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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:

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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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

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Adventure Travel

3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience

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If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.

Image From Pixabay CCO License

Buy The Right Tent

The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.

When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.

If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.

Get A Good Quality Sleeping Bag

If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.

Pack Good Food

The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.

Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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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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