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Butterfly Valley in Turkey

Our experience of exploring Butterfly Valley in Turkey and climbing to the base of the spectacular waterfall during our Sail Turkey cruise.

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Butterfly Valley

Find out all about visiting Butterfly Valley in Turkey, including how to get there and what adventures to do once you arrive.

Butterfly Valley in Turkey

Butterfly Valley in Turkey

As our Sail Turkey boat pulls into Butterfly Valley in Turkey along the Mediterranean Sea we are greeted by the sheer red, brown and grey cliffs that plunge over 50m into the turquoise sea. The order from the Captain is given to anchor while the tiny dinghy is dropped from the stern with a splash. With only room for four at a time it’s slow progress into the thin strip of sandy beach.

Getting to Butterfly Valley in Turkey

As far as we could tell Butterfly Valley in Turkey can only be accessed by boat, and luckily our 8 day Sail Turkey cruise with Busabout took us straight there on our second day.

There were half a dozen other tourist boats that had also motored up from the town of Fethiye although it wasn’t busy at all. And even though it is so isolated it was still no surprise that as with everything in Turkey there was still a man sitting under his umbrella waiting to charge us 5 Turkish Lira for the 1 km walk up Butterfly Valley to the waterfall.

Busabout Sail Turkey Photo Essay, Butterfly Valley in Turkey

Butterfly Valley in Turkey

You can only begin to wonder at the forces of nature that have sent millions of litres of snow melt every summer through Butterfly Valley slowly carving out the steep-sided canyon which is now a protected wildlife sanctuary for over 25 different butterfly species. Unfortunately since it was the shoulder season we were told not to expect too many butterflies. Apparently it is better during the height of summer.

The short hike up to the base of the waterfall is gorgeous. Trekking through head-high scrub with what few butterflies there were darting across the path is actually very relaxing. Especially since large hand painted signs along the route warn us that loud noises can actually kill the butterflies.

The silence was only broken by whispered words as we stumbled along in typical Kiwi fashion with our jandals on.

I was constantly worried that my hastily repaired jandals, which were held together with two bobby-pins after an earlier blowout, were  going to completely fall apart on the uneven gravel path. Especially when we reached the first stream crossing.

Butterfly Valley in Turkey

The campground in Butterfly Valley in Turkey

As the path got steeper and the canyon walls closed in around us we had to begin to scramble over rocks and up through the river. Our jandals had to come off. Even though the rocks were covered in water they were surprisingly not slippery. Pretty fortunate as I am sure someone could easily have hurt themselves up here if not careful.

Suddenly the trees above us disappeared and the waterfall was revealed in all it’s glory. Bugger. All that hard work for this? It was only about 10m in height and meandered rather than thundered over the rocks above us. Still enough to stick your head in though and get drenched. But not all that impressive to be honest. Until we saw the hand painted sign attached to the rock face next to it…

Do not got past! DANGER. DEATH.”

Obviously that meant a bigger and cooler waterfall up just a bit higher! Looked easy enough…

Just had to climb the vertical rock wall next to the first waterfall by holding onto a frayed knotted rope. Hold onto the same rope as you pass under the next small waterfall. Another vertical climb through the river up over boulders larger than me before edging along a 20cm wide ledge. Just don’t look down!

So stoked that I made the decision to climb up though as sure enough a 30m high waterfall gushed over the side of the cliff above us. I was so thankful that it was 25 degrees Celsius as I was already soaked to the bone and looking like a drowned rat. But the exhilaration of looking back down upon Butterfly Valley from that height was truly spectacular.

Butterfly Valley Waterfall, Butterfly Valley in Turkey

Adela resting after climbing up Butterfly Valley in Turkey

Unfortunately I didn’t risk taking our camera up to the very top so we don’t have any photos of me getting pounded on the head from the waterfall!

You can get to Butterfly Valley in Turkey with the awesome Sail Turkey cruise by Busabout:

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Natalie

    May 22, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    I walked the path to the waterfall but decided to turn back once the climbing got a bit ott. I too, was worried about my camera plus the fact that I was on my own. Just kept imagining that if something happened to me, no one would find me!! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      May 22, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      I was pretty nervous climbing up as well and had the same thoughts! Luckily there were others with us but I was running scenario’s in my head haha.

