Hvar Island used to be one of the largest producers of lavender in the world. A perfect climate, good soil and the sunniest place in Croatia were main reasond why lavender of Hvar Island has been one of the highest quality among all lavender sorts grown in Europe.
Lavender has been highly appreciated from the olden times for its healing properties and intoxicating fragrance. It has been recommended as a stress-relief, as a remedy for headaches, high-blood pressure, flu, rheum, various skin diseases, burns, insect bites as well as for protection from moths and mosquitoes. Distilling lavender flowers produces ethereal lavender oil which is used for warm baths, aroma lamps, as massage oil or for facial and body care.
Lavender and rosemary oil production used to be the most important part of the island’s Hvar economy, especially for the villages of Brusje and Velo Grablje.
Due to several big fires in the area and increased tourism, the tradition of oil production somehow got lost. Slowly and sadly, those villages of Velo Grablje and Brusje were turning into a sort of “ghost towns” due to emigration and depopulation.
But luckily, there is a great local organization – Pjover – that is reviving the authentic traditions of the island. One of their events is annual lavender festival, which usually happens at the end of June. The main theme and the star of the festival is, of course, lavender. Lavender souvenirs, oil, art shows and young artist’s work and performances, visits to lavender distillery, live concerts and music are all part of this unique festival!
Let’s not forget the famous Lavenderman – a superhero from Hvar Island! He comes from the town of Jelsa and derives his powers from lavender, of course! This superhero was created by Toni Faver, a local artist from Jelsa Town and he is also a regular visitor of Lavender Festival. Cruising around on his Vespa scooter he helps tourists, especially ladies, if they find themselves in any kind of trouble.
Biggest lavender fields on Hvar Island are located between the towns of Hvar and Stari Grad, exactly where our cycling and hiking routes take you.