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Narcissus Valley

Eastern Europe's only lowland area with alpine flowers galore!

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Last updated: by Olha Savych
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The Carpathian Biosphere Reserve Narcissus Valley, aka the Valley of daffodils ("Dolyna nartsysiv" in Ukrainian), embraces about 1 square mile (3 sq km) of the protected floodplain meadows, famous mainly for seasonal white daffodils. Normally, narcissi grow in the altitudes of 3,600-6,760 feet (1,100-2,060 m) above the sea. But this preserve in Kireshi, near Khust in Zakarpattia Oblast, is only 590-670 feet (180-200 m). Therefore, unique to Ukraine and Eastern Europe, this site is one of Transcarpathia's seven wonders.

White daffodils of the valley typically bloom sometime between May 10 and 25, alluring visitors from all across Ukraine and beyond. All the same, the season depends on weather conditions. In warm springs, the flowers might pop up as early as mid-April. Still, every year presents a different scenery: some swaths of land are cloaked with narcissi, and others are only dusted with the blooms. These spring flowers seem to live their own lives—you never know where to seek the ultimate explosion of petals in the year to come.

Scientists believe that the alpine narcissi must have descended from mountain slopes to the lowlands during the Ice Age. Nowadays, the number of flowers within the confines of the valley is slowly decreasing, which is partially due to the willow trees, consuming lots of underground water. Another reason could be the spreading settlements, new houses, which also use much water. But the worst are barbarous visitors who tread down the flowers. So we appeal to every tourist stepping into the Narcissus Valley: please be caring of this rare flowerbed so that the next generations could also relish this rare natural phenomenon.

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