  2. Liv

    May 22, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    I love Butterfly Valley. I used to live in Oludeniz and liked to go and enjoy having Butterfly Valley beach mostly, if not completely, to myself on my days off!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 22, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      That is awesome Liv! It was an amazing spot and would hate to see it in the middle of summer when it is packed.

      • Liv

        May 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        But that’s the beauty of the place Cole – even in summer the beach never gets packed because it’s a bit of an effort to get to. Rarely more than a dozen people on the beach. Perfect!

        • Cole Burmester

          May 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

          Wow that is awesome Liv! Guess we just showed up when there were 5 other boats there so seemed a bit busier…

  3. Sam

    May 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Well done for walking on past the sign. Often the best experiences result from a slight detour from what is expected of you. Did you see any butterflies?

    • Cole Burmester

      May 22, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      Yea kind of got sidetracked away from the whole “butterfly” part didn’t I! We did see a few butterflies but it was out of season so nothing like we expected.

  4. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    May 23, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Haha, clearly “DANGER. DEATH.” means keep trekking on! Waterfalls are totally worth it, though.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      The sign was pretty dramatic but peer pressure and the sense of adventure won over in this case 🙂

  5. Ali

    May 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    I am such a sucker for waterfalls! But I think I might have been scared off by the DANGER DEATH sign. Glad you didn’t die!

  6. Andrea

    May 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    We didn’t really get out in nature at all on our trip to Turkey last year – another reason to go back – looks gorgeous!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 26, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      We have so many places to go ourselves so will be going back sometime soon as well I think!

  7. Mayta

    June 5, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Hehe – I have spent a couple of years working in Butterfly Valley. In summer, they tell visitors that the summer months are too hot for the butterflies, and that they need to visit in Spring/Autumn. Having only seen three butterflies in three years, I’m fairly certain that even with the minimal development in the valley, they have been scared away. Still my candidate for most beautiful spot on Earth 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 6, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      Hahaha that is crazy about the butterflies. There must have been so many in the past for it to be named Butterfly Valley! And we agree it is right up there for beautiful spots 🙂

  8. Angela

    June 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Beautiful adventure and great shots, I miss Turkey!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      We miss Turkey as well Angela! Although just in Italy now and damn it is good 🙂

  9. Waegook Tom

    June 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    This sounds totally different from my experience in Butterfly Valley! I took a boat tour there…well, apparently I did, but I’m not sure if the boat went anywhere near it. We certainly didn’t set foot on land. I ended up with a horrific sunburn on my gorilla legs…it wasn’t fun when it started to peel.

    Anyhow, I’m glad you guys had an awesome experience and got some great shots! Although I think you’re clinically insane for going up to the waterfall of death and inching across that tiny ledge. I can feel myself plummeting to my death just thinking about it…

    • Cole Burmester

      June 13, 2012 at 7:07 PM

      Can’t call ourselves the Adventure Couple if we sit on our asses all day Tom 🙂 The ledge was a bit ridiculous but with a few other guys heading up I couldn’t be the one to sit back relaxing.

      Sucks you didn’t make it to Butterfly Valley itself but chilling in the sun on a boat, can’t really complain. Apart from the burns I guess!

  10. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    July 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Wow, Butterfly Valley sounds like quite an adventure! I’m glad you decided to leave the camera behind when you went to the very top. Some photos are just not worth it. The photos you took are beautiful and it would be a huge loss if your readers didn’t get to see them 🙂

  11. Debbie

    October 29, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    That sounds like a great adventure! Glad you went beyond the sign and didn’t get hurt 🙂 Beautiful shots.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      A little bit scary with the slippery rocks. But then again you need to live a little bit outside the norm in our opinion!

  12. Michael - TTC

    June 9, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Been twice and would go back in a heartbeat. Lovely place to visit. One of the best on the Med coast

  13. Pingback: V-Go Sail Turkey cruise – Fethiye to Kekova

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Adventure Travel

Four Jandals ABC’s of Travel

A journey to the past to look back on our travels from our brief time on this beautiful planet we all call home.

