Archive for the ‘Cyprus’ Category

My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 3: The Zenobia, Cyprus (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler)

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

In this article, guest blogger Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler concludes her list of top 3 dives in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Missed the previous articles? Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2.

Dive Site: Zenobia Wreck

Location: Larnaca, Cyprus
Description: Wreck
Length: 174 meters
Depth: 18 – 42 meters

The Zenobia wreck is one of the top wreck dives on the planet, originally a roll on-roll off (RO-RO) ferry, not unlike the ferries that service the Dover-Calais route between the UK and France.

She sank in 42 meters of water in Larnaca, Cyprus on her maiden voyage in June, 1980 after departing from Malmo, Sweden.  Her final destination was Tartous, Syria but she never made it; after just a short while at sea her captain noticed severe steering problems. Investigations showed that the ballast tanks on the port side were filling with water, and there was nothing they could do to stop it.

The Zenobia actually made it into Larnaca Marina, but the risk of not being able to repair the problem in time and having a huge ferry trapped in a relatively small harbor was too great. She was moved out to sea, and went down to her final resting place 1.5km off the coast on 7th June at 2.30am.

Although the loss of property was huge (estimated at 20 million pounds for the ship itself plus the 200 million pounds of cargo on board) the revenue that this metal giant provides through scuba diving is estimated at over 25 million Euros per year to the tourist industry. This shows you just how great she is – almost all certified divers will visit her at least once… and many return year after year to explore another section of her.


Why is she my favorite dive of all time?

The answer is simple. The sheer size of the Zenobia takes your breath away. She is over 174 meters long from bow to stern. It takes two long dives to cover just the outside of it in any detail.  Lying on her port side the shallowest part is in 18 meters of water and goes all the way down to 42 meters. Wow!


The 24 meters of width become the divers’ paradise. With 4 cargo decks and the promise that no salvage has taken place, this wreck would take over 100 dives to see everything. She was carrying 104 18-wheeler trucks when she went down (and one blue car – the captain’s little blue Lada) which were all shackled in place.


The diver can see each lorry and then look at what each was carrying; one of my favorite features is the spilled cargo of eggs which still lies at 42 meters in the sand. It is strange to see a 30-year-old egg still intact.  In fact, there are even places that have still not been entered by a human in that length of time – and that is exciting stuff for the experienced diver, trust me!

But, there really is something for everyone. Every level of diver, from new divers to the most advanced technical diver, has something to explore. PADI Open Water Divers can dive to a maximum of 18 meters, and so the Zenobia is even accessible to entry-level enthusiasts – this is very unusual for a wreck dive like this.

So there you have it. My top 3 dive sites within the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. It was hard to narrow my favorite dive sites to just three, because there are so many fabulous sites to choose from! Some other favorites of mine include:

  • Thistlegorm wreck, Egypt
  • Dunraven Wreck , Egypt
  • Canyon, Dahab, Egypt
  • The Caves, Cyprus

I could go on forever, but this blog must have limits! I hope you have enjoyed reading it. What are some of your favorites? I would love to hear from you!

Alexandra DimitriouAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a PADI Dive Center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner of Scuba Monkey Ltd and is writing a series of guest blogs for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The post My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 3: The Zenobia, Cyprus (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler) appeared first on PADIProsEurope.

The Zenobia Week

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

PDD-Zenobia-560x200This special wreck event, the Zenobia week, is fast becoming a tradition in Cyprus and this year was no exception. Dive centers from all over the island have been bringing their guests to Larnaca to dive the Top 3rd wreck in the world and to compete in the PADI Selfie competition.

Winner Core Regulator

Winning Selfie!

PADI loves special events, nothing excites them more. This year PADI sponsored the Zenobia week by offering a free pair of sunglasses to every diver who signed up for either the deep diver or wreck diver speciality course. If that wasn’t enough, participants were asked to get creative above the water by taking a cool selfie and  entering  PADI’s selfie competition. The coolest selfie was carefully selected and the winner won an amazingly beautiful Aqualung CORE regulator…thankyou Mercury Divers!

