A Hidden Treasure in the Mediterranean
The location of your dreams is not far away, whether you intend to get back into the water after a break or are considering making your first dive. I'm referring to Cyprus' southernmost region, also known as the Island of Love. The Mediterranean's emerald-blue waves, sunny warmth, and an unforgettable undersea adventure may all be had in this distant location.
You might be curious as to why it would be worthwhile to travel to Cyprus for a diving holiday or even where the greatest diving locations are. Given that I just had the chance to discover the hidden gems in and around Limassol, I'm pleased to answer both inquiries.
To offer some background, it should be mentioned that Limassol is a lesser-known hidden gem in the Mediterranean, positioned between the southern cities of Pafos and Larnaca. Everyone is welcome, and new locations are just waiting to be found, from novice snorkelers to experienced scuba divers and free divers. This city is one of the least expensive destinations in the world to complete a single dive or obtain a diving certification, in addition to catering to all needs and interests.
Those who desire a diving experience on a budget find Limassol to be attractive. Several dive shops offer local beach dives for about 50 euros. Regarding a basic course, it is the finest value for diving in the area and will provide you access to a first-rate underwater adventure teeming with colorful marine life.
However, Limassol's allure is not just due to its affordable dives and accessibility to divers of all skill levels. The Mediterranean Sea is well known for its crystal-clear waters, teeming marine life, and stunning undersea scenery. There are several selling qualities, which is why divers from over the world are becoming more and more drawn to the region. But for the time being, it still has the allure of a remote location.
Limassol is the best location due to how close it is to all the fascinating diving sites in the nation; you can drive there from any other location and be at any of the top diving locations in about 30 minutes. There are countless options available to you. Shiny light effects that cast a unique glow over the marine life and the entire ecosystem are yet another incredibly alluring aspect of the diving environment in the area.
With artificial reefs, ancient ships, and sunken wrecks all around Limassol, the environment is ideal for the development of a diversified ecosystem. The city will soon become a popular diving destination on a global scale. It has tremendous potential, and the fact that few people are aware of it adds to its rawness and purity.
The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research in Limassol is actively trying to establish, manage, and conserve the protected zones, where fishing is prohibited, and to provide a sustainable environment with the ideal circumstances for marine life to flourish. Currently, there are seven marine reserves in the vicinity of Limassol, and fortunately, I was able to visit two of them. These were the beautiful manmade reefs of Amathous and Dasoudi, which have breakwaters lining their edges to preserve the tranquility and integrity of the sea.
These man-made reefs are created to resemble natural reefs and to be able to offer a secure environment where marine life can feel at home. The rehabilitation and preservation of our biodiversity in the coastal seas off Limassol is significantly aided by the notable growth in the number of marine protected zones.
Architectural ruins that are surrounded by a wide variety of wildlife and flora cover the artificial reef at Amathous. Swimming in the reef, which is surrounded by a dense Posidonia forest and sits above a sunken ship, is like being in a rare underwater forest. These flowering plants were also completely engulfing the wave breaking sections of the Dasoudi artificial reef. Old ships provide a haven for a variety of biodiversity in this protected area, making them the ideal place for passenger turtles to lay their eggs.
I think the only kind of traffic one could tolerate while diving without being exhausted or stressed out. All year long, it can be extremely busy in Limassol. You might come across groupers, barracudas, sea bass, trumpet fish, sargos, damselfish, and octopuses as permanent occupants. These people are very likely to come into contact with you as you travel the coast from Zenobia to Pafos. Summertime is typically when turtles begin to become accustomed to people and can swim peacefully with them. I guarantee you won't grow bored, despite the fact that marine life might not seem particularly unusual at first. Even just the diving scene as a whole is quite unusual.
The Zenobia wreck, often known as the Zen, is located in the vicinity of Larnaca, Cyprus' third-largest city. One of the biggest wrecks ever explored in the entire world is this one. It gives us the impression that we are a small part of a much larger whole. Zenobia, a parallel world 178 meters long and 28 meters broad, is a haven for many different species, including octopus, conger eels, lionfish, tuna, turtles, and anemones. Due to its depth of 43 meters, it is also anticipated that only seasoned divers will study it.
The island's other southern corner is where you could possibly discover priceless beauties. Amphorae Cave can be a fantastic choice if you're seeking for a unique experience. A maze of tunnels that, due to its uniqueness and the profusion of vibrant tropical fish inside, gives you the impression that you are in a Little Mermaid fairy tale. If you explore the Jubilee Shoals, which are close to the well-known Rock of Aphrodite, you can take your advanced diving skills to a whole new level.
One of the most well-known diving destinations in Episkopi Bay is the dive spot at Jubilee Shoals. As a protected ecosystem with a leaning underwater rock and subterranean caverns that descend as far as 60 meters, this location has a mysterious aura about it. This location also contains a few small rock formations and the wreckage of a Canberra B2 military plane. You will come across moray eels, groupers, damselfish, and crayfish among the many resident species.
Divers can explore a considerable portion of the coastline. The M.V. Habe Wreck and Farsa ii Wreck may be found near Lady's Mile Beach, between the city's old harbor and Limassol Salt Lake, Cyprus's largest lake. Akrotiri Bay, which is nearby and located at the southernmost part of Cyprus, will delight you. These dive sites and wrecks are absolutely fascinating and well worth a visit. If you want to try diving but don't feel very confident, the Fish Reserve dive site is a wonderful place to start. You won't run out of excitement anywhere in Limassol, that much is certain.
I believe there is something unique about the Constandis wreck. Originally constructed in 1989 by the USSR, this fishing boat has a depth range of 24 meters. I boarded a speedboat at the Dasoudi beach and traveled there in less than 7 minutes. A rich variety of marine life can be found living among the wreckage. From greenhead turtles to strange sea snails, there are barracudas, groupers, sea horses, and moray eels. You might even get the chance to go swimming with monk seals if you are in the correct area at the appropriate time.
This wreck is stunning in its grandeur and majesty; it made me feel as though I was in a bustling underwater city. Another nearby wreck that is part of the Artificial Reef Project and intended to be used as a dive site is the Lady Thetis wreck, which is separated from it by a sizable reef. With its passenger coastal vessel submerged to a depth of 18 meters, this wreck is perfect for divers of all experience levels. These two dives are important ones to take.
There is always more to come! All levels of divers will find Limassol to be an amazing destination due to the marine conditions and water temperature. You can rest easy knowing that the water is typically 17 degrees Celsius in the winter and up to 28 degrees in the summer, for a yearly average of about 22 degrees. Due to the rarity of strong sea currents and the fact that they are consistently mild throughout the year, the area is accessible to anyone.
You may expect flat seas and good visibility from March to November. Cyprus has one of the longest diving seasons in the Mediterranean. If you have a limited amount of time, I advise you to give the Constandis and Lady Thetis wreck, the Zenobia wreck, and The Jubilee Shoals top priority. If you find yourself with some free time, simply begin exploring the Dasoudi region and all the spectacular reefs nearby, which are steadily reviving these clear waters.
Divers are progressively being drawn to the Island of Love for a variety of reasons. All of these characteristics, including Limassol's undiscovered archaeological and architectural splendor as well as its calm seas, calm currents, and exceptional visibility, place it in the red cross on the map of treasure hunting. The fact that hardly anyone is discussing this location only serves to highlight how unique it is. And its true, unadulterated soul is full of tales that are inexhaustible.
Author: José Amaral