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Toronto Skyline Four Jandals

We were recently tagged by the hilarious Lucy from On the Luce and D.J. from the World of Deej in the Travel Blogger’s “A to Z of Travel” meme that has been doing the rounds on the interweb for the last few months. We thought it would be a great chance to look back at not only our last 2 and a half years of travel as a couple but also our travels individually.

All of the questions were pre-picked so grab a cup of coffee / tea / juice sipper and sit back and join us on our journey into the past…

A: Age you went on your first international trip:

Cole – Does it count if I was in my Mum’s tummy when she travelled to Canada? If not then probably when I was a few years old to hop across the ditch to Surfer’s Paradise with the family. Went back several times and always loved the beach, weather and theme parks.

Adela – Not sure if this is the first trip but it is certainly the first one I remember. We went on a family trip to Noumea and I think I was about Seven. Having the luck that my family does it rained every day! And me being the bossy/naughty kid I was, I ran off from Mum and Dad when we were in town. Needless to say I was on a very short leash for the rest of the trip!

Toronto Skyline Four Jandals

Travelling as a couple on our extended Round The World trip

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:

Cole – Tough call but having a cold Bintang in Jimbaran Bay, Bali, always springs to mind when thinking about tasty beers. I think it’s more about the setting rather than the beer!

Adela – Singa beer in Thailand. I agree with Cole its all about the setting. Drinking in an outdoor bar right on the beach is pretty damn good!

C: Cuisine (favorite):

Cole – Since it’s about travel it has to be France apart from when I ordered just a plate full of beans for Adela with my hopeless grasp of the French language. Otherwise BBQ’s in New Zealand win hands down.

Adela – Italian! I could eat pasta every day!

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:

Cole – Favourite to date would be Jasper National Park because of it’s beauty. Least favourite would be Marrakech after kissing a snake and getting the runs for 2 weeks.

Adela – Favourite; Munich is an awesome city. The buildings are beautiful, especially the glockenspiel. The feel of the place is awesome with beer gardens and awesome food markets. Least favourite; London is just too big for me!

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:

Cole – Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.

Pyramids of Giza in Cairo Egypt

Adela – Going to the “Edge of the World” in Jasper National Park.

F: Favorite mode of transportation:

Cole – Bicycling anywhere whether it is Mountain Biking in Scotland or cruising in Paris.

Adela – I definitely agree with Cole unless snowboarding counts?

G: Greatest feeling while traveling:

Cole – The freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Adela – Seeing places that you have dreamed of and saved for months then turning those into memories that you will treasure forever.

Lake Annette Jasper National Park

Living the Dream

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:

Cole – Definitely not Scotland! But I would say Marrakech was fairly hot and we were only there in the off-peak season.

Adela – Probably Thailand. Lots of afternoon naps required.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:

Cole – Always staying with friends and family when we travel. It is so nice to have a “local” show you around an area and cook a nice home cooked meal when you are on the road. Beats 5 stars every time (but that’s because we never stay in 5 star places haha).

Adela – I am goingto be cheesy and say we had some damn good service in Canada but then their motive is getting a tip. So its not really genuine good service haha.

J: Journey that took the longest:

Cole – We had to rush back home to New Zealand from Scotland when a loved one was sick. Not only was it the longest trip in terms of time, 37 hours, but it was also hard not knowing if we would make it in time.

Adela – Journeys that feel the longest are the ones where you get delayed. If you do get delayed use a company like Flight Delay Claims 4 U as you will not be ready for the time you have to spend in the airport otherwise! On the way back from Egypt we sat on the runway in Amsterdam for an hour and didn’t take off before spending a further few hours in the airport. Not fun.

K: Keepsake from your travels:

Cole – Photographs and this travel blog are our only ones at the moment. I did use to collect nail clippers until they started restricting them on flights!

Adela – Badges that I sew on my backpack. Except my backpack broke so now I am just adding to the pile of badges under my bed.

L: Let-down sight, why and where:

Cole and Adela – The Mona Lisa. Its smaller than we pictured it and you have to fight your way to get a spot to actually see it. In fact the whole of the Louvre was pretty boring. Have been to wayyy better museums elsewhere.

