The presence of the nearby Gulf Stream and unpolluted waters of the Firth of Lorne make Oban a mecca for UK diving enthusiasts. There is enough diving here to suit everyone whether pleasant scenic dives, wrecks both shallow and deep, hairy drift dives with tidal flows exceeding 15 knots and deep drop offs. The marine life although small in size is abundant with walls covered in anemones, sea squirts and sponges, lobsters and conger eels lingering in crevices and the occasional visit from common seals.
There is some good shore diving close to Oban itself with the drift round Dunollie Castle being very popular but the more spectacular dives are in the Sound of Mull and off the Garvellachs. In the Sound the wrecks of the Rondo and the Hispania are excellent and the cliff dives at Lochaline and Calve Island being classics.
The Garvellachs are in an area swept by tidal currents that reach their pinnacle in the Corrywreckan the 3rd largest whirlpool in the world which can be heard on the mainland 5 miles away on a good day. Here the dives are down rock faces and pinnacles covered in life often with a current at your back.
Other popular dives include the Breda, a WW2 wreck in Ardmucknish Bay, and the turbulent Falls of Lora at the mouth of Loch Etive - definitely not for the faint hearted.
There are many other sea lochs close to Oban and they are well worth exploring - particularly if the weather is poor as the lochs are usually protected from high winds. Loch Creran (a few miles north of Oban town centre) offers some interesting and varied dive sites. The conditions are generally sheltered and many dive sites are accessible from the shore.
Of particular interest are the serpulid reefs, but it is possible to dive and view the rocky reefs and horse mussel beds for which Loch Creran is also protected.
There are plenty of launch sites for those wanting to bring their own boats and several dive boat operators who run large hardboats taking up to 12 divers and also smaller RIBs to the local dive sites.