Cyprus Marine Life – By Steve Ford, Cyprus Diving Adventures

'Scuba Steve' at Cyprus Diving Adventures

Steve Ford, our preferred Scuba Diving Instructor on the island, writes a fantastic blog on his website – this month we find out about the marine life in Cyprus, which might just surprise you.  Check out his website for more details on what courses he has to offer, and information on his Dive Centre which is situated in neighbouring Pissouri Village: CyprusDivingAdventues below:

We hope you enjoy Steve’s article, below:

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Diving in Cyprus offers such a wealth of diverse and well populated marine life, and it is so good it would suprise some divers. Indeed our divers often comment on how good the marine life is in Cyprus and how better than expected it was. Some even comment that their diving experience with us in Cyprus was better than the likes of the Red Sea.

There is a dive location that we visit at least once or twice per week where we see large shoals of sea breams and massive barracuda. There are literally shoals of large Grouper, dozens of trumpetfish, large amberjacks hunting bait fish and in October visiting tuna. This is in an area that we know that other parties do not explore and our knowledgeable staff love taking our divers there. You can also see turtles, wrasses, damselfish, rays, flying gurnards, lobster, squid, cuttlefish, sea cucumbers, sponges, prawns, nudibranchs, octopus and much more. There are many more top dive sites like this that we dive every week and we publicise the images to show just how good the marine life is.

diving with barracuda

A number of divers to our amazement mention that they did not see a lot of marine life while diving here and we try to point out that you have to know where to dive here and where to look. A lot of divers quite frankly are taken to dive spots and taken on dives where we would just not go for that reason. For us just exploring another world and being underwater is enough and Cyprus has some stunning ancient rock formations to dive with arches, caves, walls and many other shapes eroded by centuries of sea motion. But also of course we want to see a lot of different and fascinating marine life.

Don’t get us wrong, the mediterranean sea has for so long been overfished and there are big areas with less marine life. But while diving in Cyprus for the last 15 years we are always telling people just how good it is here and the quality of the diving here.

We also have the world famous Zenobia wreck in Cyprus which is a protected marine reserve and well know for it’s fantastic popualtions of abundant marine life. Another top dive location with masses of life. This artificial reef has it’s own eco system which is continually developing and gets better every year. The wreck is literally teeming with life of all shapes and sizes. Barracuda shoal in big numbers, large Grouper patrol all over the wreck at every depth and large jacks come in to hunt. There are always turtles in the summer and this 172 metre long ship is covered in every kind of small fishes. There are large Moray eels that make this wreck home too, a range of large starfish and long black sea cucumbers strewn across the starboard side. It is truly a top wreck dive and also a top destination for marine life lovers.

diving off paphos

Around Cyprus we also now have a number of protected marine reserves put in place where we have seen popuations of fish explode to the delight of our divers. These include islands, wrecks and other good diving areas including artificial reefs. This is planned to continue in Cyprus waters and with the reduction in fishing vessels this can only improve the marine life even further.

A lot of what you see underwater also heavily depends on the experience and knowledge of your dive guide and we pride ourselves on having the most experienced in the area and among the highest in Cyprus. We want our divers to experience what we would like to experience while going on a dive trip – the very best diving experience possible. We are always exploring new sites and new routes and we know the very best diving to suit our divers tastes.

So when looking to dive in Cyprus you should know that there is some of the best diving in the world with fantastic marine life and new experiences for those looking to explore it’s many dive sites.

There are many dive sites for great marine life which include the Zenobia wreck, St Georges Island off the Akamas, the Constandis wreck, Lady Thetis wreck, Manajin Island, Copo Island and the Cynthiana. For deeper divers there is also the Jubilee Shoals which is a massive reef and cave complex off Pissouri.

diving with large shoal of barracuda at latchi

 

Steve offers our guests a special discount as well as a FREE pick up & Drop off service! Get in touch now:

Visit Steve’s Website                                                                                                                         Call Steve Now: 97 661 046

 

We guarantee you’ll never be bored at Aphrodite Hills Resort: www.aphroditerentals.com

 

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Friday’s Fact About: Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates

Just off the Limassol to Paphos seafront road along the cliff that cradles the impressive and well known Curium, this sanctuary set against the deep blue of the nearby seafront, was built around 100 AD, honouring Apollo Hylates (Apollo of the woods or ‘God of the Woodland’) who was the protector of Curium.

Once a very important religious site, it is thought Apollo Hylates was worshiped at the site from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. In the days when the cult of the god still flourished, anyone who defiled the inner sanctum was promptly thrown off the nearby cliff – a fall of around 100 metres.

