The most picture-perfect coastline on the island belongs to the Famagusta region (Ammochostos). Thanks to the unique white sand (in contrast to the brown sand in other parts of the island), sunlight is reflected, making the clean seawaters appear even clearer. The result is beaches that look like they belong in a tropical paradise.
And so, it goes without saying that this makes the region a great choice for diving. The visibility of the clear waters is further enhanced by an absence of strong currents and dangerous sea creatures – something that is characteristic of Cyprus diving in general, and why it is so popular. The region’s extra allure comes from the many very interesting underwater rock formations found in this part of the island.
A good place to experience diving in the region is in the vicinity of Cape Greco, which is found between Agia Napa and Protaras. If you have never tried diving before, the Cyprus Dive Center Association has a list of its accredited members.
Required Qualification: Open Water
GPS Coordinates: 34°57’48.86″N / 34° 4’23.33″E
This is one of the most popular dive sites because it has so many rock formations that make the dive experience an exciting odyssey of unexpected twists and turns. It is said that one dive is not enough to fully appreciate and experience everything!
There are two entry points – one with 1.5 metre drop-off and one with a three-metre drop-off. The depth is 12-14 metres and visibility is up to 20 metres.
Highlights include a rock in the shape of Cyprus and a cave that is wide enough to dive through. The myriad of interesting encounters… lava rock formations, overhangs and tunnels also lead to discovering the underwater residents they hide!
I cannot say that I am an expert in identifying different marine life, but you can typically expect to see bream, bearded fire worms, cardinalfish, grouper, moray eels, ornate wrasse, octopus, soldierfish and stingray, and gentle turtles at the right time of year.
Required Qualification: Open Water
GPS Coordinates: 34°58’33.88″N / 34° 4’33.98″E
As with The Caves, the rock formations and scenic terrain of Chapel – named after the quaint Agioi Anargyroi Chapel – make this a thrilling dive.
Entry to the site was once more difficult, but there are now steps leading down from the chapel and into a cave below for a quick descent (already an adventure!). Depth is 40 metres and visibility is 20 metres.
The awe-inspiring ledges, overhangs and cliff faces combine with glinting shattered amphora on the seabed, fascinating sponge-covered rocks and embedded fossils to make it quite the exploration, particularly for night dives.
Once again, the marine life is harmless and often friendly; what you can expect to see includes bream, groupers, lionfish, moray eels, nudibranch, octopus and sea urchins.
Required Qualification: Open Water / Boat Diver
GPS Coordinates: 34°57’39.29″N / 34° 3’49.43″E
You’ve guessed it… more rock formations, but this time, the dive site is a half-submerged grotto that consists of different levels with varying depths and contours, and a breathtaking landscape of grand boulders, rocks and abundant sea grass.
Access to this site is more difficult as there is a rocky drop-off point of up to 18 metres. The depth is 45 metres and visibility is 20 metres. This is a good site for night diving too.
As with The Caves and Chapel, there is the usual bream, grouper, and octopus, but here you will also likely see blennies, cardinalfish, jacks, parrotfish, pipefish, squirrelfish, stingrays, tube worms and even tuna. As the marine life is visible above a 20-metre depth, this is also a great site for snorkelling.