Saturday, October 06, 2007
part IV - Gemiler Island, Butterfly Valley
From Cirali we drove to Fethyie (passing by picturesque Finike and Kas), and eventually to KayaKoy (or Karmylassos), known as the ghost town. We wanted to visit Oludeniz and the Butterfly Valley, but didn't want to stay in any of the more touristy resorts at the beach, so we chose the lovely Villa Rhapsody instead. Jeanne and Attila were so friendly from the first minute, and they helped me with all the necessary bookings before we arrived, so we were promply dispatched for our private boat trip as soon as we got there.So we drove to Gemiler beach (lovely beach) and from there were picked up and crossed to Gemiler Island (also known as St. Nicholas Island)
Daily boat tours to Butterfly Valley depart from the Oludeniz beach everyday in the morning, but we knew we'd arrive late for that so I was really happy that we could arrange this trip with Regis (hope I got the name right), who besides running these boat trips, is also the official guide (and guard) of Gemiler Island. We hadn't had any lunch, so while Regis was preparing that we went snorkelling for a while. We had only been snorkelling before during our honeymoon in the Seychelles, but I loved it so it was great we could try it in these clear waters again. Near the rocks there's an amazing variety of fish, and we were given some bread to attract them, so in a minute or two we were quite surrounded.
After lunch (and petting all of Regis' cats) we finally headed out to Butterfly Valley. This valley is a protected natural reserve, home to several unique butterfly species, and can only be reached by boat or by a footpath coming from the top (not really advisable as it can be a bit treacherous). At the end of the valley there's a 60m high waterfall, so we hiked up to see that. The waterfall was quite diminished at this time of the year but the walk inside the canyon is worth taking. We even saw a few butterflies, although the best season to see them is in August.
By the beach there's a hippie sort of settlement, very relaxing and casual. I especially loved the library, very original indeed :)
Back on the boat, Regis took us to the blue cove (where I had to take another dive, the water was so amazingly clear), and passed by Oludeniz beach before returning to Gemiler Island. We still had time before sunset so we went to visit the ruins of a byzantine settlement and churches located on the island. The view from the top was amazing, and the sunset quite spectacular.
This is another place I would definitely go back to. Next time, maybe we'll even try one these cruises and visit the ruins of Myra, which we missed this time.
Back at the Villa Rhapsody we were quite exhausted, so after the delicious dinner (and homemade peach ice cream for dessert, so yummy) we badly needed some sleep. After all, the next day we'd have our most radical activity of all, and we'd have to be well rested for that...
Gemiler Beach and Island