The Valley of the Butterflies is a natural park at a distance of 23 km from the city of Rhodes. It belongs to a protected area Natura 2000, together with the Seven Springs and the mountain of Prophet Elias.
Not a "Sightseeing" but an Ecosystem
Apart from its aesthetic value, the Valley of the Butterflies is also the location of the only natural forest of “Liquidambar Orientalis” (Zitia or Wild Quince) in Europe, and a resting place for Panaxia Quadripunctaria, a nocturnal butterfly. Once you will visit the location you will enjoy the beautiful walk in the shady, green valley with the small river and the beautiful waterfalls.
You will be constantly surrounded by butterflies hiding in the tree trunks as you walk to the monastery at the top or when you rest for a while on one of the wooden benches along the road.
The Pelican river flows down the narrow valley and ends at a waterfall that falls into a green pond. There is a forest of beggars on the shores, a tree that secretes an aromatic resin, which is said to attract butterflies.
The combination of the microclimate of the valley with the excellent flora, creates the ideal environment for the growth of large populations of caterpillars, living in trees and feed on the leaves.
In early June, the caterpillar transforms into a beautiful moth and moves to wetter areas.
Flying only during the night, the butterflies spend all summer in the cool, humid habitat of the valley and mate during the last weeks of August and September. In addition to butterflies, the valley is full of rich flora and fauna.
A narrow stone path with wooden bridges will lead you through a landscape of rare beauty, with huge rocks, age-old trees and cool crystal-clear waters, until you reach the end of the ravine.
Below, at the entrance of the valley, there is a small but interesting Museum of Natural History, where visitors can learn more about the Valley of the Butterflies and its unique ecosystem. There is also a souvenir shop and a restaurant. But attention! The butterfly has an atrophic digestive system (it does not have a stomach). From May until the mating season (for males) and until the egg-laying period (for females), they do not eat.
They survive on the energy stored in their previous lives as caterpillars. The noise of the visitors forces the butterflies to fly during the day, wasting valuable energy.
This means that in order to experience this power of nature you must be extremely silent. Because any sound can make them move so they consume energy which shrinks their life expectancy and also eliminates the reproduction rate of this species.
"The noise of the visitors forces the butterflies to fly during the day, wasting valuable energy. This means that in order to experience this power of nature you must be extremely silent".