Looking for a laid-back vacation destination with superb attractions on land and sea? You should consider Cyprus then! This island boasts an embarrassing wealth of beautiful historic churches, impressive archaeological ruins, stunning beaches and marine life, and tantalizingly great traditional food and drink. Despite all of these many appeals and attractions, Cyprus remains both under the radar and un-touristy, less expensive than the neighboring Greece and about 73 percent of the inhabitants speak English as a bonus. An island vacation is never complete without exploring the underwater world, so now we look at the top places to go snorkeling in Cyprus!
Table of Contents
- Best time to go snorkeling in Cyprus
- Top Cyprus snorkeling spots
- Snorkeling in North Cyprus
Best time to go snorkeling in Cyprus
Although Cyprus is a year-round vacation destination, visitors should know that only the summer season offers pleasant conditions for water activities. The best time for snorkeling is from June to October when the sea is warm, calm and clear. During this period, the air temperature averages between 22-32 C, while the sea between 22-26C/72-79F.
The hottest months are July and August when the air temperature can reach 35C/95F, the sea warms up to 28C/82F. Our opinion is that the most ideal period for a Cyprus snorkeling vacation is mid-autumn when the weather is not too hot, the sea is pleasantly warm, but the island is less-crowded than in the main season.
Top Cyprus snorkeling spots
Thanks to the island’s well-preserved, pristine beauty along the shores, the coastline is simply full of incredible bays and beaches fronted by rugged cliffs that offer wonderful conditions to go snorkeling in Cyprus and explore the Mediterranean Sea!
Coral Bay – Peyia
Peyia is a coastal town in Paphos district that is simply overflowing with superb Cyprus snorkeling beaches on this gem of an island lying in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Coral Bay is one such popular tourist beach resort that lies a mere six miles or so (11 kilometers) to the north of the amazing ancient world city of Paphos on the island’s most scenic west coast.
Coastlines here are generally backed by rocky headlands and come complete with sea caves. The Coral Bay turns out to be 600 meters long crescent-shaped stretch of powdery white sand that is bounded on both ends by limestone rock headlands. The beach enjoys the coveted European Union Blue Flag certification.
Tip: Our hotel recommendation in the area: Coral Beach Hotel & Resort
White River Beach – Peyia
White River Beach also lies in the Peyia district along the Akamas Peninsula. The scenery here is not to be believed. Even the sea turtles come here to nest and lay their eggs. If you are lucky, you may see them hatching on this beach. The beach is difficult to access by car as the roads in the region are rougher. Yet with a tougher All-Terrain Vehicle that suits the more arid ambience, you will have no problems.
The White River Beach is a nice place to hang out with the family, and the calm waters offer something to do for all type of beachgoers. First-timers will certainly enjoy swimming around the shallow areas, while experienced ones can explore the small caverns along the sides.
Tip: Peyia is famous for its fantastic holiday villas! Check out the Azzurro Holiday Homes if you are looking for a luxurious place to stay!
Manolis Bay – Akamas
One of the best snorkeling in Cyprus can be found in the Manolis Bay, Akamas Peninsula. This beach is so pristine precisely because it lies within the confines of the Akamas Nature Reserve, astride the area’s famed blue lagoon. If you are so inclined, you could rent a boat in Latchi Harbor to take you to this bay and beach while taking in the unbelievable scenery of the area.
This bay enjoys both sheltered and stunningly turquoise-colored water, thanks largely to the seabed’s white sand. The bay is not shallow though, as it quickly drops down to five yards (or meters) depth. You can snorkel happily around the caves or take in the bay’s sandy bottom. Among the wildlife you will likely see from this snorkel off the beach destination is trumpet fish which can change their color to match the backdrop.
Tip: Need more inspiration where to travel in Europe? Check out other European snorkeling destinations!
Baths of Aphrodite Beach – Latchi
Near Latchi (which is the most beautiful part of Cyprus) lies the Baths of Aphrodite Beach that has the best snorkeling in Paphos district. This beach is worthy of the best postcard shots and beckons to snorkelers everywhere. Lying in the little sandy coves that the rugged cliffs nestle you will see plenty of interesting and beautiful schools of fish. The rocky sections of this beach boast shallow waters that make it ideal for beginners, but also pro snorkelers will find here a lot to see.
Our hotel choice in the area: Aphrodite Beach Hotel
Fig Tree Bay – Protaras
In front of the Capo Bay Hotel lies one of Cyprus most iconic beaches, the Fig Tree Bay that boasts a stunning stretch of sand that extends an impressive 500 meters. The waters are pristine enough to have earned this beach the coveted Blue Flag destination from the EU.
Fig trees actually do lie along the beach, providing for the sandy expanse’s name. There is also an uninhabited tiny island you can swim out to from the beach and snorkel around. Besides clear waters and golden-colored sands, there are a number of exciting bars here serving refreshing drinks.
Back in 2011, Trip Advisor named this the third finest beach in all of Europe. Also, Big 7 Travel calls this the third greatest beach on planet earth as of year 2019. That statistic is hard to argue with when you think about Cyprus beaches.
