Paphos is located on the Southwest coast of Cyprus and is surrounded by pristine waters filled with a high abundance of marine life which inhabit the unique rock formations and shallow reefs.
Diving in Paphos
Paphos is a region located on the south west coast of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This is one of the top diving destinations in Cyprus due to its pristine waters, great conditions and variety of dive sites which also means there are many dive centres and dive resorts to choose from here, including some in Coral Bay, which lies just north of Paphos. The rocky topography is teeming with coral life, as well as a variety of marine species. This area has been set up as a Sea Turtle conservation area which means they are in high abundance here for divers to enjoy.
Whether divers want to come here to advance their skills and take dive courses, to explore some unique wrecks or to admire the high abundance of marine species, every dive will result in excitement after surfacing. Cyprus itself holds so much history which is what attracts a lot of visitors to it, and what makes diving here even more unique is that there are also some historical artefacts scattered on the sea bed here for divers to spot alongside the marine life.
Best time to dive
Cyprus truly has four seasons, and so the temperatures really vary, which means there are also big changes in the water temperatures. In the winter; from December to February, the water temperatures are at their lowest around 17 degrees Celsius. The warmest month is August, and the waters are around 28-29 degrees Celsius, so divers really do need to plan their dive trip to Cyprus depending on whether they are alright with colder water temperatures. Aside from the temperature, the rest of the conditions stay ideal throughout the year. June to November is the best time to dive, with mostly calm conditions and visibility reaching up to 30 metres, while January is the rainiest and windiest month. Due to this being a turtle conservation area, they are around all year long for divers to admire.
Types of diving
This area has a rocky topography, but the benefit of that is that over these thousands of years, some really unique formations have been created for divers, now, to explore. Some of these formations include exciting caves, swim-throughs, arches, coral pinnacles, coral walls and large, impressive boulders. There are a number of dive sites with shallower depths and more protected from the weather, such as Cynthiana dive site, which are the ideal location for dive courses and for novice divers.
There are also numerous wrecks here, including the most famous; Achilles, for wreck enthusiasts to explore. As they have all been underwater for a long time, they have some of the highest concentrations of marine life in the area.
What to see
There is a high abundance of marine life in Paphos, which is what makes it such a popular diving destination. Some of the most commonly seen species include Groupers which like to calmly glide by, schools of Barracuda, Tuna and Jacks, some reef critters including the fun Sea Stars, the adorable and colourful Nudibranchs, the vibrant Anemones, the characteristic Lobster, and the thrilling Squid and Octopus. Some of the larger species include different species of Rays including Stingrays, different species of Eels including Moray Eels and, because the coast of Cyprus has multiple turtle conservation efforts, Green Sea Turtles and Loggerhead Turtles.
Some dive sites also have large schools of reef fish which fill the waters with their vibrant colours. This is not a top destination to see large marine species, but it makes up for it with the high abundance of other species.
Best places to dive
Cynthiana is one of those dive sites that has it all; due to its ideal conditions, this is a top diving spot for dive courses or for refresher dives. Here there is a collection of reefs, swim-throughs, overhangs and it is a top destination for spotting Sea Turtles.
St George Island is an island located approximately 4 kilometres off the coast of Paphos and it has a combination of an impressive wall dive on one side of the island, and a larger cave filled with schooling fish on the other side.
Achilleas is a Greek cargo ship which sunk in 1975. It is located at 12 metres and lies upside down in three pieces, with many access points to enter and explore what she has to offer.
Amphitheatre Bay is a favourite dive site here, this is a shore dive which is named because the rock formations of this dive site resemble an amphitheatre. This site also harbours many marines species.
Zenobia Wreck is a world famous wreck which is sometimes visited by dive centres in Paphos on a day trip.