It is to the east of the Isle of Jura and to the west of Knapdale, part of a peninsula of the Scottish mainland. The Crinan Canal's west exit is also in the Sound of Jura. Lochs that lead to the sound include Loch Sween, and Loch Caolisport.
The north end is particularly treacherous, being filled with skerries, small islands, strong tidal currents and whirlpools. The Gulf of Corryvreckan, which contains a notorious whirlpool, the world's third largest, leads from the north of the sound.
The south end, in contrast, is much wider and more open; most of the small islands and reefs are close into shore. The ferries to Colonsay and Islay from the mainland skirt the southern end of the sound.
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