Divers often ask if there is diving in Cyprus all year round and what is it like in the autumn and winter. The simple answer is yes of course you can dive here any month of the year, the pleasant suprise is the changes in the sea conditions and the changes in the marine environment that are so exciting. Obviously the weather and sea conditions become less reliable but you get beautiful sunny days and good sea conditions over many days in the winter months here.
From early April and May the sea quickly warms up as summer temperatures start to increase steadily and we start to get the warm, clear blue waters that everyone comes to expect when visiting Cyprus. During the main summer season from May to October is when most divers visit the islands fantastic dive sites from the Akamas in the west to Cape Greko in the east. Water temperatures rise from 17degC in March to 30degC in mid summer.
In late October and early November as the sea starts to cool initially to 26degC and later to 21-22 degC there is a dramatic change in the marine life. In addition to what we see in the summer there is a further upwelling on new life as the sea cools and we start to get some winter winds and currents. On the Zenobia wreck for example we already have a mass of varied marine life, but as the sea floor and wreck surface is stirred we see an upwelling of nutrients from currents and swells. This in turn attracts even more smaller species in large shoals which in turn attracts even more of the larger predators. This is evident on all the dive sites across Cyprus.
We see much larger shoals of Tuna, Amberjacks, Barracuda and Grouper. The Jacks can be up to a 100 strong with literally 100's of shoaling and bait balling Barracuda. To see these big shoals in action is truly a fantastic sight to see and our divers are thrilled to see so much action.
Also as the sea cools further we get much more further additions to the marine life we can spot and in even bigger numbers. From November through December sea temperatures can average about 20degC before dropping to 17 in the main winter months of January and February. At depth temperatures can drop to 15degC. These bring some big changes and the cooler waters are teaming with microscopic life and plankton as the sea bursts into new life. In the water there are now many jellies with comb jellies, venus girdles and such a variance of juvenile species floating along in the currents. The sea is literally thick with all sorts species and lifeforms, you never know what you are going to see and there are many that we see for the very first time.
Many beautiful jellyfish now start to visit our waters and there can be shoals of thousands visiting the shallower depths every winter. Cuttlefish are seen more frequently as are squid in large numbers and more octopus move up from deeper waters.
Cyprus is a fascinating place to dive all year round and as the seasons change so does what you can see on every dive. It is as though you are diving new dive sites during the Autumn and Winter compared to when you dived them in the summer with so much new stuff to see on every dive.