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The Valley of the Butterflies

The Valley of the Butterflies is found on the road connecting Paroikia with Alyki, some 5 kilometers southern to the capital of the island, just after the Monastery of “Christos tou Dassous” (“Jesus Christ of the Woods”), along the gully.

The valley is one of the most important and worth seeing biotopes not only of Paros, but of the entire Greece. It is an idyllic environment with luxuriant widl vegetation, current water and streams, which in spring and summer is full of thousands of butterflies of the rare species “panaxia quadripunctaria” or “callimorpha quadripunctaria”, a species belonging to the butterflies of the night or “petaroudia” as its local name is.

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The vegetation and the landscape have been created and keep existing thanks to the small stream gathering all the current waters of the area. The stream lies on a rocky bed which helps the growing of various species of wild bushes, trees and flowers. The valley is a shelter for the butterflies for years, but in recent times the invasion of tourism has caused problems to the insects. As it is widely known, the butterflies do not eat at all, during their adult life; they consume the fat they had stored as caterpillars. The thousand visitors coming to see them make noise and the butterflies are scared and fly. As a result they lose energy and many of them die from starvation before egg-laying; thus their population is gradually reduced.

Access to the Valley from Paroikia is very easy: you will follow the road leading to Alyki and after 5 kilometers you will turn left, towards Psychopiana, as the signals show. The valley is some 2 kilometers after the junction. Before leaving the area, don’t miss to enjoy the nice view of almost all the island, of the sea and of Antiparos across. And, if you wish you may complete your excursion by going to Punta and take the ship to Antiparos.

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