Rhodes: Valley of the Butterflies aka Petaloudes Valley

To be honest – this was the primary reason of going to Rhodes – to see the Valley of the Butterflies. To those who know me – I am obsessed with animal migrations and wildlife in general and ever since I read about this place, it’s been on my bucket list. Somewhat similar to the monarch butterflies in Mexico that escape cold, the tiger moth butterflies escape summer heat in the cool and misty and humid valley near Petaloudes in Crete. This behaviors is known as aestivating. The sweetgum trees that grow in the valley give off a scent that attracts the butterflies and they concentrate in insane numbers on tree trunks, rocks, and long the stream valley. It’s quite surreal as there are millions of butterflies here. Unfortunately, increased tourist numbers are hurting and disturbing them as it forces some to fly and they are not supposed to – they are not feeding at all so any energy consumption typically results in death prior to reproduction later in the fall.