While the area has suffered from devastating earthquakes in times past, the sanctuary was extended and altered on a number of occasions. In the very beginning, the site consisted of temple, a circular monument, and a formalized Archaic Altar and Precinct. Things changed a little during the Roman Period with a slight extension, while terracotta figurines and pottery gathered on the site were buried in a pit.

Head here today and most of what you’ll spot belongs to the site’s 1st century AD restorations. You’ll catch a glimpse of the partially restored temple, pilgrim halls, baths, holy precinct and ‘palaistra’ where athletes exercised and played games. And be sure to have your cameras at the ready- this really is the perfect place for picture postcard shots!

Where?Limassol district, 3 km west of Curium Archaeological Site. Tel: (+357) 99-630238

Googlemap Location

 

We guarantee you’ll never be bored at Aphrodite Hills Resort: www.aphroditerentals.com

 

 

 

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Events in the Local Region this coming weekend

As always, there’s plenty of local events taking place to keep you busy & entertained this weekend. From chamber music concerts, to afternoon tea!   Click on the images below for full details:

 

Friday 17th February 2017: Matthew Edmondson at the Grape & Grain bar, Pissouri Bay, at 8.30pm.

matthew-gg

For the first time ever! This week’s live Friday night entertainment at the Grape & Grain Bar will be Matthew Edmondson, one of Paphos’ best known entertainers.  Matthew will be singing songs from across the decades, musical theatre hits and sing along classics.  His reputation is fantastic, for good reason!

 

Sunday 19th February 2017: Souvla Sunday at Platea Tavern, Pissouri Village Square, from 1pm:

souvla-sunday

Enjoy a choice of local Lamb, Pork or Chicken souvla with salad and roast potatoes for just €15 per person.  Souvla is a famous part of the local cuisine here in Cyprus!

 

Sunday 19th February 2017: Chamber Music Concert with musicians of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, Technopolis 20, Paphos, 5pm-11pm:

chamber-music-2017

Chamber music featuring the always-enchanting sound of the harp as well as the ethereal voice of the flute in this concert, with these two protagonists being flanked by a string trio marked by the characteristic brilliance of the violin, the particular and melancholic colour of the viola, and also the deep temperament of the cello. A concert in which the five participating musicians will transport us to the impressionistic world of Claude Debussy, the neoclassical space of Jean Francaix, the elegiac mood of Arnold Bax, but also the interbellum period (1919-1939) of Albert Roussel. A concert marked by lyricism, always in the spirit of chamber music, with musicians of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra!

Tickets: €5 per person (€3 per child, under 12) / Information: +357 22 463 144

 

Sunday 19th February 2017: AJ Vickers Tribue to Elvis at the Grape & Grain Bar, Pissouri Bay, 5pm – 8pm:

elvis-gg

Continuing with their FREE live entertainment Sundays, from 5pm – 8pm at the Grape & Grain bar in Pissouri Bay: AJ Vickers will be singing his tribue to Elvis classics that everyone will know – get down to enjoy a boogie and drink or two.

 

Sunday 19th February 2017: Saffron Contemporary Indian Cuisine in Pissouri Bay are welcoming back their weekly Sunday afternoon buffets (from 1pm til late), so if you fancy something different for your Sunday lunch then you will not be disappointed!  But you must book ahead – call:  +357 96 778 084:

Saffron Indian Image

 

 

 

Thursday 23rd February 2017: Afternoon Tea at Elea Estate, Paphos, 7pm:

elea-afternoon-tea-23-feb

Elea Estate’s first Afternoon Tea of 2017 will be held on Thursday 23rd February with live music by Blue Jar.  There are still places left so book now to avoid disappointment: + 357 26 202 110 or email: dining@eleaestate.com

 

 

Ongoing: February 10th – March 4th 2017: Photo Exhibition – The 6th Annual Mobile Photo Awards, 6×6 Centre for Photography, Limassol:

photo-exhibition

World’s first gallery exhibit of the 6th Annual Mobile Photo Awards in Cyprus. The Mobile Photography Awards remains the world’s longest running international competition and gallery show exclusively for images shot and edited on mobile devices. This year’s competition received an amazing total of five thousand entries from 70 countries across the world, while the photos were judged by 11 professional photographers.  Free Entrance.

Monday – Friday: 9:00 – 18:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 13:00

 

 

We guarantee you’ll never be bored at Aphrodite Hills Resort: www.aphroditerentals.com

 

 

 

 

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Carnival Parades 2017

Following on from last week’s Friday Fact about Carnival time in Cyprus which marks the approach of fasting season before Easter, we are pleased to let you know the details of the main carnival parades which will be taking place in Paphos and Limassol later this month.

 

The grand carnival parade in Paphos will take place on Saturday 25th February 2017 from 3pm, this year taking place on Poseidonos Avenue again (the street that runs parallel to the sea front, from the Almyra Hotel to the Mosaics at the harbour).

