Faralya is a village in Lycia, Turkey. About 15 km south of Ölüdeniz (and 30 km south of Fethiye), Faralya's only claim to fame was for being "that village over Butterfly Valley" until travellers started to have an interest in it. Indeed, the village is quite pleasant, with its houses and gardens cascading down towards the cliffs of the valley.
Faralya is a quarter (Hisar Mahallesi) of the village of Uzunyurt (literally "long country"), which is made up of separate hamlets (from the north to the south: Kozağaç and Kirme on the Lycian Way to Ölüdeniz, Faralya/Hisar, Kızılcakaya, and Kabak) as these don't have enough population to be declared villages. However, almost nobody but the officials use this name, and the village is always referred to by its ancient name of Faralya whether it be by the minibus signs or travel agencies. And since Faralya is (relatively speaking) the biggest one of these hamlets, in colloquial usage Uzunyurt almost always refers to Faralya.
A narrow and winding, but sealed (if sectionally potholed) road connects the village to Ölüdeniz, where it joins the main highway towards Fethiye near the Blue Lagoon. Although the distance is short, it takes about 30 minutes to drive this road because of its maintenance level.
Between Jun and Aug, there are boats three times a day (11:00, 14:00, 16:00) from Ölüdeniz to Butterfly Valley. They cost 70 TL pp return. Keep the receipt, it'll be asked for upon boarding the return trip.
Hiking from Ovacık, 2 km north of Ölüdeniz, is also an option thanks to the Lycian Way which passes through the main road of the village. Most hikers do this 16-km section in one day, however two days combined with camping a night up in the mountains is much more comfortable, especially in summer.
Hitchhiking the road between Ölüdeniz and Faralya is super-easy, at least in summer when there are lots of holiday-makers travelling with their cars.
The village and Butterfly Valley are connected by a very steep (dropping from the village's elevation of 350 m to sea level at the canyon bottom) and somewhat dangerous path, some sections of which require a little bit of mountaineering skills. It usually takes around 45 minutes to one hour to do the entire path—climbing up is unusually said to be easier than climbing down—but there are some fit travellers who are reported to do it in a little more than 20 minutes. The path starts from in front of the guesthouse George House up in the village and marked with red dots all along it.
- 1 Butterfly Valley (Kelebekler Vadisi). "Discovered" by hippies in the 1990s when their much beloved Blue Lagoon was lost to mass tourism, this 250 m to 1 km canyon is following the steps of the Lagoon nowadays with much more day-trippers than there were in the first decade of the 2000s. Its name comes from a large swarm of endemic butterflies, the habitat of which is near the waterfalls on the canyon wall furthest from the sea. The view of the canyon from the village above is just as, if not more, beautiful as the view it has when you are in. Locals used to know the valley by the name Güdürümsu before it was re-christened with the rather romantic current name. An entrance fee of 5 TL may be charged when arriving by boat.
- Lycian sarcophagii. Since you are in Lycia, there are a few to be seen here. The nearest is at the end of the village towards Kabak, on the gentle slope on the left side of the road. The largest one is near Aktaş beach in middle Kızılcakaya hamlet of Faralya, accessible by the yellow and red waymarked coastal trail. There are two more hidden in the forest between Kabak and Aktaş off of the waymarked trail.
There are no ATMs in the village and in 2009 almost no businesses accepted credit cards, the one down at Butterfly Valley being an exception. The nearest ATMs are located in Ölüdeniz and further away in Fethiye.
- Faralya Market (on the road to Kabak, about 2-3 km from the village). The only grocery store of the village which offers a very meager selection of vegetables, snacks, and drinks. No credit cards.
- There is also a small kiosk offering prepackaged snacks, drinks, and cigarettes at Butterfly Valley. However, it is overpriced by a factor of two to three. For short trips, it is best to bring your supplies from elsewhere.
