Reasons to Dive Cyprus This Autumn
With the Mediterranean’s reputation for being over-fished, and the Red Sea so close by, Cyprus is often overlooked as a diving hotspot. The third-largest and most populous island in the Mediterranean, however, boasts excellent diving all year round, but particularly towards the autumn months.
Climate and Water Temperature
Generally speaking, by the time September comes around, the coastal cities have cooled down after the stifling summer months, and by October, the island is just as sunny but pleasantly cool. Even though the days might remain reasonably hot, the evenings offer much respite as temperatures drop. The water, on the other hand, has been warming up all summer, and ocean temperatures remain in the high-20°s, with some sites staying around 30°C until November.
As a popular holiday destination, particularly for Brits, the island explodes during July and particularly August as families make their way over for some beach time before school starts again. The Cypriot school system follows a similar calendar, so you’ll also find local families out and about as everyone enjoys their time off. Hotels and beaches can get packed during these months, but by September, the island starts to quieten down again. There’s still plenty going on, but by this time many of the holidaymakers have had to make their way back in time for the new school year.
The Turtle Conservation Project for Cyprus has indicated that nesting season is usually from mid-June to mid-July, with hatchlings emerging and making their way across the beaches by the end of August to September. There are plenty of conservation centres across the island if you want to get involved, or want to spot a few tiny turtles on their first trip to the ocean. Underwater, around September you’re more likely to see adult Loggerheads as well as Green Turtles hanging around many of the island’s dive sites.
With very high air temperatures during July and August, the water starts to heat up quite quickly. This can cause huge thermoclines at many dive sites, particularly around the southwest of the island, and this in turn can have quite a strange effect on the visibility. The water can start to take on a cloudy, almost milky quality, and in some areas, the visibility can even drop to just a few metres. While this doesn’t pose a problem to most divers, by September everything is usually back to normal, and the visibility returns to the standard 20-30m.
Cyprus has a huge range for divers of every level and ability, with adventurous shore entry dives, deep wrecks, caves, and shallow dives perfect for beginners. Consider visiting for a few days in September, choose your ideal location and dive centre to suit your own needs, and you’re sure to have a great diving holiday!