There is plenty to see and do in Inveraray if you feel like spending a little longer in this beautiful town. A visit to Inveraray Jail provides a fun, informative and immersive experience for the whole family!
Once you set off from Inveraray, you'll follow the shore of Loch Fyne until you reach Lochgilphead. Along the way, you can stop off in the village of Furnace, from which there are a number of excellent walks and you can visit the old iron furnace and gunpowder works if that takes your fancy.
Arriving in Lochgilphead, the gateway to Kintyre, where Loch Fyne meets the open ocean, you'll be blown away yet again by the views stretching out along the Kintyre peninsula, into the Firth of Clyde and out to the mountains on the Isle of Arran.
There are a range of side trip options and detours you can choose to take from Lochgilphead to suit all interests and fitness levels. Why not pay Knapdale forest a visit for the chance to spot beavers? After being hunted to extinction over 400 years ago, beavers were reintroduced in Knapdale forest in 2009, where they're now thriving. You can follow the three-mile Scottish Beaver Trail to look out for signs of the beavers, and if you're very patient - and lucky - you might catch sight of them too!
After Lochgilphead, you'll head north through Kintyre and around the base of Loch Awe. Kilmartin Glen has the most important collection of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological remains in mainland Scotland, and you could easily spend half a day or more exploring the standing stones, burials, cairns and the dramatic castle and learning about their history in the museum before refuelling at the cafe.
Another excellent detour involves turning left off the main road at Kilinver, driving over Clachan Bridge - known as "the Bridge Over The Atlantic" as it spans the narrow channel separating the island from the mainland - and onto the stunning Isle of Seil. About 20 minutes each way, the drive takes you down a winding single-track road over the most northerly of the Slate Islands to the village of Ellenabeich. Here, you can visit the magical An Cala gardens, enjoy the views and the wind in your hair on a coastal walk or even take the small ferry hop over to pay the tiny Easdale Island and the Puffer Bar a visit.
However you decide to spend your day, it will end in the west coast hub of Oban, known as the "Gateway to the Isles". If you're heading out to any of the islands on your tour of Scotland, you will more than likely depart from Oban, making this Argyll Coastal Route self-drive tour an easy addition to a longer road trip.
Oban has plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes for you to enjoy your evening meal, and make sure you don't miss the spectacular sunset over the Oban bay and the Isles of Mull and Kerrera.