Sailing Croatia to Hvar’s Lavender Festival
For the majority of the year the tiny village of Velo Grablje, on the island of Hvar, is a quiet, unassuming spot that is easily missed by anyone passing by the island whilst sailing Croatia. However, every June it becomes the centre of celebrations as it hosts the annual Lavender Festival.
Velo Grablje has a long history with the flower, and was once the centre of lavender production for the entire Dalmatia region. While the industry peaked in the 19th century, today it remains a characteristic feature of Hvar, and particularly Velo Grablje, and it is this that the Lavender Festival seeks to emphasise.
The festival is organised by the Association Pjover and encompasses a range of cultural and educational events focused on the local lavender and its uses.
Visitors can experience a wide range of activities and there truly is something for everyone. Children will delight in the lavender ice cream, history buffs can enjoy an array of films and exhibitions surrounding the island’s lavender growing history and those looking for souvenirs of their time sailing Croatia will not find themselves short of choice at the specially set up markets selling lavender products and other local produce.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the festival, however, has to be the opportunity to take part in the lavender distillation process, whereby rosemary and lavender are heated in a special furnace and then crushed to release their aromatic oils. Celebrations have never smelled so sweet!