Divers always ask me if you can dive in Cyprus over the winter. Cyprus enjoys an extended summer season, due to it's location at the eastern end of the med. The standard diving season is normally April to October, however high sea temperatures last through November and well into December.
Sea temperatures drop from 25degC at the end of October to about 19 during December. This is plenty warm enough for a full suit and hooded vest or a semi-dry wetsuit. Visibility can also be excellent at this time of year with cooler waters and the sea can be as still as you would expect during the summer months.
Also the marine life changes with octopus, squid, cuttlefish and masses of plankton moving into shallower waters from the deep.
January can be another beautiful, sunny month with most rainfall falling during February and March. Sea temperatures now are at their lowest at about 17degC depending on your depth, but plenty warm enough for some appropriate suit protection. During January to March the dive boats are still running, the Zenobia never closes and daytime air temperatures are regularly about 22degC.
So yes you can dive throughout the winter here, Cyprus really is an all year round diving destination.
At 17 degrees during winter months, which is generally January to March, individuals need to be aware of using the proper thermal protection. Most British divers will see the temperature as very warm but doing long dives in just a wetsuit will soon cool anybody down. Also the chill factor when you get out of the water is greatly increased as the daytime temperatures here are also reduced, as is the power of the sun.
A lot depends on the individuals and their tolerance to different temperatures. We always recommend a good thick suit with a hooded vest underneath and gloves. Then we also have a dry hooded vest available for the second dive. Getting the top half of the suit off on the surface interval, drying and covering in warm clothing is also a must. This gets the bodies core temperature back up to normal so that the second dive can be enjoyed without getting cold. This is also good practise on dive boats where wind chill can be a big factor.
However dive days over the winter are normally chosen when there are blue skies and plenty of sunshine and everyone can enjoy 2 dives and keep nice and warm. Being warm in the water and out is the key for great winter diving.