The Lavender Trails
Lavender is a truly beautiful aromatic medicinal plant with its own special blue colour. All Hvar’s grandmothers kept their linen in lavender-scented drawers, so that spreading out even rough cotton sheets was like a heavenly narcotic.
Curiously, for all that lavender is a Mediterranean plant, it only arrived on Hvar in the 1920s – the first lavender bush, a hybrid lavandin called ‘budrovka’ was planted on the island in 1928, to be precise. By 1947 lavender was cultivated on about thirty hectares of rocky terrain, producing about five hundred kilograms of oil. In the 1960s, there was a marked increase, with lavender grown on six hundred hectares, producing twenty tons of oil. That golden age of Hvar’s lavender lasted some twenty years.
Lavandin from Hvar is rich in etheric oil with recognizable characteristics and multiple uses. A few drops on your pillow can help give you a good night’s sleep. It serves as a good analgesic, soothing rheumatic pains, sciatica, gout and muscle pains. It is one of the few oils which can be applied directly to the skin, and it helps skin healing. It is also good for patients with lung problems and allergies. It is an effective antiseptic and bactericide, so it is used as a disinfectant. In a diffuser it will create a pleasant soothing aroma in your environment, besides acting as an efficient deterrent against moths and mosquitoes.
So, all in all, it is an essential local product to buy when you come to Jelsa. You can find little bottles of locally produced lavandin oil and sachets of dried lavandin flowers on the market stalls and in the souvenir shops. They are perfect gifts to take home for your friends. Treat yourself too: long after your holiday is over, the delightful heady aroma of Hvar’s lavandin will remind you of happy days on the island!