Here are the 5 Best Dive Sites in Cyprus:
1. Zenobia, Larnaca
The Zenobia is the most famous wreck dive in Cyprus. The wreck is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 recreational dive sites worldwide. 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. The 172-metre long wreck was sunk on its port side at 42 metres (138 ft) while the shallowest point is at 18 metres. In good weather conditions, visibility can reach 30 metres. Zenobia wreck is an ideal site for advanced divers or for experienced tech divers who are able to conduct wreck penetration dives. One of the most fascinating facts is that the cargo of the ship (with lorries and trucks) is still onboard for divers to visit.
The marine life on the Zenobia wreck is abundant and diverse. Since the area surrounding the wreck has been designated as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) for many years, no fishing activities are allowed within the vicinity of 3 miles. Therefore, depending on the season, divers have a chance to encounter large dusky groupers, schools of greater barracudas, moray eels, cardinals, rainbow wrasses, lionfish, nudibranchs, sea stars, and a variety of schooling fish like damselfish and sparids. Important and fascinating additions are large turtles that patrol the wreck as well as the occasional dolphins. Last but not least, the Zenobia wreck is home for a large number of coral species as well as sponges, bivalves, bryozoans and many crustaceans.
2. Marine Park, Limassol
The Limassol Marine Park consists of two wrecks: Constandis Fishing Boat and the Lady Thetis Shipwreck. It is an ideal place for beginner divers to train, but they are also interesting to more experienced divers.1km from the Limassol coastline, in the area between the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Dasoudi beach, lies the Limassol marine park, where these 2 vessels have been cast, making it a popular diving destination since 2014. The Limassol Marine Park attracts large numbers of damselfish and parrotfish as well as local sea bream and groupers.
Constandis Fishing Boat originally operated as a bottom trawler and was built in the Soviet Union in 1989. She was registered at the Register of Cyprus Ships in 1997 and operated in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea for a short period of time. Consdandis was sunk off Limassol in February 2014 – along with Lady Thetis. The fishing vessel has a length of 23 meters, a breadth of 8.6 meters and lies on a sandy bottom at the depth of 23 meters. Constandis has an open engine room, and it is very easy to penetrate and see the bottom trawling equipment that is still in place.
Lady Thetis lies in approximately 18 meters of water and has a number of easy swim-throughs and penetration options for divers who are more adventurous. Due to the way the wreck hit and has dug into the seafloor, a deeper depth than the seabed can be achieved inside the wreck close to the keel.
3. Amphora Caves, Paphos
Amphora Caves site has significant archaeological value. There are a number of caves to explore, including one with an amphora encrusted in the roof. Amphorae are ancient ceramic jars, used for storage and transportation of products. 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 meters and 12 meters, as you explore the caves and gullies.
Amphorae Caves is accessible by boat. You can see stripped groupers, parrot fish, scorpion fish, crabs running around, octopuses, and squids. Amphorae Caves is suitable for all divers.
4. Liberty Shipwreck, Protaras
The Liberty shipwreck was purposely sunk in May 2009 in 27m for artificial reef project and scuba tourism of the Protaras area in Cyprus. Τhis new Russian cargo ship with overall length of 37m and a width of 10m becoming a new home for a wide variety of marine life. Before the wreck found her final resting place at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, in Pernera, Protaras, there were holes cut into the wreck and even one of the engines was left in which makes some great swim throughs.
Marine life found a home on this wreck. You can see on the wreck tuna and there is a big shoal of amber jacks living around the wreck so with the sea bream and damsel fish, rainbow wrasse, groupers and much more makes the Liberty wreck a great dive. This area is closed for boat traffic and ideally suited for marine life to prosper. The Liberty shipwreck is located approximately 1 kilometre from the shore and is just a short boat ride. This wreck, provide divers with a unique opportunity to enhance their diving skills whilst having great fun, in a safe environment.
5. Sea Caves, Ayia Napa
This dive site really does have everything you would want in a dive and cater for all levels of qualified divers. It is a nice gentle dive, with various types of marine life to see, with a little bit of adventure and exploration thrown in for good measure! These natural cave formations of this dive site, provide divers with a unique opportunity to enhance their diving skills whilst having great fun, in a safe environment.
On reaching the caves, you have several choices. A series of caves, caverns, blowholes, tunnels and overhangs. Sights include lava rock and a wide range of marine life, including grouper, octopus, moray eels, turtles, bream, ornate wrasse, stingrays and bearded fire worms. Each of the many caves are different in size and each one has its own character and charm. On your descent and on making your way to the caves, you will see the many different types of marine life that inhabit the many rock formations. The dive begins with a gradual descent to around 2-3 meters and as you make your way round to the caves, it reaches a maximum depth of 12 meters. The dive actually starts in fairly shallow waters and to reach the actual caves, takes around 10 minutes of gentle finning.
For more information visit:
Visit Cyprus Official Portal: https://www.visitcyprus.com/files/CYPRUS_DIVE_SITES.pdf
Cyprus Dive Center Association: https://cyprusdiving.org.cy
Padi Cyprus: https://www.padi.com/diving-in/cyprus