Narcissus Valley in the Carpathians

 

Culture, Ukraine

Translated by: Christine Chraibi

The Carpathian Biosphere Reserve Narcissus Valley is a unique protected area located 4 km from the Transcarpathian town of Khust. It is the largest valley of wild daffodils in Europe.

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Maramures Basin

The 257 ha Narcissus Valley Massif is located in the eastern part of the Maramures Basin near the town of Khust, on floodplains bordering the ancient terrace of the Tysa River at altitudes of 180 to 200 m. The massif has a unique botanical ecosystem and Europe’s largest protected area designed to preserve the massive growth of the narrow-leaved narcissus, which has survived since the post-glacial period. Scientists state that during the ice age huge masses of soil containing the flowers slid down the mountains to the floodplains below.

More than 400 plant species can be found in the valley, including the rare short-spurred fragrant orchid, Siberian iris, and white cinquefoil. The fauna differs greatly from that of other massifs; typical of the Transcarpathian Lowland, it includes birds such as the whinchat, concrake, and sedge wrabler, and various amphibian, fish, and rodent species.

Narcissus Valley is quite popular among Ukrainians and foreign tourists. Many trekkers and tourists visit the area in early May when the daffodils start blooming, admiring the rich valley and its unique flora and fauna.

Translated by: Christine Chraibi

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