Culture & Travel

3 June 2024

The Lycian Way, stretching along the stunning Mediterranean coastline in southwestern Turkey, is a unique hiking route for nature and history enthusiasts. This ancient path, extending 540 kilometers from Fethiye to Antalya, passes through dozens of ancient cities bearing the traces of the Lycian civilization. With every step, this route, recognized as one of the world's top 10 long-distance hiking trails, offers a journey where history and nature intertwine.

Before introducing Butterfly Valley, the focus of this article, let's take a general look at the Lycian Way for the curious.

History and General Features of the Lycian Way

Named after the ancient Lycian civilization, the Lycian Way dates back to 2000 BCE, showcasing the rich history and cultural heritage of that era. The trail features different routes that can be hiked in all four seasons, allowing a journey through time among ancient theaters, sarcophagi, rock tombs, and city walls.

You can find more about other stops on the Lycian Way in this article: The Breathtaking Stops of the Lycian Way.

Each hiker will challenge their limits and have unforgettable experiences on the Lycian Way, which hosts unique routes that start at sea level and rise up to 1800 meters, allowing you to enjoy both nature and history simultaneously.

Tips for the Journey

•    Preparation and Planning: Proper planning is essential before setting out on the Lycian Way. Determine which sections you will hike and where you will stay in advance.
•    Equipment: Ensure you have comfortable and durable hiking shoes, a backpack, waterproof clothing, and enough water.
•    Map and Guide: Carrying a detailed map of the Lycian Way and getting a guidebook will be beneficial.
•    Season: The best times for hiking are in the spring and fall. Summer can be very hot, and some trails can be challenging in winter.

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The Most Beautiful Stop of the Lycian Way: Butterfly Valley

One of the most impressive stops on the ancient Lycian Way is undoubtedly Butterfly Valley. Located at the foot of Babadağ, declared one of the 100 mountains that need protection by the World Heritage Foundation, Butterfly Valley is one of Turkey's most touristic spots. The valley, named after the hundreds of butterfly species it hosts, is in the village of Faralya in Fethiye.

Surrounded by steep cliffs rising up to 350 meters, the Jersey Tiger (Euplagia quadripunctaria) butterflies, especially visible between June and September, have become the valley's symbol.

With its tranquil atmosphere, clear sea, and natural beauty, Butterfly Valley opens the gates of paradise wide for its visitors. Let's explore how to get there and where to stay.

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How to Get There

The most popular way to reach Butterfly Valley is by boat from Ölüdeniz. Many tourists prefer this route to reach the valley. You can catch one of the service boats operating at specific times of the day in Ölüdeniz to reach the valley. If you miss these, contact your accommodation, and they can arrange a private Zodiac boat service for you.

For those flying to Fethiye, the nearest airport is in Dalaman, 55 kilometers away. After arriving at Dalaman Airport, which has numerous domestic and international flights, you can reach Fethiye center by public transport. From the Fethiye center, minibusses in front of the bus station go to Ölüdeniz beach.

Another way to reach Butterfly Valley is by hiking, but this option is usually preferred by experienced climbers and hikers due to the steep and challenging path.

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Doğal Güzellikler

The most striking feature of the valley is, of course, its natural beauty. This ancient settlement, dating back to the 4th century BCE, amazes visitors with its breathtaking nature. Although it's one of the ideal places for a peaceful vacation immersed in nature, Butterfly Valley offers much more. For those wanting to try different activities, nature walks, climbing, photography, and snorkeling are top choices.

Kelebekler Vadisi'nde Yapılacak Aktiviteler

1.    Camping: Camping in Butterfly Valley is one of the best ways to be in touch with nature. The tent camps in the valley are arranged to meet your basic needs.

2.    Hiking and Climbing: You can hike around the valley and experience climbing on the steep cliffs. These activities will refresh both your body and mind.

3.    Sea and Sun: Once you reach the valley, you can enjoy the clear sea, sunbathe, and snorkel. Its clear waters and rich marine life are ideal for underwater exploration.

4.    Photography: Butterfly Valley offers unique landscapes for photography enthusiasts. The golden light covering the valley at sunset is perfect for capturing stunning photos.

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Accommodation and Dining in Butterfly Valley

As the valley is quite isolated, everything has been thought out in the area. There are several bars, restaurants, cafes, and markets in Butterfly Valley, ensuring you can find an option that suits your taste.

For accommodation, there are a few options. For those who don't want to give up camping, tents, the most popular form of accommodation in eco-tourism, are available. 

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