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Diving in Cyprus

Most of Cyprus ' dive sites are located in the South (as this is the most popular tourist area), but there are some good sites in the North and it's only a matter of time until more get 'discovered'

Warm seas, clear water and year-round sunshine ensure that diving in Cyprus remains a popular pastime. The varied nature of the dive sites as well as the lack of tides and currents means that both beginners and more experienced divers can enjoy the experience. There's plenty of underwater life and a huge variety of fish will be vying for your attention. If you're lucky you might bump into tuna, barracuda or the occasional turtle. Throw in a few wrecks, some ancient settlements plus the odd coral reef and you've got pretty well everything you could want.

Cyprus has a healthy selection of dive shops, which means that competition is stiff and prices are kept low. Most dive outfits offer the PADI Open Water Course (for novices) as well as a number of more advanced qualifications. Dive sites are numerous, but the highlight for many is the wreck of the Zenobia ferry, which sunk in 1981 outside Lanarca harbour. Rated as one of the 'top ten' wreck dives in the world it lies at a depth of 18-42 metres so it's suitable for most levels. The ancient kingdom of Atlantis is reputed to lie off the southern tip of Cyprus and whilst you might not be lucky enough to discover it; other remnants from the island's classical past litter the seabed.

Before embarking on your dive make sure that the dive company has the correct certification, access to oxygen, a decompression chamber and a watertight insurance policy (although Cyprus has a good dive safety record). If you are unsure about a particular dive shop talk to returning divers to see what their experience was like. The seas around Cyprus are so clear that divers are often tempted to deeper than they have before. There's also scope for some fairly technical diving using nitrox for anyone wanting to see how far they can go (as well as some challenging reef drops).


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