The Snorkel Trail

Immerse your senses 'Above & Below' in Argyll

Did you know that Argyll’s marine environment is more diverse than almost anywhere else in Scotland? Even close to shore you can see an incredible array of species and habitats just by popping on a snorkel mask. Snorkelling is an amazing way to explore beneath the waves and see sights you may never have seen before.

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Plan ahead for your snorkelling experience

  • For your first snorkel trip think about joining an organised event or seek some BSAC accredited training on how to snorkel in open water safely?
  • Do check the conditions on the day you plan to snorkel - be aware of tides, water temperatures, currents and weather forecasts before you set out.
  • Take a friend: never snorkel alone and always tell people where you are going – and know to call 999 or 112 if anyone gets into trouble.
  • Know your surroundings: check what the weather and tides are doing, and identify a landmark for reference as you can cover a lot of ground with fins and can also easily drift while mesmerised with what lies below.
  • Only use good quality and well-fitting equipment – mask, snorkel and fins.
  • Wear the right protection: a wetsuit is recommended and will keep you warm and protect you against jellyfish stings.
  • When it is colder a neoprene helmet, gloves and water shoes are recommended – and will let you stay in the water that bit longer.
  • For less confident swimmers stay within your depth.
  • Try not to disturb marine animals, plants or shells – and don’t take anything away with you.

Look out for the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Snorkel Trail leaflet for North Argyll. Its available online and locally. We worked on this together and it tells you a little bit more about each site and some of the wildlife you might see?

Wild Swimming

Looking for more adventures in the water? Visit our Wild Swimming page to discover some of Argyll’s best spots.

Check out our downloadable Above & Below Map and Guide or use our interactive map below >

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Follow the Snorkeller's Code

  • Do not remove seaweed or animals from rocks or from their homes.
  • Take care not to kick sealife with fins or stand on delicate animals.
  • Observe animals where they live and don’t take anything away with you.
  • Snorkelling can be dangerous and these self-guided sites are used entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check the conditions present on the day and assess whether it is safe to snorkel.
New to snorkelling or ready to increase your skills and knowledge?

Our directory of businesses and organisations below can help you to get the most from your time in the water.

Know the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before you go.

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Village Bay

This site is part of Seawidling's seagrass restoration project. Lush seagrass provides safe nurseries for many species of fish and shellfish, as well as sequ...

Craignish Village Hall
Ardfern/Loch Craignish
PA31 8QN

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Ganavan Sands

Ganavan Sands has much to offer at all times of day. After a day of splashing in the water, or studying the strandline you can watch the sunset behind Mull...

PA34 5TB

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Wee Ganavan (Camas Bàn)

A beautiful small beach facing west with views towards Mull. Look for butterfish , shannies and hermit crabs in rockpools at low tide.


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Queenie Reef

Loch Creran is one of only two known sites globally where serpulid worms form beautiful reefs; creating habitats for many other species. Access the sheltered...

Loch Creran

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Arduaine Jetty

A wide bay with views of Shuna, Luing and Craobh Haven.


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SAMS Beach (Camas Rubha na Liathaig)

The horseshoe bay which lies adjacent to the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Dunbeg is called Camas Rubha na Liathaig but many locals like...

Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunbeg, Oban
PA37 1QA

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Asknish Bay (Loch Melfort Hotel)

Stroll down to the shore, or enjoy the sunset over the islands from the hotel deck.

Arduaine Gardens, A816, Arduaine, Oban
PA34 4XG

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Port na chinn mhoir (Johnny’s shore)

An idyllic sandy cove slipping gently into green waters. Perfect for spotting green shore crabs, pipefish, hermit crabs, otters, seals and gulls.


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Loch Creran is one of only two known sites globally where serpulid worms form reefs, creating habitats for many other species. Look for horse mussels, urchin...

Loch Creran
PA38 4BQ

Above & Below Nature Based Activities

Bid4oban Oban Sunset
Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Visitscotland Beach

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Explore all the places to visit in Argyll & the Isles

3700km of coastline, 23 inhabited islands, major towns and villages are all waiting for you.

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