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Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes)
Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes)

Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes)

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The Basics

Attracted by the humidity and scent of the Oriental Sweetgum trees, butterflies flock to the valley near the end of their life cycle to reproduce. A small museum there features a butterfly hatchery and exhibits. Many guided tours around the island of Rhodes stop by the Valley of the Butterflies, often in conjunction with a wine tasting, a visit to the Kallithea thermal springs, or a boat trip to the uninhabited island of Halki.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • As you wander the pathways, try not to disturb the butterflies—they’re trying to conserve energy.

  • Wear sturdy shoes, as the valley has lots of stairs, bridges, and uneven terrain.

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How to Get There

The Valley of the Butterflies is on the western side of the island, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southeast of the village of Theologos. Public buses connect the town of Rhodes with the valley, but it’s often faster and more convenient to get there by car or guided tour.

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When to Get There

The best time to see the butterflies is during the dry season, from the end of May through the end of August. Go in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat. Outside of butterfly season, the area is still worth visiting for its scenic trails.

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What’s Nearby

If you’re traveling independently to the Valley of the Butterflies, check out the handful of other attractions in the area. Kalopetra Monastery sits at the top of the valley, offering stunning views across this picturesque part of the island. Or, head to a farming village like Pastida, Damatria, or Maritsa, to experience a bit of local life and sample some typical cuisine at a traditional tavern.

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