Larnaca was full of the hustle and bustle of busy divers over the weekend, all running around in “cool” yellow PADI shades snapping shots in the bazarest of angles. Dive equipment was lugged, tanks were filled and suncream was applied as truck after truck arrived at Larnaca Marina. Happy smiles and damp hugs were everywhere as dive buddies reunited on one of the best dives of their lives. Instructors and divemasters were practically dancing at the PADI Pavilion,and their divers were all eager to meet Sascha Engeler, the PADI Regional Manager, to hopefully make their selfie the winning one. Nice try guys,.. The positive energy was everywhere and it was such a joy to be part of it.


Jurg Dahler from Coral Bay Divers with the new Aqualung CORE Regulator

Thanks to everyone who took part of this epic Event. Jurg Dahler from Coral Bay Divers took the winning scuba selfie, so the Aqualung CORE Regulator has gone to a good home. It definitely will get to dive regularly and will be allowed to play with all of its underwater friends!

The post The Zenobia Week appeared first on PADIProsEurope.

The Truth About Travelers | Stephanie Dandan

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

The Truth About Travelers | Stephanie Dandan.

Natural Remedies for a Travel First Aid Kit | Natural Health Warriors

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Natural Remedies for a Travel First Aid Kit

By NaturalHealthWarriors on September 17, 2013

Whether you’re sampling the local fare in Mexico, scuba diving in the Caribbean or hiking in the Rockies, these multipurpose herbal remedies—treating everything from blisters to upset stomachs to sleeplessness—can help ensure your travels are more enjoyable. Packed in a small case, these first-aid remedies will be ready to toss into your luggage, car or backpack. All of these items are readily available at health-food stores and by mail-order. Be sure to buy pure essential oils, not fragrance oils. To prevent breakage, wrap glass bottles in small pieces of thick flannel.

Travel First-Aid Kit Essentials

1. Valerian tincture: The sedative properties of valerian make it useful for relieving anxiety, insomnia and tension; it may also provide mild pain relief.

2. Eucalyptus essential oil: A potent antibiotic and antiviral, eucalyptus is excellent for treating colds and sinus infections when used as a steam inhalation.

3. Witch hazel extract: Distilled witch hazel has reported astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, useful for treating insect bites and skin irritations. It’s also an excellent base for diluting essential oils for topical application. Do not take it internally.

4. Herbal insect repellent: Herbal insect repellents work well when applied liberally and frequently. See “Natural Mosquito Control Methods“ for more on insect repellents.

5. Arnica gel or cream: Arnica flowers have anti-inflammatory and circulation-stimulating properties; the gel or cream may help relieve sore muscles, sprains, strains and bruises. Do not apply arnica to broken skin.

6. Grindelia poison ivy treatment: Grindelia, also known as gumweed, contains resins and tannins that help relieve the symptoms of plant rashes such as poison ivy and poison oak.

7. Lemon essential oil: Uplifting, clarifying lemon essential oil can be used as aromatherapy to help dispel mental fatigue. It is also antiseptic, but should be diluted before being applied to the skin.

8. Echinacea liquid extract: Rich in phytochemicals that boost immunity, versatile liquid echinacea extract can be used internally to treat infections and externally for wounds and burns.

9. Calendula/comfrey salve: With calendula’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and comfrey’s ability to help heal wounds, this salve is perfect for minor cuts and scrapes.

10. Goldenseal capsules or powder: A powerful antimicrobial, goldenseal is effective against a variety of microorganisms that cause traveler’s diarrhea. The powder also has antiseptic properties and can be sprinkled onto cuts or wounds to stop bleeding. Do not use during pregnancy.

11. Ginger capsules, tea bags or crystallized ginger: The antispasmodic and gas-relieving properties of ginger soothe digestive upsets. Ginger also has been shown to relieve motion sickness better than Dramamine, the conventional drug treatment.

12. Peppermint essential oil and tea bags: Peppermint soothes an upset stomach, eases congestion from the common cold and curbs itching from insect bites. If you have sensitive skin, dilute peppermint oil before applying. Peppermint tea may aggravate heartburn.

13. Eleuthero standardized extract: An excellent adaptogen, eleuthero can help prevent jet lag. Standardized extracts guarantee you’re getting sufficient amounts of eleutherosides, the herb’s active compounds.

