Argyll and Bute (Earra-Ghaidheal agus Bòd in Gaelic, ) is both one of 32 unitary council areas; and a Lieutenancy area in Scotland. The administrative centre for the council area is located in Lochgilphead.
The present council area was created in 1996, when it was carved out of the Strathclyde region, which was a two-tier local government region of 19 districts, created in 1975. Argyll and Bute merged together the existing Argyll and Bute district and one ward of the Dumbarton district. The Dumbarton ward, called 'Helensburgh and Lomond', included the burgh of Helensburgh and consisted of an area to the west of Loch Lomond, north of the Firth of Clyde and mostly east of Loch Long.
The council area can be described also by reference to divisions of the counties which were abolished in 1975. The council area includes most of the county of Argyll (Argyll minus the Morvern area, north of Mull, which became become part of the Highland region in 1975), part of the county of Bute (the Isle of Bute) and part of the county of Dunbartonshire (the Helensburgh and Lomond ward).
Argyll and Bute Council directly operates its own ferries on the following routes: