Cyprus Diving

Aphrodite’s island, a perfect tourist destination for Europeans throughout the year. Would you believe it if I tell you that it’s also a great place to go diving. Probably you wouldn’t but it is.

How is it?

Usually, people go to Cyprus to relax at the beach, drink good wine and eat delicious food. I went there to do this as well but mostly to enjoy diving. I didn’t expect much as I knew there was no coral reef or super marine life, but I was positively surprised – the canyons, caves are quite interesting. Viability was great. At least 15-20 visibility and warm water even for the beginning of November, around 23 degrees Celsius. You can easily dive in a 5mm wetsuit but a 3mm would do the job as well. I do get cold underwater but in Cyprus I felt very comfortable. As it’s mostly shore diving instead of boat diving you need to be prepared to walk with full gear on to the shore which sometimes might be difficult, especially when you are wearing diving socks instead of diving boots. Generally, I’m not a fan of stripe fins as for me they are too heavy and underwater I constantly have the feeling that they will fall off any second, I use wellington fins. Because of that I’m often a walking joke for other divers as still after 10 years of diving I refuse to switch to stripe fins. In case you don’t know what the difference between those two is, below is a pic to show that. Long story short, with stripe fins you need to wear diving boots so your sole is protected, with wellington fins you can wear diving socks. Therefore, I was suffering at most of the diving location because the surface wasn’t nice and sandy, it was sprinkled with stones and pebbles so walking felt like stepping constantly on Lego’s that are hidden in the carpet. For those of you who also prefer wellington fins and go diving to a destination with stony shores where you mostly do shore diving, invest in cheap crocs. 

Underwater Museum

Despite the painful walk to the shore at least for me, the diving locations were really cool. Swimming through caves, under overhangs or surfacing through a hole in the rocks… nice and different. Occasionally you could spot a turtle or some colourful fish but surprisingly there were many lionfish. Looks like that species is everywhere… and in Cyprus they were massive. I particularly like one dive site – the underwater museum by Jason deCaires Taylor in Musan. This artist created underwater museums in other locations as well, for example in Cancun. Wanted to visit it back in 2013 when I was in Mexico but there was not enough time. The dive site itself isn’t very challenging as it’s close to the shore and max depth is 10 m but it’s something different than usual. It has around 90 sculptures and the theme is environment and modern society. It was interesting to swim around those statues and explore them so that you don’t stir up the sandy bottom and destroy the visibility. Great dive site for photographers. Judge for yourself.

Zenobia Wreck

Another dive site which I found absolutely breathtaking was the Zenobia Wreck dive. Zenobia, the Swedish cargo ship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1980 at the shore of Cyprus… Some say it was an accident, others see a conspiracy theory behind it as the ship was on its way to Syria… anyway now it’s a very very impressive dive site which I ranked in the top 10 of recreational dives sites worldwide. No wonder as around the wreck you can see the big propellers, lorries which fell out of the cargo area when the ship capsized even the lifeboat. Insight you can see empty beer bottles, blankets, even a piece of the tapestry. There are different routes to explore the wreck so a minimum of two dives is recommended to see the interesting parts. The more the better but not more than two dives on one day as the Zenobia wreck dive site is not for the beginning divers. The wreck stretches from 16 to around 40 metres. For those of you who are tech divers you will enjoy this site as there is plenty to explore inside and outside the wreck. 

If you are interested in diving the Zenobia you need to book in advance, there is no walk in and say I wanna dive the wreck option. Given you can reach the site by boat, so no shore diving here and that the wreck is deep the dive centres need to make sure you have sufficient experience and secure a place for you on the dive boat. Be aware that depending on season the skippers have different sailing dates. In the high season May-September it is crowded, and you need to book in advance to get a place in the low season October-December the skippers sail on particular dates, so places are not an issue, but the skippers don’t sail that often as in the high season.  Below are some pics from the wreck dive.

When it comes to choosing the dive centre you need to research which one is closest to your hotel as many dive centres offer range hotel pick up and drop off. For example only from hotels in Ayia Napa or within 10 km from the dive centre. I booked my dives with Ocean View Diving and have to say it was very good Price wise OK but I really liked the owner – Conrad. He made sure that we don’t repeat the dive sites and made sure that the diving day goes smoothly. Have to say, very good organisation, pick up always punctual, the dive shop well equipped and there were washing and drying facilities for the dive gear. Plus, Conrad always replied to emails very fast… which I can’t say about the other dives centres I contacted.

And after diving?

What’s there to do after diving? Well… I went to Cyprus mostly to scuba. As you might expect, diving makes you tired, so I was diving and relaxing after diving in bed, sleeping <lol> However, during those two days where I wasn’t diving I went to a water park, jet skiing and paragliding. 

15 min with the bus from Ayia Napa you will find Water World. Given that I still feel like I’m 7 years old I had lots of fun in that water park. Well, you can notice that it’s not very new but it’s safe and offers many attractions for young and old. The good thing about going in the low season is that there are no quest for the slides so you can slide the whole day till you drop. That’s what I did 😀 For jet skiing and parasailing, yeah you can find those attractions on every beach in Ayia Napa. Yes, it would be good to book in advance but frankly speaking there is no need to do that in the low season. In case you are looking for a chilled out diving destination away from the crowds, pick Cyprus in the low season. Still warm, no crowds, lower prices, still awesome.

3 thoughts on “Cyprus Diving

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s