Diving in Donegal

Some of the best diving in Ireland occurs in Donegal. Due to its rocky seabed, this area boasts some of the cleanest, clearest ocean water on the planet. Visibility here is regularly reported at 30m plus. Add to this the consistent and moderate water temperature of 10 - 18 C (50 - 65 F) thanks to the Gulf Stream Current, the country offers year-round diving, making this area a diver’s dream. Numerous scenic dives along the northwest coast in the countless sheltered bays provide diving opportunities even in poor weather. Littered with shipwrecks, Donegal is one of the best wreck diving destinations in Europe. Malin Head boasts a concentration of more U-boats and ocean-going liner wrecks than anywhere else in the world. Most of the diving in Ireland is done from shore or by daily boat dives. Although there are several local dive centers throughout the country, it is best to book ahead. Some dive operators can even provide both dive charter and nightly accommodations; however, they are usually booked separately. Diving here is best enjoyed wearing a thick wetsuit with hood, a semi-dry wetsuit, or a dry suit throughout the year. Whichever you choose, the spectacular beauty of Ireland diving is sure to leave you coming back for more.

Dive Sites to visit in County Donegal

Featured places to go in County Donegal

Wildlife Encounters in County Donegal

Ireland marine life abounds! This small but mighty country has over 24 reported species of cetaceans. Harbor porpoises, bottlenose and common dolphins, killer whales (or orcas), longfin pilot whales, and sperm whales are present year-round, while mink, blue, fin, Sei, and humpback whales along with striped dolphins are considered seasonal visitors. In the summer, divers here will see huge basking sharks, leatherback sea turtles, and barrel jellyfish. Throughout the year, lucky divers can also see ocean sunfish (Mola mola). Sharks, seals, crabs, lobsters, and shoals of fish fill these waters while colorful anemones cover every surface of rock and wreck found throughout Ireland.