The simplest and most accessible way of getting a great view of what lies beneath is to don a mask and learn to breathe through a snorkel.
With so much flora and fauna within the clear warm Mediterranean waters, you should be able to find plenty to see… volcanic rock formations, multi-hued corals, sea anenomes, shoals of darting fish, starfish, shy seahorses, grazing turtles, graceful stingrays,…
Undersea Walking Helmets or Scooters
A unique alternative to Scuba diving that allows you to experience first-hand the colourful world teeming within Cyprus’ crystal clear waters. Fresh air is pumped into your helmet – a totally different experience than breathing through a regulator. As your head stays dry, you can even wear your glasses or contact lenses.
Undersea Cyprus also offer the opportunity to book a ride on a BOB (breathing observation bubble) which is a scooter-like personal mini submarine with built in fresh air helmet. Getting into the bubble does involve a brief moment underwater.
Based at Ayia Triada beach in Paralimni at the eastern end of the island. Morning and afternoon dives daily in season. The complete excursion lasts 2.5 hours – involving a short boat trip to the floating pontoon, then a rotation of escorted 30-minute undersea adventures for small groups in pre-booked time-slots.
Pissouri Bay Divers offer a ‘Discover Scuba Diving‘ course which gives you the experience of using breathing apparatus underwater – either in a pool or the sea. This exciting taster is a great introduction to diving for novices, which could be the start of a big new adventure.
There are plenty of other dive centres offering a variety of courses and activities – both local and around the island.
PADI Open Water Courses
You need to be quite organised to be able to fit a full PADI Scuba Diving qualification into your holiday. That’s not to say it can’t be done, though. The theory course – taking 12-15 hours – is best done online before your stay to maximise your time for the practical.
Pissouri Bay Divers offer an intermediate PADI Open Water qualification enabling you to hire equipment and dive under qualified supervision, or if you can squeeze in 4 open water dives, you could complete the full PADI certification.
Qualified divers can develop their skills and work towards the Advanced PADI Open Water certificate.
Cyprus has 6 shipwrecks which make exciting dive sites…
The first and most well-known was created by the accidental sinking of the Zenobia roll-on roll-off ferry on her maiden voyage in 1980. A computer error causing overfilling of the port ballast tanks has been blamed for tipping the vessel. As the £200 million cargo of 104 articulated lorries and their contents has never been salvaged, there is plenty to view at the site off the coast of Larnaca. (The crew were all successfully rescued.)
Around the wreck you will see groupers, tuna, barracuda, turtles, and stingrays.
The Zenobia is widely regarded as the best wreck-diving site in the Mediterranean, and often voted in the world’s top ten.
In recent years the Cyprus Government has taken the decision to add a further 5 additional artificial reefs at points around the island by sinking redundant vessels. Rest assured these were meticulously cleaned and prepared to ensure that no pollution was created in the process.
The new reefs have the same characteristics as natural reefs – providing space and shelter for reproduction, growth, feeding and refuge for marine organisms. Algae and sponges grow on the surfaces of the sunken wrecks, creating mini ecosystems and habitats.
Protaras – 1950s fishing vessel Nemesis III – Dec 2013
Limassol – Lady Thetis, a 1950s German vessel – Feb 2014
Limassol – former Soviet fishing trawler Costandis – Feb 2014
Paphos – Laboe, a pre-World War II cruiser – June 2014
Ayia Napa – Kerynia, a navy patrol boat – Feb 2015
Of all the excursions from sea-fishing to wildlife-watching available from Paphos harbour, we recommend Atlantis Turtle-Watching Cruise – that we discovered thanks to our guest Natalie.
Atlantis is equipped with portholes for underwater viewing of fish, turtles, stingrays, and wrecks. Cruises start from the furthest jetty, and the skipper, George, is a genial and knowledgeable host.
Glass Bottomed Boats
You will find a variety of excursions in glass-bottomed boats from harbours around the island. Another great opportunity to view the undersea delights below.