Whether you’re a local or a visitor to Cyprus, you’ll no doubt agree that the gorgeous waters that cocoon the island are one of the country’s biggest selling points, with sand fringed shores and crystal clear seas that are simply begging to be enjoyed. And with summer round the corner, the excitement is really starting to kick in! But if a little swim or splash about in shallow waters just isn’t enough for you, maybe a dive deeper into the underwater world will get you ticking.
The great news is that there’s a huge variety of dive sites to enjoy, whether you’re just starting out or have been diving for years.
1. Zenobia- Larnaca
Hailed as every diver’s dream wreck, this is by far the most famous shipwreck on the island, actually rated as one of the top ten wreck dives in the world. The Swedish ferry, which sunk off the coast of Larnaca in 1980 on her maiden voyage, lies just 1.4 km off the Larnaca coast on its port side on a flat bed of sand and rocks.
Both the ferry and its cargo are still intact and are rather fascinating to explore, from the large propellers, to the ship’s cafeteria. Abundant fish have also made the wreck their home: keep your eyes peeled for schools of fish including grouper, barracuda and tuna. The dive starts at a depth of 17 metres and bottoms at 43 metres.
2. Devil’s Head- Akamas
Akamas in itself is breathtakingly beautiful, with the green and rugged peninsula jutting out into the captivating deep blue waters of the area. And it seems that heading to the wild western coast of the island for a dive is well worth the effort, with the so called ‘devil’s head’ being a particularly popular spot, combining caves and interconnecting tunnels at a depth of some 11 metres. Lucky divers may spot green and leatherback turtles in the summer months, while there’s also plenty of marine life to take in and admire around the intricate rock formations.
3. Amphora Caves- Ayia Napa
As the name suggests, this site owes its name to broken pieces of antique amphora (an ancient ceramic container used for the transport and storage of various products.)
A fantastic site of archaeological importance, there are a number of caves to explore, including one with an amphora encrusted in the roof.
According to a group of American archaeologists who investigated the site, it is believed this is due to movements in the sea bed over the last two thousand years. The dive takes you to a depth between 5 metres and 12 metres, as you explore the caves and gullies.
4. Manidjin Island- Paphos
A ten minute boat ride from Coral bay harbour, this makes for a very scenic dive, with a wall, spectacular cave and swim through, taking you to a depth of 6 to 25 metres. The island is in fact small enough to dive multi-level all the way around. The cave itself is covered in a variety of purple and pink calciferous algae, while many divers often spot yellow fin barracuda at the site.
5. Jubilee Shoals, Avdimou- Limassol district
Just a stone’s throw from the gorgeously quiet Avdimou Bay, is an underwater site that some say is the best in Cyprus after the spectacular Zenovia wreck. Only suitable for experienced divers, this one consists of a vast underwater cliff face with caves, pinnacles and a tunnel which offers drop-offs from the 20 metre to 60 metre levels. The site is also a great place to spot large pelagics such as tuna and jackfish, as well as plenty of octopus and moray in the mix.