With most of us planning to make a beeline for the island’s glistening coastline as lockdown measures ease, there’s certainly something rather special about kicking back on a sunbed and just listing to the waves lap against the shore. But when you start to get itchy feet, don’t forget that there’s a whole underwater world waiting to be explored!
With coral reefs to ogle at, there’s also all sorts of fish to spot, from small wrasse and groupers to Poseidon’s meadows, starfish and sea urchins hiding in the reefs. And if you’re exploring the more isolated west coast, you may be lucky enough to spot a green and loggerhead turtle in midsummer as they arrive on the island to lay their eggs in peace. All you need is a good fitting mask, a snorkel, and underwater fins if you so wish.
Just take your pick from some top spots that My Cyprus Insider has narrowed down for you and grab a disposable underwater camera on the way to add to the fun!
1. Cape Greco, Ayia Napa
With some of the warmest crystal clear waters on the island, the east coast of the island lures in snorkelers and divers alike, keen to explore the glorious coral reefs and colourful marine life. And the Cape Greco National Park in particular is a real snorkeler’s haven; an idyllic spot to plunge into the deep blue to catch a glimpse of the magnificent underwater world.
With stunning limestone cliffs aptly named ‘Palaces’ begging to be explored, do keep your eyes peeled for friendly sea creatures like turtles and moray eels. Where to get into the water? Head to the Agioi Anargyri chapel and walk down the stairs that lead into the sea!
2. Manolis Bay, Akamas
Nowhere can really top the beauty of the Akamas Nature Reserve with pristine beaches and a rugged coastline bound to take your breath away. Hop into a 4×4 and travel over the dusty dirt road to Manolis Cove, which is right beside the well-known blue lagoon. You can also rent a boat from Latchi harbour to get here to really make the most of the stunning coastline.
Photo credit: www.latchiwatersportscentre.co
The idyllic sheltered bay is home to deep turquoise waters (owing to the white sand on the seabed), with a rather rapid drop to about 5 metres. Snorkel into the caves and head to the sandy bottom in the middle of the bay. Look out for trumpet-fish swimming around the area; you’ll be fascinated by the way they change colour depending on the backdrop!
3. White Rocks, beside Governor’s Beach, Limassol
Another magnificent rocky part of the coastline, veer of the main Governor’s beach onto a dirt road that takes you over an unspoilt stretch of chalk coastline.
The sedimentary rocks, formed several million years ago, give way to gorgeous pebbly coves and make for the perfect spot to take a plunge and enjoy a good bit of snorkelling! Look out for sea bass and sea bream, which sometimes escape from the nearby fish-farms.
4. Aphrodite Baths Beach, Chrysohous Bay (right by Aphrotite’s Baths at the entrance of Akamas)
Another west coast wonder, this picture-perfect beach is a fantastic spot for a relaxing snorkel, especially if you head far beyond the sunbeds, into the tiny sandy coves cocooned by the rugged cliffs where fish love to congregate.
With shallow waters near the rockiest parts of the beach, just plunge into the blue and snorkel away to your heart’s content!
Cover photo: Aphrodite’s Bath Beach