Last updated on February 23, 2024
Scuba Diving in Ireland, does that make sense? Absolutely!
Especially the wild Atlantic coast offers best water conditions, a rich fauna and flora and numerous wrecks waiting for you!
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The Gulf Stream brings nutrient-rich and relatively warm water to the coasts of Ireland and this supports a variety of small creatures, small and large fish and marine mammals – from seals to whales.
Depending on the dive site, you can dive with seals through metre-high kelp forests, visit colourful sea anemones on steep cliffs, swim with whale sharks off the northwest coast, dive with dolphins, or explore an old shipwreck.
Tec divers also get their money’s worth off Ireland because there are many, many shipwrecks at greater depths.
The diving season in Ireland runs from April to September. Water temperatures range from around 8-10 degrees in spring to around 16-18 degrees in late summer. So a dry suit is recommended in spring and at least a good semi-dry suit in summer.
Theoretically, you can also dive earlier or later, but in the winter months there are many storms with correspondingly choppy seas.
How do I know this? We have our second home in Ireland and are here very often. In the summer I run a motorbike rental business in Ireland (www.easycruiser.tours). We also have nice guest rooms here (www.the-view-accommodation.ie).
But I’m also a PADI AOWD diver – so back to the subject at hand.
Below I have researched dive schools and dive excursion providers for you to dive with off Ireland’s coasts. I’ve sorted the list by location. Let’s start with Dublin and then go around the island.
Diving near Dublin (Bray)
At Bray, in the south of Dublin, there is a larger diving school with several instructors. They offer a variety of PADI courses, as well as boat dives in Dublin Bay. There are probably also diving excursions to the west coast.
Diving near Kinsale
A former Royal Navy ship, the Embarr, is moored in Kinsale Harbour. Today it is moored at the pier and houses a PADI diving school and 10 rooms as a B&B for diving holiday guests. Various dive trips and excursions are offered and you can also get a customised programme.
Provider: Ocean Addicts.
Here you can find a short Youtube film of a Dutch diving guest at Ocean Addicts – please make sure to watch to the end: Diving in Ireland, Kinsale, Ocean Addicts, by Dirk Van den Bergh.
Diving near Baltimore
Baltimore is a pearl of a former small fishing port on one of the most beautiful stretches of Irish coastline (my personal opinion). Off the rugged coast lies Sherkin Island and other islands. Here you will find a PADI dive centre. The website is only of limited help, but in Ireland it is always best to call and talk!
Provider: Baltimore Diving Centre.
Diving at Kenmare
Kenmare is at the end of a large bay and there you will find a PADI dive school that also offers organised dives and private dive trips.
Provider: Kenmare Bay Diving
Diving off the Dingle Peninsula
The north coast of the Dingle Peninsula is considered one of the most beautiful diving areas in Ireland. A PADI diving school is located here, offering daily boat trips and multi-day diving holidays.
Provider: Water World Dive Centre
Diving off the Aran Islands
The fabulous Aran Islands lie off the coast of Galway. Quite exposed in the sea, they offer colourful reefs, big fish, dolphins and occasionally even whale sharks. You should plan several days for the islands. Glamping, diving school and diving trips can be found at:
Provider: Dive Academy
Diving on the south coast of Connemara
West of Galway, in the village of Carraroe, there is an SSI diving school. Diving tours are not mentioned on the homepage, but I would just call and ask.
Provider: Atlantic Scuba Adventures
Diving on the North Coast of Connemara
On the north coast of Connemara, near the mouth of Killary Fjord, is a PADI dive centre that offers courses, boat dives, wreck diving and drift diving.
Provider: Scubadive West
Diving on the North Coast
In the far north of the Irish island lies the village of Carrickart. There you will find a PADI 5-Star Scuba and Wreckdiving Centre. Boat trips of all kinds are offered here, as well as wreck diving and tec diving.
Provider: Mevagh Dive Centre
Diving off Belfast
Near Belfast there is a PADI 5-Star diving school that also offers boat dives.
Provider DV Diving
The Irish island lies exposed in the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by the Gulf Stream, it offers the best diving in clean waters and a fantastic underwater world.
Tec diving, wreck diving, drift diving and many other specialities can be found here.
I also have a nice Youtube film with wrecks at 60-70m depth for you: Wreck Diving the Malin Head ‘classics’ 2019, by Kieran Hatton.
What are you waiting for? Off to Ireland – for the diving, of course!
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Cover photo credit: photo by Francisco Jesús Navarro Hernández on Unsplash