Butterfly Valley is a natural site located at Ölüdeniz, Fethiye district. Surrounded by up to 350 metres of steep rocks, the valley takes its name from more than 80 different species of butterflies that lives here. The waterfall that falls from 50 metres to valley, reaches to Mediterranean as a stream flowing in the middle of the valley.
The valley is isolated from the outside world by steep cliffs and the sea; thus pollution is prevented. Added the environment friendly attitudes of the valley management and the steps taken to protect and preserve the valley made Butterfly Valley kind of a wild life park.
That’s the reason why the valley hosts this vast butterfly population compared to other locations. The most seen species, Jersey Tiger butterflies (Eupoglia Quadripunctaria) lives in moist and hidden corners of Mediterranean; thus the waterfall and the stream are natural habitats for butterflies.
The sultry weather of Mediterranean doesn’t felt in the valley. The morning breeze and the cool weather coming from the mountains at nights are refreshing. In autumn, mornings are like summer and the spring is incredible. The winters are not harsh here with sea air.
World Heritage Foundation
Butterfly Valley, like Ölüdeniz, Kıdrak and Kabak is one of the coves located at the skirts of Babadağ, which has been declared to be in the list of 100 mountains to be preserved by World Heritage Foundation due to richness of endemic plants. Babadağ and the coves are under legal conservation by Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board.
By the legal preservation status and the unique topography of the valley, Butterfly Valley stayed away from the negative impacts of mass tourism but extra effort is needed against this threat. The perspective of the valley management shows this efforts. Ecological agriculture, ecological tourism, and events like culture – arts – sports are concentrated on. Instead of customer, we have guests or regulars which makes everyone participate. Thus, the valley carry on to be a pioneer and example location in preserving with success.
There are permaculture practices at the valley. In addition you can see many species that grow naturally like oreganos, bays, oleanders, chaste trees, pomegranates, wild grapes, carobs, olives and St. John’s worth plants.
The history of Butterfly Valley, the cooperative and the mission
The Valley has been used as a port for the Perdikya village (today Faralya) in Lycian era (BC 3 – 400). After Byzantian era until Ottoman Greeks, the valley has been used by building houses, church, a road to canyon and sustaining walls.
After the Greek exchange, the land of the valley has been sold to different individuals. In 1960’s one of the land owners, cut down all the old citrus, berry and other fruit trees.
The last owner of the valley is Anatolia Tourism Development Cooperative (S.S. Anadolu Turizm Geliştirme Kooperatifi) and since their first time at the valley in 1987, they are trying to grow more trees despite the mountain goats.
Where does the Butterfly Valley name come from?
The local name for the valley is Güdürümsu. In 1987, Hasan Deniz Bayramoğlu began to use the name of Butterfly Valley inspired by a painter, photographer and entomologist Rifat Kılar, who was fascinated by the butterflies and called the place Butterfly Valley.
Since than, the valley is known as Butterfly Valley. The management of the valley, adopted nature compatible life. The managements worked on ecological solutions from organic agriculture practices to biological disposal of sewage water.
Since 2015, the valley is managed by Anatolia Tourism Development Cooperative (S.S. Anadolu Turizm Geliştirme Kooperatifi) without renting it to 3rd parties.