No visit to Oban & Argyll is complete without hopping over to one of the islands just off the West Coast. From you base here at Melfort Village, there are many options for islands that you can easily visit within a day from the doorstep of your cottage.
Lismore is a small island near Oban and is only 10 miles long by around a mile wide. The ferry crossing to the Island can be made from Oban (55 minutes) or from Port Appin (5 minutes). When on the Island there is plenty to keep you occupied for a day including delicious Island produce such as oysters, langoustine, grass-fed beef etc. There is a Church, Heritage Centre and a Craft Shop. Island activities include Landrover Safaris, Paddle Boarding, Cycling & Bike Hire and more.
Accessible by Ferry from Oban lie the Isle of Mull and Isle of Iona. Together with Mull’s idyllic offshore islands, they provide an outstanding abundance of scenery, culture and wildlife to discover. Find things to do, guides and inspiration for your trip. Experience the natural beauty of the rugged cliffs, silver-sand beaches, dramatic mountains, ancient forests, and flowering machair. Combined with the sparkling lochs, rivers and waterfalls, the islands of Mull and Iona are a simply breath-taking place to visit.
Gigha - pronounced 'geeya', with a hard 'g' - is a small, fertile island, just 3 miles off the west coast of Kintyre.
The ferry from Tayinloan, 23 miles south of Tarbert, deposits you at the island's only village, Ardminish, where you'll find the post office and shop and the all-denominations island church with some interesting stained-glass windows. Bike rental is available from the shop if you don't want to explore on foot or by car.
The main attraction on the island is Achamore Gardens, a mile and a half south of Ardminish. spectacularly colourful display of azaleas are best seen in early summer.
To the southwest of the gardens, the ruins of the 13th century Kilchattan Chapel are floored with weathered medieval gravestones; the ogam stone nearby is the only one of its kind in the west of Scotland.
The real draw of Gigha, however, apart from the peace and quiet, are the white sandy beaches including one at Ardminish itself that dot the coastline.
The Isle of Kerrera is situated at the mouth of Oban bay and acts as a physical breakwater for this important west coast harbour. To access Kerrera you travel 2.5 miles south from Oban to Gallanach where a ferry crosses the 600 metres of the Sound of Kerrera between the Scottish mainland and the island itself (5 minute journey). There is a vehicle exclusion policy on the island, except for those of the locals, making it a walker’s paradise.
The passenger ferry takes 12 people per trip and in busy periods the ferry runs repeated trips. There is also a ferry service provided by the marina at the north end of the island, which exists to serve the marina but residents are also permitted to use it. There is no road linking the north and south ends of the island so in effect there are two split communities within one already very sparsely populated island community. The IKDT continue to push for a new road to join the community together and allow all islanders to access services equally. Oban Marina, situated at the north end of Kerrera, has a new lease of life with owners Gary Adams and Catherine Peat who took over in 2017. Alongside providing excellent services for boats, they run the Waypoint Bar and Grill and offer a private ferry service directly into Oban.