Sustainable Ways to Explore Oban: Public Transport, Sustainable Tours & Eco-friendly Places to Stay

Scotland's Adventure Coast

Scotland is famous for its natural beauty - and it’s our responsibility to protect it! Choosing to holiday in an eco, green and environmentally friendly way can have a big impact on our local communities, our breathtaking landscapes and wildlife as well as help fund new and innovative projects. You really can make a difference!

In this article, we share a few sustainable ways to explore Oban, including public transport day tours, sustainable experiences and some general guidance on green travel.


3 tips on how to travel more sustainably

Make Oban your base

Why not stay a few days longer? By making Oban your base, you can take your time exploring our surrounding areas, savour the many experiences right outside your doorstep and be more flexible with your plans. Travelling slower will allow you to truly explore Oban and form a memorable connection to Scotland’s West Coast, its people and place. You’ll depart Oban with a true sense of calmness and relaxation. 

Travel in our off-season

Oban is a fantastic place to visit in the spring, autumn and winter months. Despite the weather being a bit more changeable, we still get plenty of sunshine and there are lots of outdoor activities that benefit from wind, rain or snow! You’ll get to experience a different kind of Oban, with starry nights, spectacular sunsets and snow-dusted mountains. Why not visit Oban during our Winter Fest? It’s a great event for the whole family!

Take the train to Oban

The train is the easiest and most scenic way to reach Oban. Jump on the famous West Highland Line at Glasgow Queen Street Station and enjoy some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery whilst making your way through Loch Lomond National Park, the Highlands, past Scotland’s longest loch and finally into Oban town. You can even bring your bike on this train journey, making getting around in Oban even more sustainable!

Day trips from Oban with Public Transport

Jump on one of the many public transport busses and ferries from Oban to explore the surrounding beaches, villages and isles.

Ganavan Sands

Ganavan Sands is Oban’s local beach and can easily be reached via a 10-mins bus ride from Oban town. It’s a perfect day trip for families, with a lovely stretch of golden sand, clear water and views across to Lismore, Mull and Morvern. There are public toilets available. You can also head on a circular walk to the impressive Dunstaffnage Castle or a short walk in the opposite direction to another beach, known to locals as ‘Wee Ganavan’. You’ll find a bus stop at this beach as well for an easy journey back to Oban.

Isle of Kerrera

Kerrera is Oban’s closest island neighbour, only a short ferry ride away. The ferry to Kerrera leaves from Gallanach, just outside Oban town centre. You can either walk to the ferry (2 miles) or book a local taxi. Once on Kerrara head on the circular walk towards Kerrera Tea Garden for a lovely lunch. Continue your walk along the coast until you see the hidden coastal ruin of Gylen Castle, a beautiful spot for a picnic before you retrace your steps back to the ferry. For a longer walk, you can do a full circuit of the island along this route. We’d recommend doing the full circuit anti-clockwise to end with the Tea Garden for a late lunch.

Tobermory, Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull can easily be reached via a Calmac ferry from Oban. The scenic ferry ride will take you past Lismore Lighthouse and Duart Castle. Keep your eyes out for dolphins as well! Once you arrive on Mull, you can take the West Coast Motors bus service 495 from Craignure (ferry terminal) to Tobermory (45 mins). Famous for its colourful houses, Tobermory makes for a fantastic day out with plenty of shops and restaurants to explore. If you’d like to stretch your legs after the bus ride head on the coastal walk to Rubha Nan Gall Lighthouse or from the other side of the harbour, venture into Aros Park for lush woodland, waterfalls and views of the Tobermory’s colourful harbour.


Sustainable Experiences & Tours in Oban

Minimise your environmental impact by joining a guided experience in Oban, providing you with the opportunity to explore Oban’s spectacular natural surroundings whilst getting up close to marine wildlife and learning more about various conversation efforts.

The Three Isle Tour 

The Three Isles Tour by West Coast Tours is a fantastic day trip to three of the most iconic islands off Oban’s coast: Mull, Iona and Staffa. Departing from Oban town, this tour utilises a mix of public ferry transport and private bus transfer. Journey through the stunning scenery of the Isle of Mull, delve into the ancient history of Iona then onto the unique Isle of Staffa to see the geological wonders of Fingal’s Cave. On the Isle of Staffa, you’ll have the opportunity to spot puffins building their nests and diving off the cliffs. With expert guides leading the way,  you’ll learn more about our island communities, the rich Hebridean history and our local ecosystem. 

Basking Shark Scotland

Are you passionate about our marine environment? Basking Shark Scotland's unique wildlife boat tours might be the perfect fit for you! Departing from Oban, these tours provide you with the chance to witness basking sharks, dolphins, seals, and a myriad of seabirds in their natural habitat. Operating with a strong commitment to marine conservation, Basking Shark Scotland prioritises sustainable practices, including low-impact wildlife viewing, education on marine ecosystems, and contributions to scientific research. Each tour is led by a qualified marine biologist, enabling you to ask questions and learn more about marine conservation efforts in Scotland. By joining these tours, you not only have the opportunity to observe marine life up close but also contribute to efforts aimed at protecting Scotland's coastal waters. 

Go Sailing with Stravaigin

With more than 10,000 miles of stunning coastline, there’s no better way to explore Scotland’s West Coast than a sailing trip with Stravaigin Sailing. Whether you’re looking for a multi-day sailing holiday, a day trip or a private charter, Stravaigin will be able to make your sailing dreams come true. Committed to a sustainable practice, Stravaigin strives to minimise her impact on the landscape by harnessing wind, solar, and bio-diesel. They also aim to use eco-friendly products and source fresh food from local suppliers. When heading on a sailing adventure with Stravaigin you might find yourself on an impromptu beach clean – always aiming to leave a beach better than we found it!