Ireland’s only World Class Dive Site

Dive the Skellig Islands with Ireland’s first independent dive centre. We offer hardboat and rib diving daily at affordable prices with no hidden extras. Our ethos is based on providing divers with good quality diving in a beautiful location famous for its hospitality and craic! We are the only dive centre with Skellig Michael visiting permits allowing our divers to dive a unique World Heritage site, visit the monastic settlements and experience the best of the Wild Atlantic Way – both above and beneath the waves.

Safety is paramount to ensure the health and enjoyment of our divers – all our hardboats are equipped with Oxygen, Radio, Radar, Sonar, Liferafts and GPS and are fully licensed. We ensure a full day’s diving not restricted by timetables (but maybe by the weather!) so that your dive experience is not rushed. We have supervised almost 30,000 dives over the years and never had an incident. All divers are fully briefed before each excursion and debriefed after. Don’t get us wrong, we are here to ensure you have the best diving and holiday experience on offer but your safety is of prime concern.

Diving the Skelligs

The Skellig Islands are an internationally renowned dive site – don’t just take our word for it. The Irish Underwater Council have a great outline of the dive sites surrounding Skellig Michael while Diver Magazine had this to say

This was Mother Nature at her finest – the tie-dye colours rampant colonies of jewel anemones. The essential dry suit I was wearing and my dive computer readout at 50ºF (10ºC), were real enough reminders that this was the north Atlantic and not the bathtub warm equatorial waters far to the south.

I’d found this temperate sea beauty off the west coast of Ireland around the Skellig Islands in County Kerry. Arguably, this is the place to dive in North Western Europe.

The Skellig Islands are situated 14.5kms offshore. The water temperature ranges from ~10C in March to ~16C in September when the water is at its warmest. Visibility is about 8m on bad days, 15m on moderate days and up to 40m on good days – although we have experienced visibility of up to 100m. There is an abundance of sealife but the taking of shellfish by divers is illegal in Ireland. Accordingly, we will not permit shellfish to be taken on board.

The rock formations of the Skelligs, featured in Episode VII Star Wars – The Force Awakens, make your dive experience truly unique. As we are the only operator to also hold a landing permit for Skellig Michael, you can combine your diving activities with a visit to the World Heritage site of the 6th century monastic settlement. Little Skellig is home to Europe’s largest colony of gannets as well as hosting thousands of puffins, gulls, fulmars, manx shearwaters, guillemots and more. There are a number of seal colonies in the area also.

The clearest waters in Europe on the Wild Atlantic Way ensure that you get the best experience of the marine wildlife and geology – hard and soft coral, acres of anemone, stunning rock formations, increasing numbers of sharks, whales, dolphins and seals. There are a number of wrecks in the waters which we can arrange day trips to including the wreckage of a US Navy Liberator Bomber which crashed in to the South Peak of Skellig Michael in February 1944. Check out the Shipwreck map published by the Marine Institute, just zoom in to the south west coast of Ireland to find the wreck records for the Skellig Coast.

Our Service

Our Diving rates page has full details of what you can expect from a diving excursion with Ballinskelligs Boats.

  • Departure time between 10am and 12pm, returning between 5pm and 6pm
  • 2 dives per day
  • Large groups dedicated boat – smaller groups will share with other divers and visitors
  • Air fills, cylinder hire, weights (BYOB – bring your own belt!) available
  • Accommodation booking in Ballinskelligs