Diving In Cyprus

Diving the South Eastern side of Cyprus (Greek side), everything underwater centers around the massive structure of the Zenobia, considered the Mediterranean’s best wreck dive. People travel from around the world to explore this massive, 165-metre/584-foot RoRo (roll on, roll off) Ferry, which sank during its maiden voyage.

It sank due to a faulty computer program that pumped water into the ship instead of out of it. It sank with more than 100 trucks on-board in 42 metres/140 feet of water. You can penetrate this wreck from several areas. The anchor is spectacular, the visibility gives it drama, and the atmosphere is pure ghost ship. But, Cyprus is not only one dive.

There are other wrecks and dozens of reefs and caverns to explore. For après dive, Cyprus has sat at the crossroads of the Mediterranean since the beginning of sea exploration. Roman and Byzantine ruins pockmark the island, and beaches offer a relaxing respite.

 

Destination Essentials

When to go:

April through December

Marine Life Seasons:

Loggerhead and green turtles nest on the beaches from May to August.

When to Get the Best Deals:

January and February/ shoulder seasons are September and May.

What to Pack:

7 mm to 3/2 mm wetsuit for season, sunscreen, mosquito repellent,
sturdy shoes for hiking, proper attire for getting out at night, jacket
in winter or for cool summer nights, insurance.

Water Temperatures:

Seasonal averages: 18°C/64°F in winter and 27°C/81°F in summer.

Air Temperatures:

Seasonal averages: 12°C/53°F in winter and 28°C/82°F in summer.

Currency:

Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Visa/Passport Requirements:

Valid passport; check with local immigration office for visa requirements.

Departure Tax:

Included in your airfare.

Immunisations:

None required

Eastern Cyprus Avg Water Temperature

Eastern Cyprus Avg Air Temperature

What to Eat:

Start your eating adventure in Cyprus by sharing meze with friends. These are bite size dishes that may include stuffed grape leaves, olives, cheeses such as feta and halloumi (Cyprus-produced goat cheese), sausages, meatballs, salads, potatoes, eggs, hummus, etc. Seafood favorites include calamari and small, deep-fried fish. You’ll also enjoy all kinds of Greek inspired food like moussaka, souvlaki and shish kebabs.

What to Drink:

Cyprus has produced wine for thousands of years and Commandaria is the best-known dessert wine. Zivania is a potent Cypriot alcohol made from grapes. KEO and Leon are the local beers, with Carlsberg also produced locally. Try airini, a refreshing drink made with yogurt - perfect for hot summer days.

Top Adventures/Shopping/Culture:

Lots of history has passed through Cyprus, so you can explore Roman and Byzantine ruins, UNESCO World Heritage churches; there’s a wine route for eonophiles; follow in the footsteps of the goddess of love, Aphrodite;

Customs and Culture:

You’ll find that the Greek-Cypriot community is proud of their cultural heritage, and extend a warm and friendly welcome to visitors.

Top Festivals/Events:

Afamia Grape Festival, October; Troodos Grape Festival, Sept to November; Gastronomy and Wellness Festival, October.

Electricity and Internet:

230 Volts/50Hz; Internet is widely available.

Drink the water?

Bottled water is recommended.

Language:

Greek is the main language. English, French and German are widely spoken within the tourist industry.

 

Marine Life

Barracuda:

These predatory pelagic fish are often seen on the reefs.

Octopus:

Wily and secretive, the octopus is often found in holes and crannies of reefs and wrecks.

Moray Eel:

Most often found in holes, caves, and wrecks.

Sea Turtle:

Loggerhead and green turtles can be found swimming in leisurely fashion or napping under ledges.

Stingray:

Often hanging out on sandy bottoms, but can also be seen swimming around the reefs. Keep your distance from its venomous barbed tail.

Grouper:

These large, lazy-moving fish with their characteristically downturned mouths come in many colors, and add interest to many reef dives.

Bream:

This schooling fish is probably the most common marine life on Cyprus reefs.

Nudibranch:

Lots of unique sea slugs patrol the waters off Cyprus

 

Top Dives

Agioi Anargyrois (The Chapel):

Access the water at this site through a cave at the bottom of a flight of steps. The wall here hosts a variety of small fish, and is also ideal for night dives to admire the octopus.

Akrotiri Fish Reserve:

This shallow site (9 metres/30 feet) is located in a fish reserve near Akrotiri. Divers can hand-feed groupers, moray eels, bream and bass, and admire the octopus.

Amphitheatre, Coral Bay:

This site takes its name from the natural formation resembling an amphitheatre, carved out of the rock by sea currents. Besides the magnificent rock formations, enjoy the abundance of marine life, including groupers, eels and cuttlefish.

Devil’s Head, Akamas:

Located off the northwest coast of Pafos in the Akamas area, this dive combines caves and interconnecting tunnels at a depth of 9 metres/30 feet. Look for green and leatherback turtles during the turtle season.

HMS Cricket, Larnaka Coast:

This sunken British battleship rests upside-down on the seafloor at 23 metres/75 feet. The World War II gunboat survived the war, and was anchored in Larnaka Bay and used as target practice by the RAF, sinking in 1947 due to bad weather. Divers can swim inside the hull through escape hatches and underneath the wreck. The vessel houses groupers and other fish.

Helicopter Wreck, Larnaka Coast:

A British Army Helicopter wrecked and sank here in 1996, resting now at 15 metres/50 feet. The area is frequented by schools of fish and octopus.

Pharses II , Lemesos:

This twin-hatched cargo ship went down not far from Lemesos harbor during a storm in 1980. It lies practically intact on its starboard side in 18 metres/60 feet of water. The thousand-ton ship can be penetrated by experienced divers.

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.

Vera K, Pafos:

This Lebanese freighter ran aground in shallow water in 1972 and was used as target practice by the army until it was declared a hazard to other ships and blown up in 1974. It now rests in a crater created by the explosion, 9 metres/30 feet underwater. Very close are two large archways and narrow tunnels suitable for experienced divers.

Zenobia , Larnaka Coast:

This ship is rated one of the 10 best wreck dives in the world. The Zenobia, a Swedish ferry carrying more than 100 semi trucks, sank in 1980. It lies on its port side on a flat bed of sand and rocks. Both the ferry and its cargo are still intact, and the wreck houses grouper, barracuda and tuna.

 

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