cruises offers tourists the chance to sit back in a warm, comfortable cabin while they cruise down the Caledonian Canal taking in the breath-taking scenery. One of the company’s more popular trips is the Oban Dolphin, Whale & Castle Adventure. This spectacular tour centres on the islands, inlets, and sea lochs of Oban and beyond. The cruise, which lasts two hours, gives guests the chance to search for marine life such as porpoise, whales, and dolphins. There are also a number of ancient and magnificent castles along the route, including Duart and Dunollie castles. The tours run between June 22nd and August 31st 2015. Call Clyde Cruises today for more information or to book your Oban cruise.

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