The Louvre

The Louvre – Big time boring

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:

Cole – I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love travel. It was always just one giant adventure as a kid and when solo travelling and now with a partner it is completely different again.

Adela – I used to browse through travel brochures as a kid. Probably a sign I was always addicted to travel.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:

Cole – No places immediately jump out at me. I guess I am too much of a cheap-ass to afford a nice place.

Adela – Kata Beach Hotel in Thailand. Right on the beach, amazing pool and great value for money.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:

Cole – Landscapes. Nothing beats Mother Nature. I just hate that my pictures never look as good as the human eye but I am getting better.

Adela – Capturing the locals in their daily lives.

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?:

Cole – Wow I had no idea how many Countries I have been to (with an overnight stay) until now! So make that 18 countries with at least another 2 to be added over the next couple of months.

Adela – No one will stamp my British passport as I am part of the EU which sucks!

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:

Cole – Drumheller in Canada where they have the world’s largest T-Rex statue.

Adela – There is a bridge in Paris where people stick locks on to show there love for their partner. There are so many on there its crazy!

Drumheller Dinosaur Park T Rex

Drumheller Dinosaur Park in Alberta, Canada

R: Recommended sight, event or experience:

Cole – Oktoberfest was a highlight from last year although I cannot remember a fair chunk of it…

Adela – Snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies.

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:

Cole – We are stingy when we travel and hate forking out for a cup of coffee to warm our freezing hands. But for the sake of a good night sleep we usually stay away from hostel dorms unless sharing with friends.

Adela – Fruit. Its really lame but I have to eat healthy even when I am away. Gotta keep up the 5 plus a day.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done:

Cole – Funny and stupid touristy photos wins whether it is in front of the Eiffel Tower or the Pyramids. We nearly even won free travel trip through our stupid photos!

Adela – I felt the most touristy on the tour in Egypt. On the bus, off the bus, on the bus, off the bus. But a tour is the best way to go as its safer and you know you are not getting scammed for your money as you have a local guide.

U: Unforgettable travel memory:

Cole – Every time we travel it is unforgettable. I love waking up in different countries.

Adela – Sailing around New York Harbour watching the sunset over an incredible skyline.

New York Harbour Sunset Statue of Liberty Cruise

V: Visas, how many and for where?:

Cole – My first visa was for 5 months to work at Mammoth Mountain, California for a winter in 2006. Then Jasper to work at Marmot Basin Ski Area and as a White Water Rafting Guide in Canada for a year in 2009/2010. Now we are living it up in Scotland and have been here for just over a year now. Looking to extend that before heading to Asia to teach English in the not to distant future.

Adela – Canada for a year but it was not long enough! Plus I am one of the lucky ones who has a british passport 🙂

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?:

Cole and Adela – We are not really wino’s unless it is at a BYO somewhere and then it is always the cheapest from the local supermarket.

X: eXcellent view and from where?:

Cole and Adela – Sshhhh, it’s a secret spot in Jasper called “Edge of the World”.

Edge of the World in Jasper

Y: Years spent traveling?:

Cole – If we just take our current trip in to consideration then 2 and a half years so far. I would say we are about halfway at the moment!

Adela – 26? travel with mum and dad, with sport, with friends and now with Cole. Enjoyed every bit of it.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:

Cole – Kiwi’s are proud supporters anywhere the All Blacks play even though we act all staunch but we have nothing on Europeans and their fanatical watching of football.

Adela – I  realy like the tennis especially Nadal 🙂 Sorry Cole hahaha.

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Adventure Travel

The Best International Travel Tips for First Time Travelers

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Travelling abroad for the first time can be intimidating, but travel can also expand your horizons, show you the great beauty of the world and develop many important life skills. If it is your first time travelling abroad, here are a few simple tips for a fun, successful and valuable experience.

Choose Somewhere Easy

If you have the luxury of choosing where you are travelling to, be sure to pick somewhere simple – even veteran travelers can feel intimidated travelling to strange, far away places. Pick somewhere that is not too far, easy to reach and you can speak the language/there are a lot of people who can speak your language.

