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Diving in Cyprus

Sink your toes into the white sand on a relaxing diving holiday to Cyprus, where endless visibility and curious shipwrecks are waiting just off shore.

Diving in Cyprus

Quick facts

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 epic deep dives, the island’s diving offers something for everyone. There are many memorable dive sites in Cyprus, but some of the favorites are Amphorae Caves, the Chapel, and the Zenobia. The Amphorae Caves are found off Paphos, where you’ll see ancient pottery, still intact. You can reach the Chapel from the shore, making it an excellent place for night diving. The Zenobia is the most famous wreck dive on Cyprus, and the trucks chained to the deck are not to be missed.

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.

When to go

The best time to dive in Cyprus is from March to November, when you can find warm, clear blue water and calm seas. This is one of the longest dive seasons in the Mediterranean. While winter storms can whip up the Mediterranean, Cyprus remains one of the best places in the region to dive throughout the year. On a more technical note, 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 the country has less than 10 days of rain on average. Visibility is generally 20-35+metres/65-115+ feet in calm conditions. Out of season, the aforementioned winter storms can drop visibility to a few metres/feet. Finally, water temperatures range from 16-27°C/60-80°F in the main dive season and slightly cooler otherwise.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

  • Famagusta

    The ancient city of Famagusta will draw you in with its fantastic cathedrals and the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, ideal for your next scuba diving adventure.

  • Kyrenia

    Crystal blue waters astound visitors to Kyrenia, the center of activity on Cyprus’s northern shoreline. You can expect to encounter mild weather and ancient castles during your trip to Kyrenia.

  • Paphos

    Graced with a Mediterranean shoreline is lovely Paphos, a Cypriot city where you can take in rich history, mild weather, and incredibly diverse scuba diving.

* 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.

What to see

Indigenous life flourishes among the rocky shorelines and outcrops around Cyprus. This warm corner of the Mediterranean offers divers an exciting diversion from the usually cold temperatures and deep, dark waters. Plenty of fish, crustaceans, octopus and eels can be found on the reefs, and further out, you can encounter dolphins. Green and loggerhead turtles are regular visitors, especially in breeding season. And a reserve near Akrotiri brings divers face-to-face with groupers, moray eels, bream and bass. Plus, the astounding collection of sponges and soft and hard corals, paired with their ever present entourage of fish, is idyllic in the shimmering blue light.

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Country

Officially the Republic of Cyprus, this island nation is tucked far into the Eastern Mediterranean. It is found between Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt but is far to the east of Greece. In both population and size, Cyprus claims the place of the third largest in the Mediterranean. People have called Cyprus home since the 10th millennium BC. Throughout history, the excellent climate, fertile soil and advantageous position have made Cyprus a fantastic place to live and visit. Tumultuous political atmospheres have persisted, however, as Cyprus has changed hands throughout history. The country achieved its independence in 1960 from the United Kingdom and has since thrived, breaking down boundaries and overcoming conflict.

Other attractions

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. 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. Paphos offers some of the most astounding beach scenes in Cyprus. You can also travel through the hilly terrain on horseback, as if you’ve been sent back to a faraway time.

Getting there

Many people that visit Cyprus come on a cruise or tour, but there is an abundance of options for independent travelers. You can fly directly in or take a boat. There are two main international airports in Cyprus, Larnaca International and Paphos International. Restrictions have eased on crossing the border between both halves of Cyprus, so land travel is a cinch.

UTC+02:00

Time zone

EUR

Currency

+357

Calling code

230 V

Electric volt

G

Plug type

LCA

Main airport
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.