Image © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

Butterfly Valley (Valley of Butterflies), Rhodes

On the western side of the island of Rhodes, approximately five kilometers south east from the village of Theologos (or Tholos), there lies the Valley of the Butterflies - also known as Butterfly Valley (Petaloudes in Greek). This is one of the most attractive destinations on the island.

The Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes) is another one of the landmarks of the island: the "Zitia" tree, which is found in a few parts of the Mediterranean, hosts millions of butterflies that peacefully hang in the shadowy wet paths it creates with the brook, which occasionally is transformed to lakes and small waterfalls.

During August, thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia (species Quadripunctaria Poda) swarm into the butterfly valley in order to reproduce. During the rainy period, the butterflies, still in the caterpillar stage, remain in the Mediterranean thicket (arbutus, myrtle and rush) feeding on the foliage. As the end of the wet season approaches, towards the end of May, the final stage is concluded and the butterfly in all her perfection makes her appearance in the form recognizable to us all. They move constantly towards areas with high humidity, always following the "water ways", and as the dry period progresses, they finally arrive at the valley.


Butterfly Valley (Valley of Butterflies) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com


The butterflies like it quiet!

Unfortunately, over the last few years the population of the Panaxia butterfly has been constantly in decline, due to several factors, one of the most important being the disturbance by visitors. The butterfly has an atrophic peptic system, meaning has no stomach. From May until the mating period (for the males), and until the egg lying period (for the females) they do not eat. They survive from the energy stored from their previous lives as caterpillars. The disturbance of visitors is forcing the butterflies to fly all day, consuming valuable energy. Visitors should not be denied the enjoyment of viewing the butterflies at rest, but it is prohibited to disturb them in any way (hand clapping, whistling etc).


Museum of Natural History

The Natural History Museum of Rhodes operates at the entrance of the butterfly valley. Among the exhibits are endemic and rare species of the broader area of the Valley, which are displayed in cases representing the conditions of the natural environment.

Butterfly Valley (Valley of Butterflies) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

Butterfly Valley (Valley of Butterflies) © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com


How to reach the Valley of Butterflies

The valley is located about 26 km away from the town of Rhodes, and 6 km from the western coast, in the northern part of the island. Starting from Rhodes city you will find the valley between the villages Paradisi and Theologos along a small road that heads inland. There is also public transportation available (busses).

Map location for Butterfly Valley (Valley of Butterflies)

Butterfly Valley (Valley of Butterflies) Rhodes Greece map

Article topics

Related articles

Once you arrive to Eleousa, you will find yourself in a tiny village surrounded by plane trees, at the heart of one of the most verdant parts of the island, offering pure country air and purling sound of running waters.

Topics: Nature

Read more about Eleousa

Delicious mezedes in the old Turkish inn, a walk in the forest in search of the Italian army camps, an ascent to the guardhouse at Ai Giannis with its panoramic view, of the surrounding villages or just a stop for coffee in the unspoiled village square.

Topics: Nature

Read more about Vati

Tsambika beach is long and broad with fine, golden sand and dozens of colourful little flags marking out the various eating establishments and beach sports centers. Tsambika is one of the most beautiful beaches on Rhodes.

Topics: Family Travel, Travel with children

Read more about Tsambika Beach (Tsampika)

Looking for things to do in Rhodes?

Don't miss out on great experiences!
Check out the following offers for things to do and activities in Rhodes!

Looking for a hotel on Rhodes?

Hey! we got some hot rental deals for your vacation!
Check the following deals and special offers for hotels on Rhodes!
Booking.com


Valley of the butterflies special was there in 1970 with my mom & dad at time my dad smoked cigarettes when he lit one the butterflies would cover him mom and dad were celebrating 40 years anniversary and happy l could be there with them god bless them.

Commented by Demltrlous drakos April 02, 2020

Delightful cool tricky paths walk with care, just one type but once you have your eye in you will see many many glorious natural place.

Commented by Mary Barnes September 24, 2019

Back in 1966 I spent my honeymoon on Rhodes. There were many great places to visit and Valley of Butterflies is one of the most memorable. An absolutely stunning visit with nature and those beautiful butterflies remain vivid after all these years. A must see if anywhere near the amazing island.

