The beautiful spot known as Kelebekler Vadisi, or “Butterfly Valley,” holds an almost mythical attraction for many travelers to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, perhaps because of its relative isolation: the narrow, steeply walled cove can only be accessed by boat or on foot. To add to the mystique, the valley takes its name from the many species of butterflies and moths that breed here during the winter, including the brightly colored and rarely seen Jersey tiger.
From the secluded beach at the entrance to the verdant gorge that leads to a 60-foot waterfall at the back, the setting is simply delightful. Although there is a well-trodden path to the waterfall it’s a good idea to bring waterproof shoes, as some wading through the streambed is necessary.
Butterfly Valley makes an easy day trip by boat from Ölüdeniz, but in order to fully soak up the atmosphere you might want to stay a few days. Accommodations are decidedly rustic – bungalows and camping tents can be rented – and a mellow, hippie-like atmosphere pervades. For getting off the grid, this place can’t be beat.
Many daylong boat tours from Ölüdeniz include Butterfly Valley as one of their stops. Or take a “water taxi” (20 TL round trip) from Ölüdeniz to explore the valley at your own pace. It’s also possible to hike down into the valley from the village of Faralya above, but it’s an extremely steep climb and only recommended for experienced and sure-footed hikers.
Admission is 5 TL for non-guests.