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The Valley of the Butterflies
One of the most unusual biotopes in Europe

 

It is a luxuriant ravine with abundant running water that attracts thousands of tourists each summer.

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A German entomologist, Rheinhard Bger, visited the island a number of years ago and made a study of the butterflies that appear there from July to September.

These butterflies belong to the species Callimorpha Qudripunctaria Himalaiensis because they were discovered for the first time in the Himalayas. It has been since learned that they also are found in Brazil, Peru, Australia, California and wherever else the Liquidabar Ortintalis trees are native, which have a resin with a distinctive, strong aroma.

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The butterflies live in the valley during the summer, mate and fly away in September leaving their eggs at various points around the island. In April these eggs produce the small larva which are transformed into chrysales in May and achieve their final form at the beginning of June. When it turns hot they leave the locale where they were born and, travelling by night, reach the valley where they will stay until September. They are attracted by the smell of the resin as well as the coolness of the surroundings which does not change even during the hottest days of summer.

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Rhodes Butterflies Valley, Rhodes ToursZoom Greece Butterflies Valley, Tours of RhodesZoom

A dirt road shrouded in greenery climbs up from the Valley of the Butterflies and two km. later reaches the "Panagia Kalopetra" Monastery (the Virgin of Kalopetra). It was built in 1784 by the abbot of Wallachia, Alexandros Ypsilantis. Ypsilantis was a Greek prince, ruler of Wallachia and Moldavia, engaged in various wars against the Ottomans. His grandson was the leader of the "Filiki Eteria" that began the Greek Revolution in 1821.