Hvar Lavender Island: N°1 Irresistible Island’s Fragrance

Hvar lavender tradition
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Hvar Lavender Island has a long and intertwined history. Once a major producer, the island's production has declined in recent decades, but it remains an essential part of Hvar's cultural heritage.

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Hvar experienced a lavender boom in the early 20th century, peaking in the 1960s. At that time, Hvar was responsible for a significant proportion of global lavender oil production, with some estimates suggesting 8%.

Hvar Lavender souvenirThe primary lavender type grown on Hvar is Lavandin (Lavandula intermedia), which is a hybrid of true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia).

Lavandin produces a higher oil yield but has a slightly different aroma than true lavender. Traditionally, lavender was grown in fields carved from the island's rocky terrain.

Hvar lavender harvesting was done by hand, typically in June and July, focusing on early morning to capture the most fragrant essential oil.

The Future of Hvar Lavender

The lavender fields remain a beautiful attraction for tourists, and there's a growing interest in agrotourism experiences that allow visitors to learn about lavender cultivation and production.

Producers are succeeding with value-added products like lavender honey, soaps, cosmetics, and culinary products.

Efforts are underway to preserve Hvar lavender heritage, including events like the annual Hvar Lavender Festival. While lavender production is no longer the dominant force it once was on Hvar, it remains an integral part of the island's identity and culture. 

The future of lavender production on Hvar lies in sustainable practices, agrotourism, and unique lavender-infused products to leverage its tourist appeal.

Hvar Lavender Festival 2024

Hvar lavender festival

The Lavender Festival on Hvar Island celebrates the island's abundant lavender harvest, traditionally held in late June. This year, the festival will be held on July 12th and 13th, 2024, in the village of Velo Grablje, known for its long history of lavender cultivation.

The festival is a vibrant two-day event that showcases the island's lavender tradition and culture. Visitors can expect a variety of Hvar activities and attractions, including:

  • There are exhibitions and educational talks about lavender cultivation and the production of lavender oil. Read this blog for a detailed description of Hvar lavender oil production.
  • Workshops on lavender crafts, such as making lavender sachets and soaps.
  • Demonstrations of traditional lavender harvesting techniques.
  • Local product fair featuring lavender-infused delicacies, cakes, juices, and even ice cream.

The festival is an excellent opportunity to experience the beauty of Hvar Island's lavender fields, learn about the island's lavender heritage, and enjoy delicious lavender-infused treats.

Here are some additional details about the Lavender Festival 2024:

Velo Grablje village, Hvar Island. It's about 9.2 km from Hvar and 17.6 km from Stari Grad.

July 12th and 13th, 2024

While there isn't an official website for the festival, you can find information about it on the Hvar Tourist Board website.

Velo Grablje is too small village but you can find nice and comfortable private accommodation, less than 1.8 miles away!  

Hvar Lavender Tour: Discover Croatia's Fragrant Paradise
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Hvar's Authentic Lavender Ice Cream

Hvar lavender ice-cream

Lavender ice cream has a unique flavor, with lavender flowers or oil infused into the base. Here's a breakdown of what it's like:

  • Floral: The primary taste comes from the lavender, offering a floral note similar to edible flowers like violets.
  • Herbal: It might have a subtle herbal hint reminiscent of mint or rosemary but without the cooling sensation of mint.
  • Sweetness: Depending on the recipe, it can have a mild sweetness that complements the floral and herbal notes.
  • Not Soapy! Despite some concerns, Hvar lavender ice cream doesn't taste like soap. The key is using the right amount of lavender and achieving a balanced flavor profile.

If you're on Hvar Island during the Lavender Festival and come across lavender ice cream, it might be worth a try! You might be surprised by its delightful and refreshing taste.

Where you can buy lavender oil on Hvar Island

Before you decide to buy lavender oil, here are some tips for buying lavender oil on Hvar Island:

Look for “Lavandula angustifolia” This is the botanical name for true lavender, known for its high-quality essential oil. Lavandin (Lavandula intermedia) is also common on Hvar and produces oil, but it has a slightly different scent.

    • Check the label: A good quality lavender oil should be labeled with the botanical name, the country of origin (Croatia in this case), and the volume.
    • Ask about production methods: If you have the opportunity, talk to the seller about the lavender's origin and production methods. Look for producers who use sustainable and organic practices.
    • Smell before you buy: Most reputable sellers will allow you to smell the oil before purchasing. True lavender oil should have a pleasant, floral scent with a slightly herbal touch. Avoid oil with a harsh or chemical smell.

Here are some places where you can buy lavender oil on Hvar Island:

Velo Grablje: Since this village is known as the center of lavender production on Hvar, it's a great place to find authentic lavender oil.

Hvar Town:

  • Souvenir shops: Many souvenir shops in Hvar Town sell lavender oil alongside other Hvar-themed souvenirs.
  • Local specialty stores: Look for stores focusing on Croatian or Hvar-produced goods. These shops might have a selection of high-quality lavender oil.
  • Open-air markets: The Hvar Town harbor area often has open-air markets selling local products, such as lavender oil.

Other Villages:

  • Stari Grad: The oldest town on Hvar, Stari Grad might have shops selling local products, including lavender oil.
  • Jelsa: This town in the center of the island might have shops offering local goods like lavender oil.
  • Vrboska: This picturesque harbor town might have souvenir shops selling lavender oil alongside other tourist products.

Look for "Lavandula angustifolia" This is the botanical name for true lavender, known for its high-quality essential oil. Lavandin (Lavandula intermedia) is also common on Hvar and produces oil, but it has a slightly different scent.

What are the best known lavender products on Hvar island?

Here are some of the most well known lavender products on Hvar Island:

  1. Lavender honey Lavender Oil: This is the most essential product of Hvar lavender farms. Extracted from the lavender flowers through a distillation process, Hvar's lavender oil is known for its high quality and distinct aroma.
  2. Lavender Honey: Hvar's honeybees pollinate the fields, producing a unique honey infused with lavender's floral scent and taste. This honey is prized for its delicate flavor and potential health benefits.
  3. Lavender lip balmLavender Soaps and Cosmetics: Many producers on Hvar Island create natural skincare products like soaps, lotions, creams, and bath salts infused with lavender oil. These products are popular souvenirs and a great way to experience Hvar's lavender's soothing and fragrant qualities.
  4. Lip Balms: Hvar's lavender lip balms can keep your lips soft and hydrated while the lavender scent adds a touch of fragrance.

If you are someone who loves the scent of lavender and is looking for a unique souvenir to take back home from Hvar Island, then buying lavender products is a great choice. However, before making the purchase, you should consider your personal preferences, travel limitations, and the person you are buying it for to ensure that it's the perfect fragrant reminder of your trip!

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