One of the many things I love about diving is underwater natural arches. They are great to swim through, fantastic to take pictures of and always make me think “how did it get there?”. It’s the same with tunnels, caves, or stacks but as far as underwater rock formations go, an arch seems fragile and beautiful and you are not quite sure if it will be there the next time you return after a particularly bad storm
Arches form at headlands, where rocky coastlines jut out into the sea. Powerful waves pound into rock from both sides of the headland. The waves erode (wear away) the rock at sea level to form sea caves on either side. The waves eventually break right through the headland, creating an arch. This is above the water line. A sea arch is a natural arch or bridge made of stone that has been created when water wears away the underside of a rock, leaving just the top behind.
Natural arches are created through the process of land, wind, or water erosion, or some combination of these methods. They are often made by the meeting of two types of rock, with the harder substance on the top of the arch, which forms the bridge. When the bottom rock is a softer type of stone, it will erode away more quickly, leaving behind an arch.
A sea arch is created when the natural erosive forces of water break through a slice of rock and leave behind an arch. Water, after all, is pretty powerful stuff and has no problem in eating away a bit of stone even limestone. Most natural arches are formed from narrow fins and sea stacks composed of sandstone or limestone with steep, often vertical, cliff faces.
You can find this underwater arch South of the village of Xylofagu which is situated between Larnaca and Ayia Napa. It lies in shallow water under small but steep cliffs and is easily accessible from the well known dive site nicknamed “Sheep Dip”.
Although the sea arch lies in shallow water, it is such a fantastic dive where there are plenty of Fish species to spot and lots of rock formations including alleyways and deep gulleys to swim down. It is like a maze! What is truly amazing about this arch is its beauty from all angles, which gives plenty of photo opportunities (take a look at the pics). Contact DIVERS FIRST and include this dive in your DIVERS FIRST Dive Tour. DIVERS FIRST will take you there.