The Limassol Tourism Board is a partner in the project ANDIKAT "Diving routes in marine protected areas of the Eastern Mediterranean - Development of diving tourism network", aiming to upgrade and further promote diving tourism. The project is co-funded by the European Union and national resources of Greece and Cyprus (Interreg VA Greece – Cyprus Program 2014-2020).
In the context of the project, the Limassol Tourism Board has invited bloggers/journalists to visit Limassol to promote diving and more specifically the two artificial reefs in Amathus and Dasoudi. A few days ago, the company hosted a Greek Travel blogger Evita Voutsina ‘Evita Travels the World’, below the article that she wrote.
Discovering Limassol's diving routes
Cyprus, one of the most beautiful islands in the eastern Mediterranean, a famous destination for those looking for quality, youthful vibes and a variety of holiday activities. Its high temperatures make it a place that you can visit all year round, and swim in the blue waters of the Mediterranean until November. Ideal destination for water and diving sports lovers, since the whole country is surrounded by crystal clear and warm waters. Somehow I found myself, in May, getting off the plane, discovering Limassol's diving routes
Welcome to Cyprus
The name of the country comes from the Latin "cuprum" which means copper and it is an island with a great geographical location, between three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. The strategic position of the island has played a huge role in considering Cyprus as a very popular tourist destination and an ideal location for attracting international businesses. So this is a multicultural place, where the inhabitants enjoy a high standard of living and this becomes apparent from the first moment you arrive on the island.
A city focused on the future, a modern city that never stops developing, Limassol is considered the capital of the Cypriot summer. The beautiful beach of Limassol (and the largest port of the island), with a length of 15 km is an oasis for both locals and visitors who flood it all year round. Really a beautiful seaside road, full of green, outdoor gyms, cafes and restaurants that lead you to the new highly developed marina, is worth your walk before getting lost in the alleys of the historic center.
My first impression from Limassol was that it is a high tech city and frankly I did not expect to see important historical remains in its center. A short tour changed my mind, since in its alleys one can admire many historic buildings and of course the Castle, the most famous attraction and trademark of Limassol, which now houses the Medieval Museum.
Diving activities and routes in Limassol
Who can deny that the sea bottom is the most mysterious and unexplored part of our planet and that our every contact with the sea gives rise to a feeling of almost nostalgia and return to the place from which we emerged in the course of our evolution? Being at sea, let alone below its surface, is undoubtedly a unique experience and that is why so many activities now take place at the bottom.
Between the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Dasoudi Beach is the Limassol Water Park. The ancient port of Amathouda, the two shipwrecks that have been at the bottom since 2014 and the breakwaters that are located along the coast, function as artificial reefs and now host a wide range of aquatic life, waiting for you to discover. Limassol, but also Cyprus in total, enjoy one of the longest diving seasons in the Mediterranean thanks to the warm waters, whose temperature ranges between 16 - 27 degrees Celsius all year round. So what are you waiting for?
Since the wider area is protected, fishing of any kind is prohibited and the whole area is full of life. If you are lucky enough you can see turtles but also the "permanent" resident of a shipwreck, the famous rookie. The area is ideal for those who have no previous experience in the field of diving but also for experienced divers.
Day one: Snorkeling at Amathouda
On this very hot morning, I met the instructor and owner of the Free2Dive school, Mr. Savva Savva, a certified Freediving instructor with long experience and many awards, in order to get to know the beauties of the seabed and the history of the sea area of Amathouda. Amathouda was one of the most important ancient cities-kingdoms of Cyprus. Part of the ancient port of Amathouda which began to be built around the end of the 4th c. BC, is submerged in the sea area in front of it, and the whole area is now included in the Marine Protected Area of Artificial Reefs.
Snorkeling as an activity is accessible and easy for everyone, whatever their relationship with the sea, but in all cases, the instructor is by your side for your constant safety. Extremely fun, I highly recommend it!
Day two: Free diving in Limassol shipwrecks
The next day, I got on the boat, this time with free diving divers (beginners, intermediate and advanced level), with a lot of enthusiasm to watch and try free diving for the first time.
Free diving is the most natural and simple method to visit the underwater world. The diver who sinks with apnea holds his breath as he leaves the surface and sinks until he returns to the surface.
Of course, reaching depths of more than 10-15 meters is not something that is achieved from day one, it needs "training" and guidance, but even if your stay in Limassol is short, you can try and get acquainted.
At the bottom of the marine park, there are two shipwrecks, which were sunk in 2014 in order to create a "home" of aquatic life. The boat Lady Thetis is located at a depth of 12 - 20 meters and is 22 meters long, while the fishing boat Konstantis reaches up to 25 meters deep, with a length of 27 meters.
My dive may not have reached more than 4 meters, however I felt very excited, having tried something new and watched the other divers to reach 10, 15, even 30 meters.
The magic of the Limassol Marine Park area is that it is full of life and people with a love for the environment and the sea. Getting on the boat, you will see free divers, swimmers, scuba diving divers, people snorkeling and you can not stay out of this sea "traffic". Whatever your tastes are, I am sure you will find the activity that will fascinate you.
The trip was founded by Limassol Tourism Company and the European Program Interreg V-A Greece - Cyprus 2014-2020 for the promotion of diving routes in marine protected areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.