Most tourists travel to Cyprus for its historical wonders, ancient archeological spots, for the many beautiful beaches, nightlife, or simply to relax and catch the sun. This island country in the eastern Mediterranean gets 300 days of sunshine a year. But the underwater attractions around the island also draw a lot of visitors. Surrounded by the Mediterranean, Cyprus offers many fantastic diving opportunities.
For instance, the wreck of MS Zenobia just off the coast of Larnaca in south-east Cyprus ranks as one of the best diving spots in Europe. It also ranks in the list of the top 10 wreck diving sites in the world. But not just Zenobia, there are many other sites you will want to visit on a vacation to this Mediterranean island.
When to Dive
Sea temperatures around the island range between 17 degrees C in February and 28 C in August. You will get the warmest water between June and November. The diving season in Cyprus is from March to November, which makes it one of the longest diving seasons in all of the Mediterranean. The water will be cold though in March.
The summer vacation is the most popular time for diving. But you can also dive in the winter between January and March if you want. However, make sure to wear good thermal protection, particularly for longer dives. Also, when diving during a winter trip, select a sunny day with a lot of sunshine.
Night Diving in Cyprus
Night diving is very popular around the island. During the night, you will see marine species that you normally don’t see in the daytime. Also, many types of fish behave differently after dark. You can see octopus, cuttlefish, sea slugs, moray eels, sand eels, rays, squid, sea cucumbers, lobster, and more during your holidays in Cyprus.
Always carry a good torch with you and make sure that you are diving with an instructor/guide. Night dives are usually in the shallow water, but if you have done night diving before, you can even go deeper into the wreck sites. Always dive slowly. Also, it is always a good idea to dive into the site during the daytime before you go there after dark. You will then know the terrain already and will also appreciate the differences between daytime and night diving.
The Best Dive Sites in Cyprus
- Zenobia – MS Zenobia was a ferry that submerged in 1980 just off the coast of Larnaca. The capsized vessel has now become the colony of hundreds of marine animals. Zenobia was carrying more than 100 trucks when it submerged. You can still see them chained to the cargo deck. Close to Zenobia, there is the wreck of Alexandria. You will find plenty of fish here as well.
- Liberty – The Liberty shipwreck is located in Protaras. It sits 89 feet or 27 meters below the sea. The marine species you can see here include octopus, triggerfish, turtles, rays, nudibranchs, and schools of jacks. It is a very good site for diving training and also for underwater photography. Many divers like to stay in Protaras for their training and to gain diving experience.
- Green Bay – Also in Protaras, the Green Bay can be reached and navigated easily. This is why it is popular for diving training. The Fish Rock is a feeding station just 10 meters below the sea. It is full of marine life. Plus, you will also see underwater columns and statues, which makes it a must-visit. Summer vacation is a good time because the water is very clear this time of the year.
- Lady Thetis – MS Zenobia has over the years attracted many divers from around the world. Encouraged by this, the Cypriot authorities submerged many boats for creating artificial reefs to attract marine life and encourage dive tourism. Lady Thetis and Consdandis are two of them. Lady Thetis is just off the coast of Limassol 18 meters below the water. It was sunk in 2014. It has many swim-throughs and penetration points for adventurous divers. It has become the home of many groupers, damselfish, and breams.
- Consdandis – It is located in Limassol, just off the Crown Plaza Hotel. This former fishing boat sites below the ocean at 24 meters. It was sunk together with Lady Thetis for recreational diving. Limassol is a popular city for Cyprus holidays as there are many attractions around the city.
- Devil’s Head – Devil’s Head is a network of caves and tunnels 11 meters below the sea close to the Akamas Peninsula. During the summer, divers have the chance to see leatherback turtles here. The turtles come to nest at the nearby Lara Beach. You will find a lot of marine life at other times of the year as well. Also, make sure to admire the intricate rock formations. Also, the Akamas Peninsula is breathtakingly beautiful. Go on a hiking trip during your vacation to appreciate the beauty of this area.
- Amphora Caves – This site close to Paphos on the west coast has many undersea caves for the divers to explore. One of these caves contains antique ceramic containers, which makes this site important for archeologists. The dives are between 5 and 12 meters. Divers can explore many caves and gullies.
- Manidjin Island – Coral Bay is a beautiful crescent-shaped beach in west Cyprus. Take a boat ride from the marina for 10 minutes, dive 6 to 25 meters below the sea, and you will reach a stunning cave. Swim into the cave to see many pink and purple calciferous algae. In this dive, you also have the chance to see the yellowfin barracuda. It will be a memorable trip.
- The Caves – There is a cave system close to the city of Ayia Napa, which is unlike anything you may have seen before. The Cape Greco area (south-eastern tip of the island) is full of rocks. Many ships carrying antique items have sunk here. The seabed is full of the amphora. There is also an undersea rock formation, which looks very much similar to the shape of Cyprus.
- Jubilee Shoals – Avdimou Bay is a quiet stretch near Limassol. There is a site close to the bay that is very good for experienced divers. It has a huge underwater cliff with caves, tunnels, and pinnacles. It drops off from 20 meters to 60 meters. You can see a lot of octopus, jackfish, moray eels, and tune here.
Travel to Cyprus for a memorable trip. There is so much to see and do on the island and also below the sea. You can simply relax in your luxury villa to enjoy the sunny weather or enjoy the many activities of the island.