Diving in Cyprus, Europe

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Cyprus is located in the northeast of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is the best place for beginner divers thanks to its calm waters sporting perfect visibility. However, the real fun begins when you are ready to take it to the next level. Host to one of the best wreck dives in the world, Cyprus boasts of the wreck of Zenobia ferry found not far from Larnaca and is now sitting on its port side at the depth of 16-43 metres. The massive size of the wreck deserves a lot of credits and is now fully colonized by marine life. Advance divers could marvel at its cavernous hold where about a hundred trucks and other types of vehicles chained to the cargo deck simply sit suspended on the walls sporting an animated show.

Aside from the popular Zenobia ferry wreck, beginner and novice divers could also explore caves and tunnels which are not far from the shore. If you are looking for richer diving experience with plenty of marine life, Cyprus doesn't really deliver aside from the Zenobia wreck but the wreck alone is worth a visit because of its enormous size. Nonetheless, pristine dive sites could be found in the northwest tip of the island around the Akamas Peninsula where the waters are clear and normally warm for the whole year perfect for spotting rare artefacts on the seabed.

Some of the marine life to see includes indigenous fishes, octopus, and crustaceans frolicking in the island's rocky shorelines. There are also green and logger turtles, groupers, moray eels, bream and bass at the depth of 9 metres near Akrotiri.

Another popular dive site is the HMS Cricket wreck, a WW1 gunboat lying upside down at the depth of 30 metres. The wreck is perfectly visible and good for all levels of divers and is located not far from Larnaca.

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Cyprus was the first country in the Mediterranean to pass a legislation in 1971 to protect the endangered turtles, dolphins, and seals visiting its waters. In 1990, the Cyprus government conceived The Cyprus Turtle Conservation Project which became the first turtle conservation in the Mediterranean.

The areas for conservation start at Aspros in the south extending to Argaki tou Yousouphi in the north.

Common to Mediterranean countries, Cyprus has hot and dry summers and mild winters.

The water temperature hovers around 18°C/64F to 280°C/82F in January (which is also the wettest month) and in July it ranges around 25-35C/77-95F.

On calmer conditions, expect visibility of more than 35 metres. However, visibility is lessened by a few metres during winter.

There are many international airports in Cyprus. Larnaca has the biggest airport terminals but Paphos is more popular for budget travellers. British Airways has daily flights to Larnaca from  Heathrow. Some of the budget airlines that fly to Paphos are Ryanair and Thomson.

There are also available cruises to the island and they have stops in Limassol.

Once in the mainland, buses and taxis are available but rental cars are a lot cheaper during off-peak season or in winter if you want to access the shore dive sites and to have a look at the mainland as well.

The general transportation system in Cyprus is exceptional.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Decompression Chambers in Cyprus

- Foreign Travel Advice for Cyprus (UK Government)

- More about the Cyprus (Wikipedia)

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