Butterfly Valley
By Faralya

Beautiful, isolated, deep valley (“Kelebekler Vadisi” in Turkish) beneath Faralya that sports a pebble beach, a waterfall, 300+ meter sheer cliffs, and jaw-dropping beauty.


It’s named after the butterflies that can be found there (mainly in the early summer), especially around the waterfalls.


While there is a cafe / bar available for refreshments, a couple of restaurants, public toilets, a diving centre, boat tours coming and going, and huts that can be rented for overnight stays, this is no Ölüdeniz – you won’t be constantly harassed by people trying to sell you things. If you do spend money, prices aren’t too outrageous (though nobody’s going to call them cheap…). This is a low-key, easy-going location that may no longer be ‘pristine’ but it certainly isn’t ‘spoilt’ either! (though perhaps it is well on its way, alas.)


While even a quick visit is worthwhile, Butterfly Valley is best experienced through spending some time there — perhaps even consider overnighting, as both sunset and sunrise can be quite memorable (especially sunset). Note – if you are looking for the butterflies, remember that they are most numerous in June. The farther you are away from June, the less of them you will see. Sometimes even in June you won’t see them.


The valley narrows sharply the further you get from the beach. At the end of the valley is a waterfall (about 20m height), which can be dry during some periods of the year. When running, the water is cold and refreshing. There is a rugged path between the beach and the waterfall (and the trail up to Faralya).


Note that while it is possible to descend down to Butterfly Valley from Faralya it can be dangerous if you are not an experienced climber. It’s very rugged, steep, and care needs to be taken (‘scrambling’ is often the term used for the sort of hiking involved in the descent). Note: it can be dangerous –deadly, even– if you are careless / reckless, decide to leave the marked trail, try to descend with a backpack, or if you think sandals are ‘just fine’ for the descent. If you aren’t sure of your skills, or maybe even if you are, it might be much better to arrange a visit by boat from Ölüdeniz (and sometimes possible from Kabak Beach). Accommodation operators in Faralya can typically book excursions for you.


If you do decide to do the descent, the trail is clearly marked with red blazes. Stay on the marked trail — don’t deviate to look for a better angle for a photo, for example. Going off-trail can definitely be dangerous. Proceed with caution and pay close attention to your footing (it would be a lousy location to twist an ankle). Make sure you have good quality footwear and leave your backpack behind. If you aren’t staying in Faralya, try asking nicely at some of the pensions; someone will probably store it for you. Don’t do the descent in bad weather.


The trail surface is pebbly and uneven — brace yourself with some combination of cliffside rocks and your walking poles to help maintain your footing. Where the path gets close to the edge, slow down and proceed with caution. There are some very steep portions and these have ropes you can hold onto (particularly helpful when coming back up).


It typically takes 40 to 60 minutes to make the descent depending on your fitness level and degree of caution.


Author’s note: “I have a huge fear of heights and my heart was in my throat the entire way down; I was going so slow that people probably thought I had stopped and was setting up camp… definitely took me longer than 40 minutes! Well worth it though!”

Pretty Pictures

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All photos are copyright by their respective owners and are used with permission.
  • View from deck over Butterfly Valley
    View from deck over Butterfly Valley
    Photo by 
    Darren Moens
    Fall 2022
  • Looking down into Butterfly Valley.
    Looking down into Butterfly Valley from Faralya
    Photo by 
    Ronen Fox
    Apr 2017
  • Looking towards Butterfly valley.
    Looking towards Butterfly valley
    Photo by 
    Łukasz Ostojski
    Fall 2021

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