14. Lavender essential oil: Multipurpose lavender has sedative, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It’s helpful for anxiety, insomnia, headaches, wounds and burns. Most people can tolerate lavender essential oil applied directly to the skin. Do not take more than 1 to 2 drops internally.

15. Chamomile tea bags: Gentle enough for children, chamomile tea promotes relaxation, relieves indigestion and, applied topically, soothes skin irritations.

16. Elderberry capsules or liquid extract: Elderberries can help prevent cold and flu viruses from invading and infecting cells. If you’re flying or otherwise potentially exposed to viruses, taking elderberry is a good preventive. If you come down with a cold or flu, elderberry can hasten your recovery time.

17. Aloe vera gel: Cooling and healing, aloe vera soothes the inflammation of sunburn and mild kitchen burns.

Additional Essentials

Along with multipurpose essential oils, tinctures and herbal teas, you’ll want to pack useful tools to help heal minor injuries. Make sure your natural first-aid kit includes the following:

• Adhesive bandage strips in various sizes

• A small bottle of rubbing alcohol

• Bandage materials including sterile gauze pads, gauze and adhesive bandage tape

• Elastic bandages for wrapping sprains

• A powdered electrolyte replenishment such as Emergen-C

• Moleskin blister treatment

• Scissors and tweezers

• An instant-read thermometer

via Natural Remedies for a Travel First Aid Kit | Natural Health Warriors.

Ski Cyprus

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Cyprus – An unlikely ski destination well worth visiting

Written on 8 November 2012 by admin

Cyprus – An unlikely ski destination well worth visiting

When we think of Cyprus most of us will conjure up images of beautiful sandy beaches, lush green vineyards, and days spent lounging by the pool. But there is another side of Cyprus that is often overlooked.

Mount Olympus in Cyprus evokes stories of legend and mythical gods and it certainly is an awe inspiring peak. But what we often forget is that, where there is a mountain, quite often there is snow and from January through March the ski slopes of Mount Olympus are open for business. Here we will take a quick look at what this unlikely ski destination has to offer to the vacation skiers.

Skiing & Snowboarding

The Troodos Resort of Ski Cyprus has 4 slopes named after the four Greek Gods, Hera, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Hermes. With names such as these one might feel intimidated but the skiing is quite manageable with pistes ranging from beginner to intermediate.

• Hermes, Aphrodite – suitable for beginners and families with small children.
• Hera – more suitable for intermediate (snowboarders favourite)
• Zeus – Two pistes (one family run-one difficult)

In such a warm country the locals tend to take full advantage of the snowfall so arriving on the piste early would be a good idea as rental equipment (all of which is available on the slopes) has been known to run out on the busier days.


Troodos Snow in Cyprus. Ski Cyprus

 (click here for Troodos info)


The Troodos Mountain range offers some truly spectacular scenery and with the might of Mount Olympus seemingly in full view at all times, you certainly won’t want to forget your camera. Whether it’s the short drive from Platres or a longer one from the coast, the landscape will provide many picture postcard opportunities.

Ski Cyprus Accommodation

There are two hotels located in the Troodos Square area which is only a 2km drive from the slopes. If you venture just a little further afield to the village of Platres you will find a wide choice of lodging to suit all budgets and all are only a 20 minute drive from the resort. The surrounding area and villages boast an array of lodging from hotels to catered mountain chalets, so finding the perfect place to stay won’t be a problem.

However this being Cyprus it would be foolish to dismiss the possibility of renting a car and staying in a coastal area such as Limassol and making the one hour drive to the snow. Snow by day, Beach by night is quite an appealing notion.

Getting there

Whether you choose to stay near the resort itself or in one of the coastal towns your hotel should be able to arrange transport to the slopes. If you choose to rent a car and stay near the coast then the simplest route is to head for Limassol on the highway and from there it’s a clearly signposted 50 minute drive.

In Summary

Rarely can you find yourself in a setting where you can ski in the cold mountains by day and relax on the balmy beachfront in the evening. So if you’re looking for a change from the regular ski and snowboarding holiday destinations around Europe, then Cyprus is a destination well worth visiting.

This post was contributed by Ciarán Mc Eneany, an Irish travel writer currently residing in Taiwan.