Have you heard of Butterfly Valley? It is quite near Ölüdeniz and an ultra-popular selfie-stop for people exploring the wider Fethiye area. The reason is obvious; Butterfly Valley is one of those off-beat places created by nature that leaves you speechless. The valley is a green oasis with a beach surrounded by steep to almost vertical rocks of up to 350m. There’s a waterfall at the end of the valley, creating a little stream all the way through the Mediterranean. And ‘spoiler alert’; the valley does indeed get its name from the many butterflies that live there. Are you an adventure lover? It’s never too late to plan a trip! Visit this undoubtedly one of Turkey’s most stunning destinations and try to get numerous Instagram followers by sharing impressions with the help of SocialWick.
BUTTERFLY VALLEY: AN ISOLATED SLICE OF PARADISE
Contrary to what many tourists seem to think, the best way to reach Butterfly Valley is not to drive to Faralya, the village above the valley. Of course, your drive up is rewarded with a gorgeous vantage point, but there is no such thing as a parking lot and easy access from above. Previously, people used to hike down to the valley and beach, but authorities have put up warning signs to discourage or even forbid hiking the trail after a few fatal accidents.
Our original intention was to tell you both how to hike to Butterfly Valley and how to reach it by boat. But since the warning sign in the valley clearly states it is forbidden, we have decided to stick to what is allowed with this post on how to access Butterfly Valley, Turkey, safely.
HOW TO GET TO BUTTERFLY VALLEY FROM ÖLÜDENIZ
- If your base is Faralya, you can take a dolmuş (local bus) to Ölüdeniz. During the season( May-Oct), buses run from Kabak every hour from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm (and every half hour during peak hours). Don’t forget to take advantage of the fact that you’re already there to take in the view from above. You won’t regret it!
- If your base is Fethiye or anywhere else in the area, you’ll find regular bus connections to Ölüdeniz at almost all times of the day.
- No need to worry about where to get off the bus once you have arrived in Ölüdeniz. The dolmuş always makes a planned stop right at the waterside. That’s where you get off.
- Look out for the shuttle boat with a sign that says: ‘Butterfly Valley – Shuttle Boat – Kelebekler Vadisi’. The shuttle sails three times a day. Departing from Ölüdeniz at 11 am, 2:00 pm, and 6 pm. It won’t be there until half an hour before departure.
- Buy your ticket on board. 2020 price per person is 50TL for a return ticket.
- Make sure you do not miss the last shuttle boat out of the valley! It leaves at 5 pm. If you don’t make it, you’ll have to call for a taxi boat, which will easily cost you at least 250TL.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM BUTTERFLY VALLEY, FETHIYE?
The attractiveness of Butterfly Valley lies in a combination of things. The fact that it is, in theory, only accessible by boat has helped in keeping this a relatively untouched place. We say relatively because there are facilities on site. You will find a cafe and restaurant as well as a quite extended camping area. The positive thing about this is that you don’t have to worry about a lack of comfort, and you can make it a relaxing day out.
The valley is a fabulous place to while away the day in the shade of the many trees or grapevines while enjoying a cooling sea breeze. The management is putting tremendous effort into the protection of the area and its environment. Still, the place gets overrun with loads of tourists from time to time, as Butterfly Valley is a stop on the sailing route of the big pirate party boats that leave from Ölüdeniz every day. It’s a shortstop, but it can be overwhelming. Other than that, you will find this place relaxing and peaceful, particularly out of peak season.
WHAT ABOUT BUTTERFLIES?
Sometimes people complain about the fact there are no butterflies. Rest assured, the butterflies are still there; more than 80 different species live here. The only reason you may not see any is because either you’re going too early or too late in the year (the best time to spot butterflies is in June), or you are too intrusive and noisy with a big group of people. During our May visit, we’ve spotted at least 50 butterflies. Also, most butterflies are more towards the back of the valley, where the waterfall is. Unfortunately, unless you visit Butterfly Valley with an organized day trip, you will have to pay a small entrance fee to that part of the valley.
Is it worth it? It all depends on your expectations and how many people are visiting at the same time as you are. There is a small path leading all the way to the end of the valley where the waterfall is. Be sure to wear water-resistant shoes that provide a good grip as you will need something sturdier than flip-flops if you want to see the waterfall up close without the risk of slipping off a rock. Do not expect a well-maintained path all the way up to the waterfall; the last bit involves some rock climbing.
And speaking of waterfalls, remember that you can also go waterfall chasing in Kabak! In any case, if you ask us, the charm of Butterfly Valley lies in its beach area and, more specifically, the lush green area directly behind it. That, combined with its isolation, makes it a great spot to relax in the shade on a hot day.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION TO VISIT FARALYA AND BUTTERFLY VALLEY, TURKEY
Check out our dedicated page with information about visa applications, transport, and more, and have a look at the reviews from other travellers on TripAdvisor for more Kabak travel tips. You will find regular public transport to Faralya during the season. In winter, only 3 buses go there, so plan ahead! If you are looking for more things to do in the area, use our map search for inspiration on places to go and places to stay.
The important thing to notice about visiting Butterfly Valley, Turkey, is that timing is everything, especially if you’re after a relaxing experience in nature. Joining an island tour on a pirate boat is a completely different experience. Despite its name, apart from in June, there won’t be many butterflies to spot. But if you take their shuttle and head over there on a beautiful day out of season, this place is still the quiet little paradise it was before it got popular on social media.
Other than that, keep an eye on the clock, so you don’t miss the last shuttle out of the valley, and wear good shoes if you’re planning on venturing around.
If you want the assistance of a local member of the Culture Routes Society on your Lycian Way ventures near Faralya, get in touch with the Lycian Guide. He’ll take you along beautiful footpaths where you’ll discover all the natural and historical beauty Faralya has to offer.
Faralya and Butterfly Valley are places for nature lovers. In that perspective, we can highly recommend Faralya Botanica as a place to stay. Of course, you can also check out the options of spending the night down at the valley. If you want a piece of the action, you might be happier with a hotel at the Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz or Fethiye.