Within Butterfly Valley, you have two options to overnight: the bungalows or camping in a tent, both are rented by the same business. While you don't have to bring your tent, those offered fill out quickly in the season, and bringing your own won't make any difference at the fee you'll be paying. During the high season (Jun–Sep), staying in a bungalow costs 45 TL/night pp, while overnighting in a tent costs 35 TL/night pp. The prices gradually fall towards winter, with the lowest being 22 TL/night pp between Nov and Mar. All prices are half-board, so they include breakfast and dinner.
If you choose to stay up in the village itself, you have a number of guesthouses and hotels to choose from:
- Die Wassermühle (on the main road, at the entrance of the village from Ölüdeniz), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A nicely decorated hotel housed in the former watermill of the village located next to a little creek and waterfall. From €53 double.
- 1 Faralya Botanica (on the Lycian Way, between the Butterfly Valley and Kabak Beach), ☏ , email@example.com. Faralya Botanica guesthouse offers a spacious stone house, wooden bungalows, camping site, restaurant and a yoga platform, all with sea views. Depending on the season, you can enjoy various fruits and vegetables, all fresh and organic from the garden. From €35.
- George House (on the slope towards Butterfly Valley, follow the sign on the main road), ☏ , (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org. Immediately on the cliffs of Butterfly Valley, this family-run guesthouse is reported to be one of the most pleasant places to stay in Faralya. You can pitch a tent, stay in a wooden bungalow or in an open (i.e. curtains instead of windows) wooden tree-house. Turkish tea is available for free all day. From 35 TL pp half-board (including breakfast & dinner). Check their website for details.
- Mandarin Boutique Hotel, Faralya (behind the market), ☏ , email@example.com. Hotel with sea and mountain views; offering 8 stunning rooms, with 4-poster super king-size beds, double size jacuzzi, delicious homemade organic food and wines. Outdoor pool with separate outdoor jacuzzi. Adult only, ideal for couples, and honeymooners. Standard double rooms €245 in season (Jul–Sep), cheaper in other months.
- Onur Motel Faralya, Faralya Village (hills of Butterfly Valley), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Run by a Turkish family Onur Motel is a great place to stay, with a view of Mt Babadağ. The rooms are bungalows made of natural materials and built in traditional style: exterior is covered with stone work and the interior is covered with natural wood work. They also provide services for campers. Double room about 55 TL per person per night, which includes breakfast and home-cooked dinner..
If you are on a budget-conscious trip, you can also wild camp safely around the village, even near the cliffs of Butterfly Valley, the focus of the local attention. Just be discreet: stay invisible from the houses and the road (you may take shelter behind the many bushes), and pitch your tent at about nightfall.
The path between the village and the valley is dangerous, and claimed at least two young backpackers in the first decade of the 21st century. Never ever take shortcuts and always stick to the route marked with red dots — attempting a shortcut was the reason for one of the casualties. Make sure you know what you are doing at every step — best to skip dreaming about a seabath on that azure coast until you are on level ground. Attempting the route with a heavy backpack is almost suicidal so leave anything you won't need at which side (up or down) you're staying at. The path from the beach to the waterfalls inside the valley also requires some attention.
Faralya's telephone code is (+90) 252.
The area is within the coverage of GSM networks.
- Kabak is a village 8 km further to the south, which also has a canyon (called Kabak Koyu) similar to Butterfly Valley (with cliffs opening to the sea, and with waterfalls at the inland side), though Kabak's canyon is more accessible than Butterfly Valley: a dirt road connects the village with the canyon. A number of guesthouses can be found both on the coast and in the upper village.
- If you are in for a little bit of adventure, you may return to Ölüdeniz by hiking the Lycian Way instead of taking the minibus. When hiking in this direction (Faralya to Ölüdeniz, or northwards), there is only a short (albeit, steep) ascending section right at the beginning of the trail just out of Faralya, then it's almost always gently descending all the way to Ölüdeniz through a beautiful pine forest, along some amazing cliffs, and with unforgettable views over the Blue Lagoon. Remember that the last 8-km towards Ölüdeniz (the section after the mountain hamlet of Kozağaç) has no water source along the path, though.
|Routes through Faralya|
|Fethiye ← Ovacık (Ölüdeniz) ← Kirme ←||W E||→ Kabak → Antalya|