The Valley of Narcissi (Kireshi village)
Khust district Reserve

The Valley of Narcissi (Kireshi village)

Kireshi village

The Valley of Narcissi, located in Kireshi Village in only few kilometres from Khust, is the only place in Ukraine, where the narrow-leaved narcissus - Narcissus Angustifolius aka Narcissus poeticus - is blooming in natural environment.

And it’s the biggest natural seat of Narcissus poeticus in Europe; it covers the area of 257 hectares. There are similar, but smaller Narcissi fields in the Alps and the Balkans and in Romania, but only here in Khust these flowers grow at the amazing height almost 1,000 metres lower than elsewhere in Europe. Highlands are considered its natural environment, not valleys with their warmer climate. Researchers claim that the Narcissus appeared here back in the Ice Age, when mud poured into the valley from the surrounding mountains and brought the roots of the mountainous ecosystem.

The Valley of Narcissi is protected by the government and makes part of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, which in 1992 was included into the international network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO.

Visiting time is crucial for the Valley; it only makes sense to come here when it is in full blossom. Depending on the weather in spring, each year the blossoming period slightly fluctuates: it can be as early as in late April and up to mid May. Most Ukrainians arrive to the Valley during May holidays of 1-9; but in recent years in early May the Valley was in blossom less than by half. So the second decade of May looks more reasonable. In any case, the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve normally updates on the blossoming stages on their web-site.

We came here on May 4 and were warned at the ticket office that there was only 30% of blossoming. Indeed, the Valley looked somewhat disappointing compared to my previous visits during its fuller bloom, but still was a lovely place to be in. 

There’s no walking among the Narcissi, only along the paved roads. And it's forbidden to pick flowers in the Valley. Sadly, most flowering spots were quite far away hence looked less impressive. But some blossoming sectors were close enough to the paths and to the observation bridge. And the air has already been full with heady scent of narcissi.


Khust district

Reserve Khust district