Research

Fully research where you are travelling to and this will help to build confidence and teach you what to expect. You should research exactly where you are going, where you are staying, how to get around, currency, language, local customs, tourist attractions, how to stay safe and whether or not you need a visa.

Preparation

Following on from this, be sure to get your paperwork together well in advance of the trip. This includes making sure that your passport is valid, obtaining any necessary visas and getting travel insurance. It is also wise to make photocopies of key documents and leave one set with somebody that you trust. You should also inform your bank of the dates you will be abroad and where you will be travelling.

Packing

Carefully consider what the climate will be and what activities you will be doing – this should help you to pack exactly what you need. There is advice for packing online, but one top tip is to use an international courier service to send items you no longer need home or to have items shipped out to you. This can be easy and affordable with companies like TNT.

Don’t Plan Too Much

One of the major mistakes that first-time travelers make is attempting to see and do too much. This can cause a great deal of stress, stop you from enjoying yourself and embracing the experience. Take your time, schedule time to relax and recover and be flexible with your itinerary.

Relax

Feeling anxious or stressed is perfectly understandable, but try to relax and stay calm at all times. Not everything will go to plan, but this is fine and all part of the experience.

Travelling overseas can be stressful and especially for first timers, but the above advice should reduce stress and allow for a great trip.

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Adventure Travel

Swimming, Shopping and Stars – 6 Fantastic Reasons to Visit Darwin, Australia

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Darwin, Australia is often overlooked as a holiday destination for many visitors and Australians alike. It seems so remote all the way at the top of our country, and there never seems to be any national news stories coming from it, so why visit it? It’s wildlife is astounding, the views of the natural landscape are to die for, and the culture present is palpable, and that’s just naming a few on the spur of the moment.

Grabbing yourself a Darwin serviced apartment and taking a few weeks to look around up there is one of the most worthwhile things you can do on holiday, and we’ll explain why in this segment.

Nature

First up is the nature. The nature explorations in Darwin are incredible, and Mary River National Park is a must-visit destination for the nature lover in you. The camping areas are astounding, combining the solitude of the bush with the camaraderie of a campground, and you’re never far from an amazing river or beautiful billabong in Darwin.

Ocean Exploration

For those less inclined toward the jungle thickets and bush of the northern territory, the ocean has a lot to offer in the way of life and interesting exploration. Being careful to avoid the seasons where deadly man-o-war box jellyfish swarm the waters, the warm ocean of Darwin is a great place for diving and snorkeling, and tiger sharks are regular visitors closer to the coast.

Wildlife

The wildlife of Darwin is the big seller, as the Northern Territory has the largest population of saltwater crocodiles in Australia. Saltwater crocodiles are the largest, most dangerous crocodiles found anywhere in the world, and their impressive size has to be seen to be believed. As well as this, barramundi regularly flood the rivers and waterways of the national parks, making the fishing in these waters reliably prosperous.

Views

If looking down on sweeping valleys, towering peaks, and endless forests sounds like something you’d enjoy, then the scenery of Darwin is your personal draw card. With a sprawling, beautiful national park on either side of the city of Darwin, there’s no shortage of breathtaking sights, and with many days’ worth of adventure at your fingertips from a central hub in the city, there’s no reason not to explore.

History

The history of Darwin is rich and plentiful, having been established as a city by European settlers in 1869. The indigenous histories of the greater Darwin area are fascinating, and such a rich culture and past has to be experienced first-hand to be fully understood. With many ancient history sites such as Mt Borradaile, which needs special permits to access, Darwin is brimming with history lessons for all that have a thirst for knowledge.

Art

Art culture is alive and well in the Northern Territory, and Darwin boasts many art galleries both large and small. The Northern Centre for Contemporary Art is one such place, and the modern art installations within are as poignant as they are fascinating. Hours could be spent poring over each individual piece, but to see it is to really appreciate it.

As you can see, Darwin is a place of some considerable renown. There’s absolutely no reason not to pack up your things right now and set off for this gorgeous, interesting, fun city as soon as possible, so wait no longer!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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