Ireland’s Luckiest Dive Sites


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There’s little question that Eire is world-renowned for its surroundings above water. However what many individuals don’t understand is that a few of Eire’s most breathtaking surroundings is definitely under the floor. If you end up diving in Ireland, rely your self fortunate!

Throughout the ‘Emerald Isle‘, divers can discover an unimaginable number of dive websites and marine life – typically in spectacular visibility. Lush kelp forests and rocky reefs are residence to playful seals and a myriad of invertebrates like lobsters. Shipwrecks reveal hidden maritime historical past in addition to bustling ecosystems made up of colourful anemones and enormous faculties of pollock. Marine megafauna like dolphins, whales, and even basking sharks are recognized to inhabit coastal waters throughout this magical island.

Whereas the water round Eire is definitely temperate, the nice and cozy Gulf Stream waters that move right here truly supply nice year-round diving. In truth, water temperatures solely differ barely over the course of the yr. Most native divers spend money on a dry go well with to remain heat and cozy. We advocate incomes the PADI Dry Suit Diver certification earlier than diving in Eire.

For these native to the island, or people who plan to go to, listed here are six of Eire’s luckiest dive websites:

Seaweed sways in the current along the west coast of Ireland.

Tory Island

Off the north-west coast of Eire, roughly 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) offshore of Donegal, lies Tory Island. The diving right here could be difficult because of the island’s remoteness and potential for excessive climate circumstances – however when the climate is in your aspect, the magic of Tory Island is obvious. In calm circumstances, divers can take pleasure in as much as 30 meters (98 ft) of visibility.

Adventurous divers that slip beneath the floor right here, are positive to be rewarded with magnificent marine life encounters. Wildlife sightings within the space embrace dolphins, whales, and even basking sharks. Above the floor, marine birds like cormorants and puffins use the jagged cliffs for nesting. Some fortunate divers may even see these feathered pals ‘swim’ by in quest of meals.

The underwater seascape consists of rock gullies, caves, and kelp forests. One other spotlight of diving Tory Island is the 1884 wreck of the HMS Wasp. Simply off the island, this wreck rests at about 15 meters (50 ft), and has two cannons nonetheless seen.​

Killary Harbor

On Eire’s central west coast, lies an imposing fjord generally known as Killary Harbor. Sandwiched between two mountain ranges, the backdrop to any dive right here is certain to be stunningly lovely. The sheltered nature of this waterway supplies wonderful visibility all through a lot of the yr – with visibility sometimes starting from 10 – 20 meters (33 to 65 ft). At its most sensible, divers have reported as much as 50 meters (160 ft) of visibility in Killary Harbor!

Dense kelp forests reveal a shocking abundance of marine life together with conger eels, wrasses, lobsters, and enormous faculties of pollock. Marine mammals like dolphins, whales, and gray seals are even noticed within the fjord through the late summer time. Be careful – the gray seals are notoriously playful on this space!

Wreck diving can also be common in Killary Harbor, with wrecks just like the Julia T at 27 meters (90 ft) and the Rath Connla at 16 meters (52 ft). Divers exploring these shipwrecks might be dazzled by the intricate invertebrates like anemones, scallops, tube worms, and whelks that cowl them. Due to its glacially deepened nature, the harbor reaches depths of about 40 meters (131 ft) permitting for deep water diving. For divers that love depth, contemplate incomes the PADI Deep Diver certification. No matter depth you propose to succeed in, shore diving and boat diving are each good choices right here.

Killary Harbor is one of the luckiest dive sites in Ireland.

Diamond Rocks

Named for the quartz crystals within the rocks, which glisten within the sunshine, Diamond Rocks is definitely certainly one of Eire’s luckiest and most sparkly dive websites. To not point out, as a result of the bay is sheltered, the visibility at this location is usually crystal clear!

Within the cracks and crevices of the glistening rocks, divers are amazed by the abundance of invertebrates – together with spider crabs – that reside right here. Dolphins and seals are additionally generally encountered at this County Clare dive website. So be looking out for these charismatic marine mammals.

