The journey time of the Oban to Lismore ferry trip is only 50 minutes making it one of the shorter ferry trips leaving from Oban. This is ideal for those with not a lot of time to spend in the area but still allows them to have a trip on a ferry.
Lismore, Lios Mor, translated from Gaelic as the big garden, is only about 1.5 miles across and 12 miles long. This makes it ideal for walking and cycling as a day trip activity.
Cycling is a great way to explore Lismore whether or not you have your own bike with you, as there is a bike hire service on the island. The bike hire company will deliver a bike to you, no matter where you are on the island.
If you decided to bring your car onto the island, make sure you have plenty of petrol to complete your journey as there are no filling stations on Lismore.
There is another ferry on the north of the island that goes to Port Appin on the mainland but this one is not a car ferry.
The crossing only takes a few minutes and you will be allowed to take you cycle on board with you. This makes a decent cycle tour from Oban, up through Lismore, back over the Appin ferry and back down into Oban.
Things to do on Lismore Island
If it’s mainly the sail that you have decided to come for, then as you get off the ferry keep your eye open for the gent who is enquiring if anyone wants a run on the minibus to the Heritage Museum.
Visiting the museum would pass some time for you, plus the minibus will take you back to Achnacroish to meet the lismore ferry back to Oban.
On Lismore you won’t find any hotels, pubs or restaurants. The only place where you will be able to eat, or drink is at the museum cafe. Which is another good reason for you to take up the offer of the free minibus ride at the pier.
So anyone planning a full day cycling or walking, remember to bring enough food and drink with you to last the length of your stay. Unless you want to trip back and forward to the museum cafe each time you feel a bit peckish.
Iron Age Broch or Tirefour Castle
Apart from the museum and if you have the time, a visit to the Iron Age Broch and Castle Coeffin might interest you. It is not so far from the museum. The Broch is also referred to as Tirefour Castle although the jury is out as to whether these types of buildings were actually used as a castle or fortress.
It’s only in Scotland that you will find Brochs as they haven’t been found anywhere else. Similar to their actual use confusion, even the numbers of sites conflict, with some claiming as many as 700 sites and others 571.
Some have survived in better condition than others as the stones were often removed throughout the years and used for other purposes.
13th Century Castle Coeffin
You could also take a look at the ruined 13th century Castle Coeffin which sits on the same site as where a Viking fortress once stood.
That is, on top of a little rocky outcrop on the north-west of the island. There is not much left of the castle today, although what has survived has an eerie look when it’s dark outline is silhouetted against the sky.
It is thought to have been built by the MacDougalls of Lorn who were responsible for many of the castles built in the area. Including Dunollie Castle on the north edge of Oban.
The earliest records talk about Dunollie Castle and about its huge importance in the area, as well as it being set on fire 3 times in the year 686.
Lismore island was also a place of importance in these early days of Christianity and once had a monastery in the 6th-century which was associated with Saint Moluag.
Now it’s time to head back to the ferry for the return journey back to Oban. With perhaps even having time left to pop into the cafe for a quick tea or coffee before heading back to the ferry port. The crossing only takes 50 to 55 minutes giving us nice time to prepare for dinner.
Dunollie Castle Viewed from the Oban to Lismore Ferry
Having completed your Oban to Lismore ferry trip I hope you have enjoyed it. Whether you managed to get as far as visiting the Broch and the castle or even the museum.
At least you will have had a quiet and relaxing day plus and a trip on a ferry.
Looking towards the shore on your route back, you will pass Dunollie Castle which we mentioned earlier as you pull in towards Oban.