June- Lavender month
June is the month when the purple colour covers slopes of the Island of Hvar. On the way from Stari Grad, road through Selca, Velo Grablje, Brusje up to the town of Hvar, some familiar smell and the most beautiful purple colour field will surely leave you breathless. Since Island of Hvar is well known as one of the sunniest island on Mediterranean and strong sun is exactly what lavender needs, it is not surprising that the Island is also known as the Lavender Island. Lavender is so important to the residents of the island that the farmers of Velo Grablje, most famous growers of lavender, devoted to that small purple bush an entire Festival.
The Lavender Festival takes place in late June, just few day before harvesting. Festival, of course, is all about lavender: lavender marmalade, football club Lavender, cream of lavender, lavender candles, lavender ice cream, sweet made of lavender, honey lavender, art work with lavender theme, Lavender-Man (comic book hero) and so on...in fact all what you can imagine made of lavender, you will find on one place, in Velo Grablje.
When the Lavender Festival is over harvesting begins, usually at first day of July. After harvesting which last for 10 days, lavender flowers are distilled to obtain oil. During distillation, lavender smell spreads for hundreds meters around and that something special is happening definitely will be notice by all those who pass through the villages- realy quite unique experience!
The tradition of growing lavender is an important part of the islanders lifestyle and major source of income. That sweet smelling purple flower was for sure nurtured many of the inhabitants of the island, educated many professors, lawyers, doctors ...in past.
But in present day something is changed. Although no longer in quantities that are produced before, still is an important part of the island's agricultural production. What was changed in past decades are types of products made of lavender.
Lavender growers used to produce only oil and export it to mainland or abroad as base for cosmetics production. In present days they produce more and more souvenirs made of lavender beside just oil, which you can find in every souvenir shops on the island of Hvar or in open market.
So when you are on the Island of Hvar, take some of the lavender products whit you home or just try sweet made of Lavender it will irresistible remind you of one of the most beautiful islands in the world until you come again!