Diamond Rocks is accessible by boat in addition to by land. Remember that a profitable shore dive right here will contain getting down a mud path and maneuvering over rocks to enter the water. Nevertheless, when you’re within the water, you’ll discover the bustling rocky reef at a depth of roughly 6 – 9 meters (20 – 30 ft). From there, for people who need to discover deeper, the sea-facing reef falls off steadily all the best way right down to about 40 meters (130 ft).


County Clare, on Eire’s central west coast is house to a magical dive website simply off the small village of Fanore. For people who love shore diving, this is a perfect place. A spectacular rocky reef lies roughly 50 meters (165 ft) off the shore. The reef accommodates a myriad of nooks and crannies, caves, and semi-circular caverns. Approximate depth at Fanore is 15 meters (50 ft).

Together with the nice and cozy Gulf Stream waters that circulate on to this area, the reef reveals a tremendous number of marine animals and crops. Plus, the visibility right here is completely sensible! To prime all of it off, dolphins frequent these waters – making this one of the crucial superb places in Eire to dive with dolphins. Due to this, Fanore can also be a well-liked freediving spot. We advocate incomes the PADI Freediver certification.

Fanore is one of the luckiest dive sites in Ireland to see dolphins while snorkeling or scuba diving.

MV Kowloon Bridge

The 295 meter (968 foot) lengthy MV Kowloon Bridge, which sank in 1986, is certainly one of Eire’s most well-known and admired dive websites. Situated simply off Bantry Bay within the south-west, it's the largest shipwreck in Europe and the most important by tonnage on the earth. After operating aground on Stag Rocks, the ship sank in roughly 40 meters (130 ft) of water. Because of the measurement of the wreck and the angle at which it sits, divers can select from quite a lot of depths – whilst shallow as 6 meters (20 ft).

Regardless of the environmental injury brought on by the wreck’s oil spill, native divers say that ocean life has rebounded. The shipwreck is now residence to an unimaginable number of wildlife together with wrasses, pollock, lobsters, and anemones. Remarkably, all this marine life coexists with 165,000 tons of iron ore that was the MV Kowloon’s cargo. And it’s nonetheless clearly seen on the ocean flooring.

Robust currents and tides are widespread right here, so slack water diving and cautious planning is inspired. Earlier than visiting this top-notch County Cork dive website, we advocate incomes the PADI Wreck Diver certification.

Dalkey Island

Amazingly, one among Eire’s prime dive websites is just about 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of the capitol of Dublin. Dalkey Island is a small, uninhabited island that's solely accessible by boat – good for a day journey! With an extended historical past courting again to the Stone Age, the one above-surface residents in the present day are wild goats and plenty of sea birds.

The distant setting of Dalkey Island allows an exquisite number of marine life to flourish under the floor. All sides of the island gives totally different alternatives – from lush kelp forests to rocky reefs full with ledges and boulders. Divers right here are sometimes delighted by invertebrates like anemones, sponges, crabs, lobsters, and brittle stars. Scorpionfish and dogfish are additionally recurrently noticed. However definitely no dive journey to Dalkey Island is full and not using a go to from the native, very playful, gray seals.

Diving is feasible on all sides of the island, however robust rip tides and currents are ever-present and ever-changing right here. You'll want to plan rigorously earlier than descending.

Playful grey seals are commonly spotted at dive sites around Ireland.

Impressed to Dive in Eire?

For those who’re fortunate sufficient to name Eire residence and want to discover some spectacular native dive websites, take a look at these assets:

  • Not a licensed diver but? You can begin your diving journey on-line proper now by way of PADI eLearning earlier than connecting with a PADI Dive Middle to finish your in water coaching.
  • Already a licensed diver? Use PADI Adventures – the last word native diving app – to seek out and e-book your subsequent diving journey or course (like those advocate above) in Eire.

In the event you’re excited to start out planning your subsequent dive journey to Eire, be sure that to take a look at these further assets:

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