Scuba diving in Ireland

Diving in Ireland

Diving in Ireland — diving centers, country, description and general recommendations for tourists

General information about the country

Ireland is full of breathtaking landscapes, mesmerizing coastal cliffs, historic ancient ruins, but most importantly: of scuba diving sites.

Is Ireland a good place for diving, though? Well, if you ask us: Some of the best diving in the world is at the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula.

But don't just take our word for it, take the legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau's, who said:

Some of the best diving in the world is at the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Brandon Mountains in a landscape of exceptional beauty.

Are you excited for a visit yet?

Geography

Ireland is the 20th largest island in the world, located off the west coast of England, and except for England, is the most populous island in Europe. It is known for its stoney cliffs and hills, as well as for its miles and miles of rolling green meadows.

Languages

English is used almost universally throughout Ireland. Although Irish Gaelic is the first official language of Ireland, only about 30% of the Irish population can speak it, and only about 5% actually use it regularly (bbc.co.uk, 2014).

Climate

Compared to other countries with similar latitudes, Ireland has a relatively mild climate, with temperatures that rarely dip below freezing — even in the winter — and not-too-hot summers with average temperatures around 15 °C (worldbank.org, 2015).

Ireland is generally known for being a rainy country — and generally it is — but it is probably not as rainy as you think. Countries like Norway, Albania, Switzerland and Ukraine regularly get more yearly rainfall than Ireland (nationmaster.com, 2011).

Plenty of shipwrecks, but not only

There is certainly no shortage of shipwrecks in Ireland — there are well over 50 known wrecks located on the coasts of the island. If it's the wrecks you seek, then you may want to avoid Dublin, as there are only a few located near the city. The largest concentration of shipwrecks is near the northernmost and southernmost parts of the island, where you can find dozens of wrecks in relatively close proximity.

But wrecks are certainly not the only things to see in Irish waters. There is a lot of magnificent sea life around the reefs of the island, like the Finnisa Reef or Coral Beach Reef — both of which happen to be great sites for beginning divers.

Country marked on Europe's map
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Must-see diving sites in Ireland

  • MV Kowloon Bridge - with a length of 295 meters, this shipwreck is one of the largest in the world and one of the most popular diving sites in Ireland.
  • Letterbox Reef - if you want to take the advice of Jacques Cousteau, the Letterbox Reef is one of the many impressive diving sites on the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula.
  • Tory Island - located off the northern coast of Ireland, Tory island is full of interesting rock formations, giving you the impression that you are diving in a canyon. Here you are likely to have a large visibility (up to 30m) and find many interesting sea creatures, including seahorses.

Other things to see and do in Ireland

Sightseeing

Ireland is as gorgeous above water as it is underwater. If you are on the south coast and like taking scenic hikes, the Stonehenge-like Drombeg Stone Circle is a great place to visit. There are also numerous historic, largely intact castles to visit all over the country, like the Blarney Castle (also located near the south coast) or the Carrickfergus Castle (located on the north coast).

Guinness Storehouse

If you'll be staying in Dublin, you'll be in the home of the world-famous Guinness Draught beer. The Guinness Storehouse not so much a factory as it is a museum of the Guinness brand, family, and beverages. There are plenty of interactive exhibits, plenty of opportunities to try Guinness beer, and at the end of it all: an awesome view of Dublin from their 7th-floor Gravity Bar.

Should you go diving in Ireland

Yes, yes, and yes. If Jacques Cousteau's testimony alone wasn't enough to convince you, then just ask any other diver that has been to the land of the shamrock, they will tell you the same: Ireland is one of the best diving destinations in the world — a must for your diving bucket list.