Small groups of people began to settle here many thousands of years ago. They would have stayed for a while in one place, cleared it of trees, grown crops and, when the soil was tired out, moved to a fresh site, to clear it and then to start to grow crops again.
The first signs of these people were found in the nearby Clachan (or village) of Glendaruel where a large stone cairn and the sites of several round wooden houses were discovered in the 1960s.
About 4,000 years ago people began create some permanent homes here in Colintraive and they left their mark. In the field in front of the hotel there is a grass covered cairn a metre high and 12 to 13 metres broad. There are several stones with cup shaped markings on rocky outcrops above the farm at Ardentraive and ancient stone coffins were also discovered close to Southall Farm.
About 3,000 years ago a fort was built on Eilean Buidhe – the Yellow Island – to the north of the ferry crossing. The fort is 20 to 25 metres across, with 4 metre thick walls. The stones have been vitrified, becoming glassy, when the wood that was part of the construction caught fire.