Text: Isabela Foustanou
The seas of Cyprus combine a lot of various elements that establish it as a real paradise for diving, mostly due to the favorable weather conditions –from March to November– and the warm crystal clear waters –the temperature of which varies between 16-27°C– all year round. The absence of plankton holds the waters of the island uniquely clear and allows for great visibility in deep waters full of colorful fish, sponges, corals and sea anemones, while the appearance of a sea turtle and a rare Mediterranean seal (Monachus monachus) is more than likely...
01 “Zenobia” Larnaka
About two miles off the coast of Mackenzie in Larnaca, lies the shipwreck “Zenobia” –a 172-meter ferry ship loaded with 108 lorries– which sank on his maiden voyage on June 7th 1980. The “Titanic of the Mediterranean” as they call it, is considered one of the ten best wrecks in the world. Each year more than 100,000 divers visit it as the ship and part of its cargo remain intact.
02 “Lady Thetis”& “Konstantis” Limassol
The "Lady Thetis" cruise ship as well as the fishing boat "Konstantis" are part of the Limassol Marine Park. These are artificial reefs that were deliberately placed on the seabed of the island to act as shelters for the development and production of marine organisms. The "Konstantis was built in 1989 in the USSR at the time, moved to Cyprus in 1997 and was sank in 2014 along with "Lady Thetis", which was built in Germany. The reef attracts a large number of blue damsels, parrot fish, bream and grouper fish.
03 Green Bay Protaras
It is one of the most popular diving spots on the island, ideal for beginner divers and snorkeling. On the seabed pieces of ancient amphorae along with a variety of different fish species can be found at the famous feeding ground “Fish Rock”, which includes seabasses, cuttlefish, starfish and octopuses.
04 Cape Greco Caves Protaras
Cape Greco Caves is renowned for the unique beauty of its sea caves. Here you will find a series of caves and tunnels, lava rocks as well as a wide range of marine life in the area, such as groupers, octopuses, morays, turtles, sea bream and rays. A unique feature of this particular point is a rock in the shape of the island as well as a cave wide enough for adventurous diving.
05 Devils Head Akamas
The combination of caves and connected tunnels, as well as the variety of marine life, make this part of Akamas peninsula ideal for very interesting dives. The protected Caretta caretta turtles nest around this area, which some lucky divers might have the chance to meet!
06 Amphorae Caves Diving Site Pafos
A plethora of caves for exploration can be found here, including one whose roof seems to be covered with amphorae. A group of American explorers who studied the area claim that this phenomenon is the result of the seabed movement during the last 2,000 years. This place is a shelter for octopuses, and it also hosts beautiful corals.
07 Ancient Shipwreck of Mazotos
This is a shipwreck of merchant ship, which sank in the middle of the 4th century BC, at a depth of 44 meters, where it “sat” on the sandy bottom of the area of the today’s village of Mazotos. The ship was carrying the famous red wine of Chios into clay amphorae, of which five hundred have been counted so far, while many more are still buried in the sand. All findings from the ship are kept in the Larnaca Archaeological Museum.
Photography: University of Cyprus
08 “HMS Cricket” Larnaka
The HMS Cricket, which rests upside down on the seabed off Larnaca, at a depth of 27 meters, presents a unique opportunity to explore an old British warship from World War II. Story has it that it survived the war, anchored in the Gulf of Larnaca, and in 1947 sinking due to bad weather. The divers can swim in the “bowels” of the ship by passing through its hatches and under the wreck.
09 Helicopter Shipwreck Larnaka
This diving site is situated off the coast of Larnaca and is only accessible by boat. It is a British Army helicopter that sank 16 feet below sea level in 1966. There are fish and octopuses flocks in the area.