Valley of Butterflies
The Valley of Butterflies is a stunning natural wonder located on the western side of the island of Rhodes in Greece. This lush valley is home to thousands of butterflies, making it one of the most popular destinations on the island. In this article, we’ll explore the history, ecology, and attractions of this amazing place.
History of the Valley of the Butterflies
The history of the valley is closely tied to the Knights of St. John, who ruled Rhodes from 1309 until 1522. The valley was originally used as a hiding place by the knights during times of war. They would retreat to the valley and use its natural defenses to their advantage.
During the Ottoman occupation of Rhodes, the valley was used as a place of refuge for the monks of the Monastery of Kalopetra, which is located near the entrance of the valley. The monastery was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century and served as a place of worship and refuge for the monks.
In more recent history, the valley was used as a hideout by resistance fighters during the German occupation of Greece in World War II. The area around the valley was the site of many battles between the resistance fighters and German troops.
Ecology of the Valley of the Butterflies
The Valley of the Butterflies is home to a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of plant and animal life. The valley is primarily covered in trees, including the pine, oak, and cypress. These trees provide a habitat for a variety of birds and small mammals.
The valley is also home to over 70 species of plants, some of which are unique to the area. These plants provide food and shelter for the butterflies that call the valley home.
The star attraction of the valley, of course, is the butterflies. The butterflies that visit the valley are known as the Jersey Tiger Moth. These butterflies migrate to the valley every year to mate and lay their eggs. During the summer months, the valley is transformed into a paradise of fluttering wings.
Visiting the Valley of the Butterflies
The Valley of the Butterflies is easily accessible by car or bus from Rhodes town. Once you arrive, you can purchase a ticket to enter the valley. The ticket includes access to the trails and the Monastery of Kalopetra.
One of the best times to visit the valley is in the early morning or late afternoon when the butterflies are most active. The trails can be quite steep and challenging, so it’s important to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water.
Guided tours of the valley are also available. These tours provide a deeper insight into the ecology and history of the area. The guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the valley and can answer any questions you may have.
Attractions of the Valley of the Butterflies
Aside from the butterflies, there are several other attractions in the valley that are worth exploring. The Monastery of Kalopetra is a beautiful example of medieval architecture. The monastery was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century and served as a place of refuge for the monks during the Ottoman occupation of Rhodes. The monastery has been beautifully restored and is a must-see for anyone visiting the valley.
Another historical site in the valley is the Italian Military Cemetery. The cemetery was built in memory of the Italian soldiers who died during World War II. The cemetery is located on a hill overlooking the valley and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
If you’re interested in hiking and exploring, the valley has several trails that lead through the lush landscape. These trails offer a unique perspective on the valley and are a great way to get up close and personal with the flora and fauna.
The valley is also home to several streams and waterfalls that are perfect for swimming or cooling.
Book your transfer or tour here: http://rhodes-transfer.com/
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