Right in the centre of Ayia Napa, a short drive from Protaras, the Thalassa Municipal Museum opened its doors in 2005. It is a maritime museum that documents the role, importance, and impact of the sea on the island of Cyprus.
At the heart of the museum, visitors can study Kyrenia II, a replica of the ancient ship Kyrenia (400 B.C.), which was built for scientific purposes by the Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition. This is the main exhibit of the museum. Another fascinating vessel, PAPYRELLA, reproduces a Mesolithic papyrus vessel (9200 B.C.) used to transport obsidian across the Aegean.
The permanent collections of the museum also include composite vases from the Early Bronze Age; sarcophagi of the Classical and Hellenistic periods; fossilized fish, shells, corals, and trilobites of the late Cretaceous period; fish and mammals’ taxidermy – all in displays that mimic the natural habitat of the animals. No animals were harmed in the making of the exhibition.
Thalassa Municipal Museum hosts periodic visiting exhibitions and events too. They also have a tasteful souvenir shop selling marine-themed objects of art, books, and cards.