The Turtle Museum opened its gates to the public in June 2023 in the Community of Ineia, in Paphos District. It is an important creation of scientific research with excellent museological design, which is the first specialized space in Cyprus dedicated exclusively to the sea turtle.
The modern museological approach, the quantity, quality and multifaceted components of the Museum’s exhibits, combined with the thematic interactive presentations, offer unique experiences, revealing lesser known and unknown aspects of the world of turtles, as well as of the wider region that hosts them, in an attractive environment for young and old alike.
Discover collections of the various species of turtle shells that circulate in the Earth’s oceans, seas and lakes, immerse yourself in the magic of their aquatic life through unique exhibits, photographs, maps, dioramas and other visual aids, and enjoy films, presentations and interactive games using the latest museum technologies.
At the exit of the Museum, don’t forget to visit the Shop to get unique turtle-themed souvenirs.
In an area of 178 square meters, divided into three rooms, the fascinating world of the two species of turtles that visit Lara, the Caretta turtle and the Green turtle, is presented through unique exhibits, photographs, maps, an interesting diorama that simulates the natural beach of Lara, films and other related visual aids.
The first room of the Museum, measuring 57 square meters, includes the Reception Area and welcomes visitors with an impressive 3D and detailed map of the Akamas Peninsula, where the first visual contact with the Lara-Toxeftra beaches and the pristine Akamas forest in the northwest takes place. The map also provides ideas for excursions to the surrounding areas, as the main points of interest in the area are presented in detail. In the same area there is a large touchscreen display, which includes maps showing the distribution of the two turtle species worldwide, in the Mediterranean and in Cyprus.
From the reception area the visitor is directed to the main hall of the Centre, measuring 95 square metres, which is available for a variety of exhibits and interactive presentations. An impressive diorama to the right of the room shows, through a 3D display, the beach of Lara with its turtles and at the same time the natural threats they face from crabs, foxes and other animals. The imposing diorama brings the real beach of Lara with all its characteristics to life in the eyes of the visitor.
In the same room, modern touchscreens present films prepared especially for the Centre, including film footage from the beach of Lara and Akamas, accompanied by scenarios on geomorphology, its flora and fauna, the cycle of the turtle from its birth on the beaches of Lara-Toxeftra to its adulthood and its return to the beaches of Lara-Toxeftra, where it was born, to lay its own eggs.
In addition, interactive programmes on screens present the evolution of the turtle from its appearance about two hundred million years ago until today, its adaptation to the various climate changes on Earth, the human threats that directly or indirectly endanger its survival and its important ecological role in the protection of marine biodiversity, life on Earth and the sustainability of our planet.
The showcases with turtle shells collected from different parts of the world and a display case with a representation of the two species of turtles that visit the beaches of Lara and Toxeftra are impressive. One of the innovations of the Centre is the station for blind people, where there are special exhibits for them.
Returning from the main hall to the reception area, on the left, there is a specially designed projection and lecture area, equipped with a projector, where films about the sea turtle are shown. An impressive “animation film” produced by the Community of Ineia stands out, where young visitors to the Centre will be able to enjoy a journey through time and space of the two species of turtles, from their first appearance on Earth to their arrival at the beaches of Lara-Toxeftra, as well as the natural and human threats they will encounter.
In the same room, they will be able to test the knowledge they gained from the Centre through interesting interactive games.At the exit of the Centre, there is a Shop, which has a variety of souvenirs produced on the turtle theme, such as cards, key chains, magnets, books and many other souvenirs.
The Turtle Exhibition Centre, with its exhibits, provides multi-dimensional information and entertainment to young and old, feeding the knowledge and stimulating the emotions of visitors.