Narcissus Valley is a relict place in Ukraine located at an altitude of 200 m above sea level in the natural boundary Kireshy between the rivers Tysa and Khustets’ in the outskirts of Khust, where annually thousands of tourists come to enjoy fragrance of refined flowers.
How it happened such fabulous valley appeared? In the Glacial Age during the descent of the ice a lot of water run down from the mountains. Such natural settings caused acclimatization of narcissuses and this place has become area of their distribution.
Today Narcissus Valley is the only place in the world, where these beautiful flowers grow at an altitude of 200 m above sea level, because other narcissus fields in the Alps, Romania and some Balkan countries grow on the height of 2000 m. Flowering time of Transcarpathian narcissus depends on the weather. First flowers on Narcissus Valley usually can be seen on the first May, and after one week all valley will be full of islands with white flowers. You are well advised to go to this place in the middle of May so you could enjoy wonderful flowering – you’ll see fields covered with amazing white narcissuses.
The name of narcissus is associated with its scent. Scientists take two different views. In the 6-5 centuries BC Hippocrates gave to this flower the name Narcissus due to its narcotic properties. The basis of this name is a Greek word “narkao” meaning “stun”, “dope”. In another version this name came from the Persian word “nargis” – “stiffen”, “freeze”. In Zakarpattia region there is a local legend, which tells about the time Khotyn Castle was reduced by the horde and the residents presented them pillows full of heads of narcissuses, as if in reverence and obedience. But those who have fallen asleep on those pillows didn’t wake up again – scent of these flowers was too toxic. A well known legend about the Greek god Narcissus, who became obsessed with his own reflection in waters of the Khustets’ River made this flower so popular. Narcissus fell in with himself and gazed at his reflection until he died and turned into a flower.
At the time of Austro-Hungarian Empire Narcissus Valley started been protected. Under Soviet rule, various grain crops were planned to be grown there. A plan for reclamation has been developed and put into action, but later, through the efforts of conservationists territory came under the protection of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve.
Now Narcissus Valley is a unique biosphere reserve covering an area of 256 hectares. At the same territory almost 500 species of rare plants grow, many of them are registered in the Red Book
. The flowering time – from the 1st to the 25th May – Narcissus Valley is free to the public daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm seven days a week. Parking at the entrance is free, but hotel rooms should be booked in advance because the fascinating Valley attracts tourists from all over the world.