The Valley of Butterflies (Πεταλούδες in Greek) is a small paradise that lies 26 km away from the city of Rhodes. The valley is a major tourist attraction, it is estimated that more than 700.000 people visit the valley during the summer months.
A thickly planned valley with running waters, wooden bridges and lakes make even the most demanding visitor short of words in front of this unique sight and the feeling of tranquility. The valley extends in an area of about 60 hectares, along the sides of a small river named Pelecanos. Wooden bridges and paths will guide you through the rich vegetation of this rare biotope. The valley of Butterflies is part of the “Natura 2000” network, distinguished for its unique flora and fauna.
From late July until late September the valley gets filled up with millions of multicolored butterflies, a sight that offers an even more enhancing view. The butterflies belong to the rare species of Panaxia Quadripunctaria, also known as tiger moth. They gather in the valley due to its micro-climate, to feed and multiply. During the day they rest on the foliage, on the tree trunks and on the rocks away form the sun, seeking for humidity. Visitors have to be careful with the noise they make at daytime because their receptors are fragile and they can’t rest. They are more active at night when they fly to find food and mate.
There is a monastery at the top of the valley and a museum housed in a nicely restored Italian house of the 30s. Here you will find extensive information about the flora and fauna in the reserve. The most interesting part of the museum is the hatchery, where a number of butterflies reproduce in a protected area in stable climate conditions and an ideal environment.