Imagine a Mediterranean island bathed in warm, clear blue water. Long, sandy beaches punctuate the predominantly indented and rocky coastline and the culture and cuisine are unmistakably Mediterranean. This is Cyprus and it’s nestled in the northeast corner of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. From simple, sandy-bottom dives for beginners, to excellent enriched air diving on the Zenobia, one of the region's most famous wrecks, the island’s diving offers something for everyone. On top of this, the dive season in Cyprus runs from March to November, one of the longest dive seasons in the Mediterranean, and the waters are clear and pleasantly warm all year. Après dive is the time to explore those ancient Greek, Byzantine or Roman archaeological sites, enjoy ancient vineyards and citrus groves or just laze away the long, warm evenings with the Cypriot passion for sharing good food, good conversation and good friends.
- Amphorae Caves – Off Paphos are numerous caves, one of which is encrusted with amphorae (ancient clay storage jars.) This and adjacent gullies are well worth exploring at depths to 12 metres/40 feet.
- The Wreck of the Zenobia – A former Swedish roll-on, roll-off (RO-RO) ferry, the Zenobia sank in July 1980. Now lying on her port side, the wreck rests at depths from 16-43 metres/52-141 feet. Nearly the entire vessel’s 178-metre/584-foot length is colonized by local marine life and the cavernous hold provides an interesting and unusual penetration dive for those with suitable training. Many of the more than 100 trucks on board were chained to the cargo deck for the journey and many now sit suspended from the wall like a bizarre 3-D picture.
- The Canyon, Cape Greko – Situated at the south side of Cape Greko just under the cliffs, and accessible from the shore, this site features interesting rock formations, stingrays and other fish.
- Copper Wreck – This copper-hulled wreck lies off the Akrotiri Peninsula in less than 10 metres/33 feet of water. The remains are well broken up but keep your eyes open for brass fasteners and fragments of the hull.
- Diana – The 15-metre/50-foot long wreck of the Diana sits upright in 21 metres/65 feet of water. She attracts schools of fish and is a popular spot for underwater photographers.
- The Chapel – This is a fun shore dive east of Ayia Napa with depths up to 30 metres/100 feet possible. Sponges and scorpionfish are found along the wall and it’s a great spot for octopus on a night dive. Watch out for old amphorae too.
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Visibility – Generally 20-35+metres/65-115+ feet in calm conditions. Out of season, winter storms can drop visibility to a few metres/feet.
Water Temperature – 16-27°C/60-80°F in the main dive season and slightly cooler otherwise.
Weather – Air temperatures average 10-15°C/50-59°F in January and 25-35°C/77-95°F in July. Cyprus gets sunshine most of the year with January being the wettest month, but it has less than 10 days of rain on average.
Featured Creatures – Indigenous life flourishes among the rocky shorelines and outcrops around Cyprus, providing an ideal home for octopus and crustaceans. Green and loggerhead turtles are regular visitors, especially in breeding season. A reserve near Akrotiri brings divers face-to-face with groupers, moray eels, bream and bass.
Recommended Training – Take the PADI Deep Diver and PADI Wreck Diver courses for diving on the deeper wrecks, particularly the Zenobia. The PADI Enriched Air Diver course is also a good choice as enriched air nitrox is available on Cyprus.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
Language – Greek with English spoken in tourist areas. Turkish is spoken in Northern Cyprus. French and German speaking staff are common in resort areas.
Currency – Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Major Airports – There are two main international airports in Cyprus, Larnaca International and Paphos International.
Electricity and Internet – Electricity is 240 volts, 50 Hz. Internet service is available in most of the hotels and cafes.
Topside Attractions – Stroll along the shore past the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Visit turtle watching areas, including protected nesting sites, with suitably accredited facilities. Winemaking has been a part of Cypriot life stretching back nearly forever and the local trade has a growing range of interesting – and very affordable – gems awaiting interested visitors.