The Valley of the Butterflies, is famous worldwide as a summer residence in Rhodes for millions of butterflies during the months of June – September.
This is a habitat with dense flora, breathtaking natural beauty, harmonious structures of bridges with the environment, paved paths, ponds, small inexhaustible waterfalls, serene atmosphere and a unique experience for the visitors. The only sound the visitors can hear there is the chirping of the cicadas and the murmuring of the cool water.
The area became known over the years for the natural beauty the visitor sees, but its main and unique feature is the plant “Zitia” (Liquidambar orientalis ) which secretes special substances that attract the butterflies making the valley a breeding place for the butterfly Panaxia Quadripunctaria.
The butterfly has a body length from 1.8 to 2.3 centimeters, a wingspan of 5.5 to 6 centimeters and brown-black with yellowish spots. This species of butterflies belongs to the family of moths and for this reason, the butterflies stay still covering the trunks of trees and rocks during the day, while they fly around at night. The fact that the visitors are not surrounded by flying butterflies is perhaps a little frustrating, but nevertheless people are left surprised by the huge butterfly population which accumulates in the region.
The Valley was originally exploited by the Italians while inhabiting the island, when
in 1928 an Italian company has started to build the site and then the Italian professor Alessandro Chigi spotted the type of butterfly. Today the Valley is managed by the City of Rhodes.
The Valley is accessible in three points, in its lowest point the visitor can admire the natural history museum and pavilions with exhibits, and begin to traverse the path of 1300 metres to the canyon, beside the flowing waters of the river “Pelekanos” and end up to the highest point of the valley at the Monastery of Kalopetra, built, according to tradition, by Alexander Ypsilanti in 1874.
In the Valley of the Butterflies, nature literally blossoms … The spectacle which the visitors enjoy offers the combination of an elegant park and wild jungle dominated by the resident butterflies.