Konnos Beach – Protaras
Lying along the southwest of the island, on the boundaries of Ayia Napa and Paralimni lies Konnos Beach that is among the most beloved places to go snorkeling in Cyprus with good reason. It possesses an excellent level of infrastructure and amenities and also remains among the most stunning beaches of the island nation.
Tourists come to enjoy this beach from all over Europe especially from Switzerland, Great Britain, and Germany. They are well-supplied by concessions that offer great water sports options. You can fly across the bay in a fly board or enjoy private boat tours in the incredible ambience. Snorkeling here is world-class, thanks to the incredibly clear waters. The visibility conditions are simply phenomenal. It is highly possible to witness sea turtles while snorkeling here.
Tip: Grecian Park is a fabulous hotel nearby!
Cyclops Cave – Paralimni
This interesting cave -where a family of cyclops lived according to the myth- is a must-see for those who enjoy exploring historical sites and love swimming at not-touristy places. Cyclops cave is reachable with a short (approx. 15 mins) hike from Konnos Beach through the nature trail that starts north of the beach and leads to the huge, 100 square meters cave.
After the hike and exploring this magical spot, take a refreshing dip in the sea! Bringing mask and fins is a must since this is a superb diving and snorkeling spot too with very clear water and rich marine life!
White Rocks, Governor’s Beach – Limassol
Limassol is rather a business hub than a peaceful tourist destination and usually its beaches are packed in summer, so if you seek out relaxation we recommend walking the extra mile and head to Governor’s Beach that lies approx. 30 minutes from the city center.
The best spot to snorkel here is the so-called White Rocks that is the side beach to the main Governor’s Beach and completely unspoiled. Sediment rocks give way to pebble-strewn coves that are absolutely ideal for some underwater exploration. You can expect to see sea bream and sea bass here that occasionally manage to escape to freedom from the close-by fish farms in the bay.
Our hotel tip here: Governors Beach Panayiotis
MUSAN – Underwater Museum
The island’s newest attraction, a museum of underwater sculptures was opened in 2021 just off the coast of Ayia Napa. No doubt, MUSAN (Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa) is one of the most exciting spots to snorkel in the Mediterranean: 93 statues are placed at various depths on the sea floor but not deeper than 8-10m (26-32ft) making them accessible to both divers and snorkelers of all levels.
Most sculptures represent trees to create an underwater forest with children playing in it reminding us of the importance of human–nature relationship. The statues – created by Jason deCaires Taylor famous British underwater sculptor – are made of environmentally friendly concrete which is not harming the sea. Actually, the material is promoting algae and coral growth to provide new habitat for marine life. Situated in a protected area, visitors can expect to see many fish species, sea stars, urchins and even turtles on the adjacent reef.
Cape Greco – Ayia Napa
The Cape Greco National Park includes the stunning limestone cliff coastline between Ayia Napa and Protaras on the south-eastern tip of Cyprus. The dramatic landscape provides visitors with the opportunity of going for pleasant hikes to discover the local flora and fauna and enjoy the view. Moreover, this rocky shoreline is considered to be one of the best snorkeling places in Cyprus thanks to its crystal-clear water that is teeming with life including moray eels, rays and sometimes turtles.
The easiest way to explore the areas countless small caverns and bays that all offer superb snorkeling is hiring a boat, but those who wish to access the water from the shore will find stairs leading into the sea next to the Agioi Anargyri chapel.
Tip: Check what are Greece best snorkeling spots!
Nissi Beach – Ayia Napa
If you think that the island’s most popular beach offers only soft sand, you are wrong. The Blue Flag awarded Nissi Beach has a surprisingly good underwater landscape and therefore it is one of the best places if it comes to snorkeling in Ayia Napa.
The beach has different sections. The main, sandy strip is usually crowded with sunbathers and families with small kids, but if you are looking for a place to relax and snorkel, head to the right rocky corner. Here you can go swimming between the rocks where various creatures can be spotted such as crabs, octopus besides fish species. The small islet in the middle of the beach is also worth to snorkel around!
Considering staying here? Then make sure to check the Adams Beach Hotel!
Snorkeling in North Cyprus
The north part of the island is famous for its slower pace of life, golden sandy beaches and secluded bays. Northern Cyprus is a de facto sovereign state controlled by Turkey, and to enter you need to go through one of the official checkpoints.
Most North Cyprus beaches are calm and shallow offering superb conditions even for weak-swimmers and children to snorkel. Although the coastline here doesn’t feature such dramatic rocky shores than the southern, but the crystal clear, unpolluted waters let marine life to thrive here. Besides the common Mediterranean fish species, octopus and stingrays can be observed. Moreover, the coastal waters here are an important breeding ground for turtles (Loggerhead and Green Turtles) so you will get a high possibility of seeing one.
Best North Cyprus snorkeling beaches
- Salamis (in front of Salamis Bay Conti Hotel)
- Alagadi Turtle Beach
- Denizkizi Beach
- Escape Beach
- Mare Monte
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