Image result for paphos carnival 2016

Along with the participation of dozens of floats, the Paphos municipal band, cheerleaders and other musical groups, thousands of locals and visitors are expected to attend and participate

View the full Paphos programme here (16 – 25 February 2017)

 

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Limassol‘s grand carnival parade will take place at Archbishop Makarios III Avenue
Starting Point: Ayios Nikolaos Round About / Ending Point: Simillides Traffic Lights

limassol-carnival

1.00 p.m. The parade will begin with the Serenaders, the Limassol Majorettes of the Cyprus Girl Guides Association, the Batukinio percussion instruments group, the Limassol Majorettes, and the Limassol Municipality Brass Band.

1.15 p.m. The Parade will be led by the Queen of the Carnival, “The Deep Blue of the Mediterranean”, accompanied by a sea of floats and pedestrians.
During the parade, former carnivalists will be honoured by the Limassol Municipality for their contribution to the Limassol Carnival.

9.00 p.m. Farewell Carnival Fiesta – Old Port Square
The Carnival will end with a Carnival Party at the Enaerios parking place.
Free style Carnival Costume Competition – Awards will be given to the best three participants.

9.00 p.m. Parade of Limassol Majorettes and Batukinio percussion instruments group – Marina Square
Starting point: Limassol Marina / Ending point: Old Port Square

View the full Limassol programme here (16 – 25 February 2017)

 

We guarantee you’ll never be bored at Aphrodite Hills Resort: www.aphroditerentals.com

 

 

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Blevins Franks: Resolve to Get Your Finances in Shape for 2017

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Blevins Franks: Specialist tax and wealth management advice for expatriates

* View Blevins Franks Website *

The new year is a good time for reflection and review. In 2017 make sure this includes your savings and investments, tax planning, pensions and estate planning. As well as considering any global and local developments that may affect you this year, you need a long-term strategy that keeps up with your personal objectives and circumstances.

 

Savings and investments

With Brexit, US elections and interest rates reaching further historic lows, 2016 was certainly an interesting year. In uncertain times like this, a diversified investment portfolio is more important than ever. Diversification provides the chance to produce positive returns over time without being vulnerable to any single area under-performing.

Many think saving in a bank is the ‘safest’ way to look after their money, while overlooking the risks. Besides low returns, money in the bank gets eaten away by inflation over time. With interest rates lower than ever (and likely to stay there), a reliance on bank deposits could significantly impact your wealth and the legacy you plan to leave for your family.

Instead, your investment portfolio should include a good spread of assets, geographical areas, sectors, companies, currencies, and ideally use a multi-manager approach where you diversify across managers and styles. Our starting point at Blevins Franks is to obtain a clear and objective assessment of your appetite for risk, to make sure your portfolio is tailor-made for you.

British expatriates also need to consider exchange currency risk in what is currently a volatile time for sterling. If you are living in Cyprus and spending euros in your daily life, it can become more expensive to take income, like your pension, in pounds. It is a good idea to consider investment structures that allow flexibility to choose when you convert your income between currencies.

Tax planning and more

As ever, it is important to regularly review your finances to ensure you have the most suitable arrangements to minimise tax liabilities and maximise tax efficiency. Another incentive is the global automatic exchange of information regime which is now in force. This means the Cyprus tax office can receive information on every resident without having to ask for it, with potentially serious penalties for those who get it wrong.

At Blevins Franks, we have in-depth understanding of Cyprus taxation and the cross-border implications for expatriates. Speak to us to ensure your tax planning is up-to-date and designed to legitimately take advantage of tax planning opportunities in Cyprus.

Whether it is your investments, tax, pensions or estate planning, we can advise on what will work best for your personal situation so you are best placed to enjoy a prosperous 2017.

Please CLICK HERE for a free consultation with one of our Partners, and we can call you to make an appointment

26 023 100                                                                                   cypaphos@blevinsfranks.com                                                        www.blevinsfranks.com 

Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK.  Blevins Franks Trustees Limited is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority for the administration of trusts and companies. Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists.  This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.
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Friday’s Fact About: Carnival Time is approaching

February will host carnival season in the lead up to the Easter celebrations this year, which start from 16th February 2017.  But what do these wonderful celebrations represent, and what do they mean to the Cypriot people?

Carnival costume

In short, carnival is associated with the beginning of the 40 day period of fasting prior to Easter – historically carnival was called “Apokries” which means in Greek “without meat”.  It is a 10 day celebration, with carnival events starting on the “Shrove Thursday” (the last day of eating meat before fasting), leading up to the ‘grand parade’ 10 days later.  The city of Limassol hosts the largest of the grand parades, this year taking place on the 26th February (Paphos parade will take place on the 25th).

