Dive in for festive Cyprus

Decorating the Christmas tree under water in Cyprus

Take the plunge for for autumn and winter

An island paradise blessed with exceptional weather well into the winter months, #Cyprus still has plenty to offer visitors despite the worldwide pandemic.

According to Larnaka Tourism, holidaymakers can discover an exciting choice of Blue Flag beaches as summer lingers on until end of October and beyond. There will be plenty of time to plan and enjoy beautiful escapes with something extra special, even at Christmas time.

In a region surrounded by beautiful blue seas, it is only natural that Christmas would be celebrated beneath the waves too… and some of Larnaka’s divers do this annually with unique underwater tree decorating.

Nemo Dive Center has been organising annual underwater Christmas decorating at the Xylofagou and Zenobia wreck dive sites for a decade with divers decorating an underwater Christmas tree and videoing the event to send their seasonal greetings.

Aside from the tree tradition, there is always an additional, unique element to the proceedings, such as playing Christmas music under the sea; a visit from Santa with gifts; a simulated Christmas ‘dinner’ set-up.

Alexandros Papandreou, owner of Nemo Divers, along with his students hold the underwater celebration to show that diving is a fun, all-year-round pastime that anyone can enjoy, but you may be wondering how on earth you can decorate a Christmas tree underwater?

Alexandros explains that it takes a lot of preparation and planning to ensure that all the props and decorations are properly weighted to stay underwater and that there is nothing used that could be accidently consumed by the marine life.

It takes nearly an hour to get everything to the bottom of the sea then some time to secure everything properly in place. Once the decorating has taken place and been videoed, everything is then immediately taken back up with great care ensuring that no environmental harm is caused.

The Xylofagou event takes place on November 24 this year with Santa making another underwater appearance, and again at the Zenobia event on December 22 where the team is hoping to cut the traditional ‘vassilopita’ New Year’s cake… if the fish will let them.

A.K.K Larnaka Napa Cruises also holds a tree decorating event at the Zenobia wreck – on December 15 this year. Divers are welcome to participate (free-of-charge) and need to bring their own non-toxic ornament to hang. Crowds of spectators gather to watch the tree lowered into the water where it is decorated then returned to the surface to avoid any environmental harm. A Cypriot buffet Christmas party follows – on dry land, of course.

 Hotels in Larnaca are now back in full swing, including the popular and recently refurbished Palm Beach Hotel, which opens on September 1 and an added attraction is the return of the islands’ iconic flamingo friends, delighting all who catch a glimpse of them.

For more information on autumn/winter events and information on accommodation, contact https://larnakaregion.com

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