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August 26, 2013

Lifeasabutterfly visits Butterfly Valley!

Butterfly Valley

When I heard about Butterfly Valley on my trip through Turkey I just knew I should go. As you will be aware, anything ‘butterfly’ immediately grabs my attention, so naturally Butterfly Valley was very quickly earmarked as an essential stop on my trip. Fortunately, travel around Turkey is relatively simple, so making our way there was easy.

Lifeasabutterfly visits Butterfly Valley!

Butterfly Valley is one of the rare natural beauties that has not been spoilt by the extremes of mass tourism. Only reachable by boat, it is a secluded and private area attracting more of the backpacker type than the package type.

Butterfly Valley

In the morning a flood of boats resembling sardine tins embark on this coastal area, bringing with it floods of tourists. The tourists take a quick dip to cool off from the hot morning sunshine, they grab a Coke at the small bar and take the short trek across the valley to see the waterfall before re-convening in their ‘sailing’ boats (they are pretty boats that appear to be sailing boats but are in fact motorized) an hour later to continue on their island tour, music blaring and cigarettes lit for the ride.

Boats butterfly valley

And then there is peace. The valley is so quiet you can almost hear the butterflies float past.

Butterfly Valley

Butterfly Valley got it’s name from the large number of butterflies that reside there, some of which being rare breeds only found in these parts. I saw several butterflies during my visit, each just as elegant and beautiful as the next. It was nice.

Butterfly Valley

The valley and the beach are both aesthetically stunning; the view providing a somewhat auspicious ambiance and creating a tranquil basis for an afternoon of relaxation.

Many people choose to camp in the valley, and I’m sure that this is great fun, but we decided to stay only for the day. We took a boat from Oludeniz at 11am and were told there were hourly boats returning, the trip lasting around 20 minutes. We chilled for a few hours, sunbathed, swam, trekked and relaxed. It was a very pleasant afternoon.

Butterfly Valley

However, when the time came to return back we realised we had in fact not seen a single ‘hourly boat’ reach the shore. Turkey was unusual in that it was like being in Europe, except with some hints of Asia- this being one of them! Was the boat late? Or cancelled? Were we going to end up camping here all along? If I was travelling in Vietnam or Thailand I would expect such unpredictability and ‘mai pen rai’ approaches… but in Turkey?

So it seemed the boat was not coming, so we blagged our way onto one of the tour boats that stopped on route back to the mainland. With an unexpected stop at an underwater cave and some raving music later, we arrived slightly less relaxed back at Oludeniz.

underwater cave

The majority of the beaches we visited in Turkey were jam-packed-full of tourists, had dirty sand/pebbles and litter (I will discuss my views on Turkish beaches in another post soon). So Butterfly Valley was a nice contrast; it was peaceful, scenic, uncluttered and clean. I hope that Butterfly remains the little hidden gem that it is and doesn’t suffer at the hands of mass tourism in the coming years.

So… if you’re visiting Turkey I would definitely recommend a trip to Butterfly Valley…. Just don’t tell the world!

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