The carnival Grand Parade is a very excitable affair, with colourful floats and groups ofcarnival limassolpeople parading through the city, singing and dancing, with party music jeering on the atmosphere – it’s a truly colourful and vibrant atmosphere.  Each float and group of people go to great effort with their costumes, some traditional, some satirical, but all themed and very fun to observe.  Large crowds of people gather in the streets to watch the open-air celebrations and feasting which take place.

Bourekia: taken from holidayincyprus.com

Bourekia

Green Monday (also known as ‘clean Monday’), is the national public holiday that falls the day after the carnival Grand Parade.  It is the first day of lent which marks a period of fasting – eating meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted in European denominations.  The hundreds of bakeries on the island accommodate those who fast by adding dairy-free, egg-free and meat-free pastries and cookies to their already vast array of goodies. Generally, fasting is followed more strictly in the villages of Cyprus than in the towns, but most restaurants and takeaways also add fasting dishes to their menus during this period.

Lent is also a time for personal examination, repentance and self improvement.   Traditionally Green Monday is the day when the house is cleaned of all non-fasting foodstuffs, and is also commonly celebrated by families going out together for a picnic and flying kites – the skies are always full of wonderful, bright colourful kites along the coastline!

Stay tuned to find out more details on the carnivals, so that you can go along and experience them for yourself 🙂

Fasting Facts: The ‘fasting’ calendar of the orthodox church requires that for 48 days before Easter, 40 days before Christmas and lesser fasting periods throughout the year, people stop eating meat and animal products (with the exception of certain fish) – in total half the year is taken up by fasting. On the highest holy days such as Good Friday, even olive oil is not allowed. 

 

We guarantee you’ll never be bored at Aphrodite Hills: www.aphroditerentals.com

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Events in the Local Region this coming weekend

As always, there’s plenty of local events taking place to keep you busy & entertained this weekend. From live music to photography exhibitions, to whisky tasting events!   Click on the images below for full details:

 

Friday 10th February 2017: Blues Brothers at the Grape & Grain bar, Pissouri Bay, at 8.30pm.

blues-bros-ggs

They’re back! This week’s live Friday night entertainment at the Grape & Grain Bar are AJ Vickers and Andi Hobbs as The Blues Brothers, a fantastic tribute to Jake and Elwood who always go down a storm!

 

Friday 10th February 2017: Charis Ioannou & Ioannis Vafeas Jazz Quartet at Technopolis 20, Paphos, 8pm:

jazz-feb-10th

A.Vafea Jazz Projects and its associate artists are presenting an exceptional jazz performance based on the rhythms of Straight Ahead Jazz with the Ioannou/Vafeas Group, on Friday, 10th of February, at 8pm at Technopolis 20 in Pafos. Entrance is €10 per person, Reservations necessary at 70002420.

 

 

Sunday 12th February 2017: Teo DeCastillo singing live at the Grape & Grain Bar, Pissouri Bay, 5pm – 9pm:

grape-grain-teodoro

Continuing with their FREE live entertainment Sundays, from 5pm – 8pm at the Grape & Grain bar in Pissouri Bay: For the very first time Teodoro DeCastillo will be wowing the audience singing his range of beautiful songs in English, Greek and Italian.

 

Sunday 12th February 2017: Saffron Contemporary Indian Cuisine in Pissouri Bay are welcoming back their weekly Sunday afternoon buffets (from 1pm til late), so if you fancy something different for your Sunday lunch then you will not be disappointed!  But you must book ahead – call:  +357 96 778 084:

Saffron Indian Image

 

 

 

Wednesday 15th February 2017: Whisky Master Class at La Bodega Cava, Paphos, 7pm:

whisky-master

 

The Reserve Brands Ambassador of Photos Photiades Distributors, George Philippou would like to invite you to a unique MASTER CLASS tasting event. Join La Bodega for an amazing opportunity to meet and taste some of the finest whiskeys from all over the world.   Starting time 19:00, for more information and reservations, contact us at +357 99 537 080.

Due to limited seating, the Whisky Master Class is available for RESERVATIONS ONLY!

 

 

Ongoing: February 10th – March 4th 2017: Photo Exhibition – The 6th Annual Mobile Photo Awards, 6×6 Centre for Photography, Limassol:

photo-exhibition

World’s first gallery exhibit of the 6th Annual Mobile Photo Awards in Cyprus. The Mobile Photography Awards remains the world’s longest running international competition and gallery show exclusively for images shot and edited on mobile devices. This year’s competition received an amazing total of five thousand entries from 70 countries across the world, while the photos were judged by 11 professional photographers.  Free Entrance.

Monday – Friday: 9:00 – 18:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 13:00

 

 

We guarantee you’ll never be bored at Aphrodite Hills Resort: www.aphroditerentals.com

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