Diving Paphos

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Paphos, Cyprus

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Country: Cyprus  Area: Cyprus

Water Temp: 16 - 29°C (61 - 84°F)

Visibility: 15 - 30m (49 - 98 ft)

Green Turtle Mating - May to Jun, Nesting - Jun to Jul, Hatching - Aug to Sep

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Easily a top diving spot in the Mediterranean, with one of the top ten wrecks in the world and an important turtle breeding area! Cyprus is a great diving destination for all divers, not just the wreck enthusiasts.

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Paphos is located in the west of Cyprus and is one of the main diving hubs of the country. Cyprus lies in the crossroads of three continents which gives the country its unique atmosphere of east meets west.

Whether as a diver you are visiting to dive the world famous Zenobia, or for the sea turtles, Cyprus has a lot to offer to divers of all levels and is a brilliant choice of destination with a very interesting culture and excellent beaches.

Grouper, Credit

The beaches of Cyprus are a key breeding hotspot for Green and Loggerhead turtles and many conservation projects are run to protect the beaches and therefore the declining turtle population.  These projects are open to volunteers for the breeding season of May to September and conduct research, raising public awareness, as well as protecting and monitoring the nests. Part of this effort means that the main breeding beaches are closed to the public during the season, and near Paphos, Lara Beach is one such beach that is closed from April through to September.

Coral Bay, Paphos, Cyprus, Credit

Climate

Cyprus has a typical Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild winters. Most rain is had in the winter months although most days are pleasant, clear and sunny. The visibility and water temperature do drop in winter with the coldest waters around February time (tends to have high seas/lots of rain) and then peaking at their warmest of 28C in August. 

Paphos' Lighthouse, Credit

 
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Diving

Diving in Cyprus isn’t the best the Mediterranean can offer but with the world famous Zenobia in its waters as well as some pleasant easy reef dives it is a great destination for divers and well worth a visit. Paphos offers a great variety of sites for beginners up to experienced divers. It is a brilliant and exciting place to learn to dive with some simple wrecks, spectacular rock formations and caves to explore progressing up to the world famous wreck of the Zenobia for experienced divers. The sites offered in the area can be reached either by shore, short boat trips or even whole day trips to popular sites elsewhere on the island and Akamas National Park.

Shoreline, Credit

Akamas National Park lies 12km west of Paphos and is home to some excellent dive sites with lots of marine life. The whole area is a marine park so is a protected area from fishing which is why the marine life here is so abundant compared to the Cyprus reefs just a short distance away. St Georges Island in the Akamas is one of the only deep wall dives in the area and caters for all levels of experience. As you are swimming along the wall its worth taking time to explore any recesses and overhangs for the marine life hiding there and see if you can find a hidden octopus or tiny critters such as colourful nudibranches. Another site in the Akamas is Lara Valley which offers overhangs, crevasses and if you are lucky there is a chance of even spotting a turtle around here during the breeding season.

Nearer to Paphos one relatively easy but stunning underwater geological feature is the Amphitheatre which is a naturally formed amphitheatre at the shallow 9-12m. The shallow depth and rock formation create some very pretty light effects and is a great spot for photographs.

Divers! Credit

Undoubtedly the best wreck in the Mediterranean, and one of the top 10 of the world, the wreck of the Zenobia lies in Cyprus’s waters and to dive this is the reason most divers visit this location.  A roll on roll off ferry, the Zenobia now lies between 18 and 42m just out from Larnaca. Over a hundred lorries were present when the ship sank and many of them can still be seen, some are still attached to the ship by rusty chains, where are lots have broken free and fallen to the seabed spilling their various contents from industrial machinery, timber, paint and eggs. This wreck presents a variety of dives at different levels from an easy beginner dive along the starboard side of the ship at 18m, to the more advanced wreck penetration inside the upper car deck to a dive in the lower car deck or accommodation sections suitable only for very experienced divers. Diving this wreck is a Must when in Cyprus and due to its huge size you can only see a fraction on one dive so many people dive it numerous times to fully appreciate all this magnificent wreck has to offer.

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How to Get there

Cyprus is easily reached with an international airport and great connections to the whole of Europe.

Ayia Kyriaki, Paphos, Credit

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