Commented by Connie May 03, 2014

Went there in 1972. I can still remember how beautiful the valley was. I hope to go back one day...

Commented by Richard irons July 24, 2013

I VISITED THE ISLAND OF RHODES MANY YEARS AGO.
THE VISIT TO THE VALLEY OF THE BUTTERFLIES
WAS FANTASTIC. THE VARIOUS COLORS OF THE BUTTERFLIES LOOKED LIKE COLORED FLOWERS. A SHORT
TRIP TO TURKEY FROM RHODES WAS VERY INTERESTING

Commented by ADELLE DUNBERG July 31, 2012

A brilliant place to go and see. Especially in the high season as you not only get to see the amazing wildlife (there is much more there than just the butterflies!) It is so cool down there in the shade! It's just a shame we lost our transport for an hour after we emerged at the far end and got a litte lost!!!!!

Commented by John G June 02, 2010

I'm not saying this because I'm Greek, but Valley of the Butterflies is the perfect place to take great pictures. I took 60 pictures there. The trees, the butterflies, the bridges... It's a magical place!

Commented by No need for one August 18, 2009

Valley of the Butterflies is a must. We saw tree frogs and tree crabs. it was unbelieveable. even a turtle. Its so nice dont miss it.

Commented by Robson March 25, 2007

Fantastic, you must go there it is so beautiful, I recommend it.

Commented by maya September 04, 2006

Beautiful place. We went there in August and saw the butterflies - its almost like a dream.

Commented by Mark February 09, 2004

Let us know what you think about Butterfly Valley (Valley of Butterflies) - we would love to read your opinion!
Rate this article or place (optional)

From our blog

Rhodes has ample nightlife opportunities to offer. With crystal beaches that glimmer under the sun, and stunning blue waters surrounding ancient buildings, coastal caves and sheltered bays, museums, ancient ruins, castles and monasteries revealing its rich history, it’s no secret that Rhodes is a place thriving with culture, history and beauty. Equally impressive is the nightlife in Rhodes, which we will explore here.

Read more about Rhodes Nightlife

In early April 2010 Susan, Richard and myself (Stephen) thought we would look at re-offering the easy walk from Laerma to Agios Isidoros which we stopped doing after the fire in July 2008 that devastated this area, the walk in question is on a dirt track road and is approx 12km (7.5miles) long, it takes about 3-4hrs to walk at a leisurely pace.

Read more about Regeneration of the ecology after the the fire of 2008

Rhodes has become one of the most popular destinations for weddings abroad. Its a beautiful island that offers a large variety of locations with gorgeous settings, enabling you to make your wedding day an unforgettable one. Antonis Giannelis, a WPJA award winning wedding photographer located in Rhodes gives practical advice.

Read more about Your wedding in Rhodes - Capturing your most precious moments

On Sunday 14th April 2019, runners will have the opportunity to run in Rhodes, on a flat course with the spectacular views of the deep blue Aegean Sea, along the coastline and the walls of the Medieval Town of Rhodes, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Read more about Roads to Rhodes Marathon 2019

When you are looking for top things to do in Rhodes, you may find that it is not that easy to pick out just a few options. There are so many different exciting and interesting activities and attractions, narrowing down your options my feel like a small challenge. Let us help you with a few interesting suggestions for top activities, things to do and places to visit on Rhodes.

Read more about Top things to do, places to visit, attractions and activities in Rhodes

Weddings abroad are becoming extremely popular amongst European couples, wanting to get away from the traditional "white" wedding day, with all the formalities and stresses that you with it! A wedding abroad, can be the answer to those who want to approach their wedding plans in a relaxed fashion or perhaps dare we say simply want to be married at the end of their day!

Read more about Getting married - weddings in Rhodes

The way in which food and sweets are prepared in the different areas of Greece, including Rhodes, repeated in the course of the centuries, spread from area to area and from household to household, has contributed to the shaping of Traditional Greek Cuisine.

Read more about Food in Rhodes: Gastronomy & traditional diet

Feedback