BUTTERFLY VALLEY (Turkish : KELEBEKLER VADISI ) is a valley in FETHIYE District of MUGLA PROVINCE, southwest Turkey, which is home to diverse butterfly species. It is situated at the foothill of BADABAG (6,480ft high) mountain nominated for preservation as World Heritage.
A wide-strip sand beach at a bay on the TURKISH RIVIERA protrudes from the valley. IN the form of a narrow canyon stretching over 3-4km, the valley’s steep walls are 1,150-1,30ft high. A trail, in the valley, leads to 2 small waterfalls dropping from 200ft all the year around. In the middle of the valley, a creek runs carrying water from a spring in nearby FARALYA VILLAGE to the sea. A road from OLUDENIZ to UZUNYURT, which is part of the LYCIAN WAY ULTRA-MARATHON ROUTE runs atop the rocks around the valley.
A hidden valley without electricity, TV or any other material amenities, but with 1000s of butterflies, shining pebbles and small waterfalls invites lovers of nature for a memorable time. Butterfly Valley is one of the most striking bays in Fethiye. The Valley has been declared a “first degree natural site” and any kind of construction has been forbidden by the World Heritage Foundation.
It is well worth a visit to see the rocks and trees covered with 1000s of colourful butterflies. At first look, it seems as if it is a “natural view of rocks and trees”, but after a little sound or the slightest movement, butterflies start flying towards the sky and the valley is covered in “butterfly shadows.”
The valley is an interesting canyon with steep cliffs up to 350m high. At the back of the valley, 60m-high-waterfalls drop through a canopy of trees, which shelter an abundance of unique butterfly species. This “untouched valley”, is also where the JERSEY TIGER variety of butterfly can be found. From June to September, butterflies in 1000s of colours and varieties can be seen here.
A large beach, turquoise water, pebbles and oleanders decorate the environs. There are 2 small perennial waterfalls at the end of the cliffs. In recent years, this region has been included in the trekking routs along the LYCIAN ROAD. One part of the beach is used as a nudist camp. There are no overnight accommodation facilities, but sleeping bags, tents and wooden sheds, covered with shrubs and leaves are available, since construction is not allowed. During the summer, a small country restaurant in the valley serves food and beverages.
A project is underway to protect the site and present this beautiful valley to researchers and tourists in better conditions. With the establishment of a “butterfly museum”, BUTTERFLY VALLEY will be an immortal “natural heaven.” The valley can be reached by boat as well as by paragliding from the 1,975m-high BABADAG MOUNTAIN. You can also take a boat from OLUDENIZ or FETHIYE. Boats, operating as taxis, leave from Oludeniz 3 times a day in both directions. A round-trip ticket costs YTL10.
You can put up at ALIZE HOTEL, which is located on the edge of Babadag. It is built in a Mediterranean style with white and natural stone exterior walls and wooden windows. There are tournaments and team games all day long. Then there is the YACHT HOTEL, with its panoramic views of Fethiye Bay against a backdrop of pine-covered mountains. It presents a relaxing atmosphere to its guests. KIBELE HOTEL, that is located 4km from Oludeniz, is a calm and quiet residence where you can enjoy a view of charming nature and beautiful gardens from all the rooms of the hotel.
BUTTERFLY VALLEY is fast becoming an attraction to all. In a deep silence, punctuated only by the sounds of birds and insects, visitors are at one with “unspoiled nature” in this “paradise of peace”, where you can see butterflies, some of which cannot be seen in any other part of Turkey. But it is also rich in flora and fauna which makes it a “true heaven for nature lovers.”