Narcissus Valley – A Paradise

It is said that the son of a river-god and a nymph was named Narcissus, and he grew up to be one of the most handsome youths ever to be born. He always had a string of woman interested in him, but he treated them with little decency due to his own pride. The heartache of his lovers did not go unnoticed, as Nemesis, the goddess of retribution, was aware of his deeds. Nemesis arranged for Narcissus to drink water from a mountain spring. On seeing his own reflection, he fell in love with himself and remained by the spring until his death, where he transformed into the narcissus flower.

This tale of love, retribution and the narcissus flower has remained for centuries, and there is no better location to view this dainty white flower than in the Narcissus Valley in Ukraine. Located in a part of the country that the locals refer to as Kiresh, it is believed that the valley was once a river bed. Usually this species of flower flourishes at high altitudes, but at a mere two hundred meters above sea level, they seem extremely happy. The land was once under threat of being turned into farm land, but conservationists stepped in and in the 1970s the government made it a part of the Carpathian Natural Preserve. The flowers begin to bloom in the month of May. They are a breathtaking sight, as they blanket a seventy hectare area, and their sweet scent is intoxicating. To keep the area free of unwanted plant growth that could have a negative impact on the flowers, conservationists began to cut the grass and take out weeds from the 1980s onwards. Encroaching construction has taken away some of the water supply to the Narcissus Valley, but at least this part of paradise is protected from development.

Many have said that the Narcissus Valley is where the Garden of Eden used to be, as its beauty cannot be accurately described. Thousands of visitors from as far as Germany, France, United States, Canada and Austria, come to witness this magnificent annual spectacle set amidst lakes, waterfalls and spectacular mountain ranges. It is understandable that some believe that the Narcissus Valley is what remains of paradise.