Have you heard of Butterfly Valley? It is quite near Ölüdeniz’ Blue Lagoon 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. The question is: How do you get to Butterfly Valley?
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. Up until last year, people used to hike down to the valley and beach, but after a few fatal accidents, authorities have put up warning signs to discourage or even forbid hiking the trail. 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 safely access Butterfly Valley from the Blue Lagoon.
- If your base is Faralya, you can take a dolmuş (local bus) to Ölüdeniz. During the season( May-Oct), busses run from Kabak every hour from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. 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 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 at the Blue Lagoon 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 only three times a day. Departing from Ölüdeniz at 11 am, 2 pm, and 6 pm. It won’t be there until half an hour before departure.
- Buy your ticket on board. 2018 price per person is 30TL 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 between 150 to 200TL.
What to expect from Butterfly Valley?
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 the Blue Lagoon every day. It’s a short stop, 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 are visiting 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? All depends on what your expectations are 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 flipflops if you want to see the waterfall from 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 travelers on TripAdvisor for more Kabak travel tips. 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. You will find regular public transport to Faralya during the season. In winter, only 3 busses 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.