In this guide to scuba diving in Ireland we take a look at the best Irish dive sites.
When you think about scuba diving destinations, where springs to mind? No doubt foreign climes like Egypt, Australia, the Philippines and Thailand all pop into your head.
Guide to scuba diving in Ireland
However, some of the best diving spots in the northern hemisphere are just a short journey across the Irish Channel on the Emerald Isle. Ireland isn’t all that big. If you hire a car you’ll be free to visit otherwise inaccessible scuba spots.
Ireland is located on the western edge of Europe on the continental shelf, which makes it perfectly situated for scuba diving. The Atlantic waters can be ice cold and have some powerful currents. But they are also home to an abundance of marine life.
Best Irish dive sites
Here is a rundown of some of the best spots to don your gear and go scuba diving in Ireland.
Everyone loves exploring the eerie remains of a shipwreck and Ireland’s west coast has a number for you to explore. There are a few that are so deep only the most experienced divers can reach them.
But there’s still plenty that are more accessible. The wreck of UC44 submarine off Roche Point in Cork is incredibly popular. As is the wreck of Empire Heritage, 30km off the coast of Malin Head. Other memorable wrecks to investigate include HMS Vanguard and the Iron Duke.
These exquisite rock formations are found nine miles off the coast of County Kerry. Used in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi they are stunning. But they are even more impressive when you see them from below the water.
The island itself is home to the remains of a monastery from the sixth century. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996. Around 60,000 gannets call the island home, as do huge colonies of puffin and seals.
As you descend you will be wowed by some of the clearest waters in Europe. Visibility is rarely worse than 15m and usually more than 30m.
Although the hard and soft coral is impressive enough, it is the sheer volume of wildlife that will impress you most. On top of this there are canyons, gulleys, boulders and caves to explore.
This spot is considered the nicest shore dive in the country. But it is quite exposed so can only be dived in good weather. Expect to bump into lobster, crayfish, John Dory, sharks and even some electric eels.
This reef off the coast of County Clare is positively teeming with life. Much of it is hiding amid the crevices and caves that make it one of the best Irish dive sites.
There are 20 or so sites that you can dive at Diamond Rocks. So a visit here will allow you to get in a day of fantastic diving in one of the most loved destinations for scuba diving in Ireland. Not to be missed.
Kilkee is a small coastal town in County Clare that is big for diving. There are 11 documented dive sites and it is regarded as one of the best Irish dive sites and infact one of the top European dive spots.
You can dive in kelp forests, tidal lagoons, rock pools, visit wrecks and explore caves and interesting rock formations. You are likely to see schools of mackerel, wrasse, sea sponges and so much more.
We hope you found this guide to scuba diving in Ireland useful. Please check out our scuba diving discounts as you could save a fortune on your next holiday.