Did you know that lavender cultivation on Hvar began in 1930, when one person planted a few lavenders in Velo Grablje, while the other villagers laughed at the idea? Only 20 years later, the inhabitants of Velo Grablje were making a living off of cultivating lavender and calling themselves a village of billionaires. In 1974 Hvar was the eighth biggest lavender producer in the world.
This guided tour takes you through old local island roads which are still preserved in their original state. Making your way through Hvar’s landscapes, you will breathe the crystal-clean air, potent with the intoxicating scents of lavender, rosemary, lace, pines, and other mostly Mediterranean herbs, rarely found all in one place, with an aroma of constant intensity. When walking along the twisted, rugged roads that are steep at some parts and often lined with centuries-old dry-stone walls, you can listen to the calming call of crickets, the buzz of hard-working bees, and the chirping of birds - all of which will accompany you on your way. At every step, you will find striking views of the distant sea and the captivating harmony of the sun, sky, wind, sea, herbs and omniscient stones. Every tree, every shrub, every flower, and every blade tells an illuminating, whimsical story you can take in with all your senses during this four-hour tour.
The tour starts at the bus station in the town of Hvar. From there we drive about fifteen minutes (14km) to Vidikovac (which is the Croatian word for panorama), the highest place in this part of Hvar island, where you can enjoy stunning views of the nearby lavender fields, the endless blue sea, and numerous surrounding islands.
The hiking route first goes through the village of Velo Grablje, where you can experience traditional Dalmatian island architecture and the locals’ famous easy-going way of life. Following the old trail -- which in medieval time used to be the main road connecting Hvar with Stari Grad -- downhill, it usually takes about one hour to reach Malo Grablje.
In this forgotten village where time stopped ticking more than 50 years ago, you can rest a little bit, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and taste the local menus and favorite local drinks. Following a small road, the hike continues for about 45 minutes to Milna. In Milna you have several options: you can take regular transportation back to Hvar or go for a swim and lunch in Mala Milna restaurant; or if you are brave enough, you can walk from Milna back to Hvar.
- Traditional light lunch: 75 HRK (ham and cheese, olives, tomatoes, marinated fish with capers)
- Peka: 170 HRK per person (traditional baked dish made in fireplace, under the bell called “peka”; includes starter, main dish (lamb, veal or chicken) and dessert
- Fish: 200 HRK (traditional dish – Gregada or Brujet or grilled fish; includes starter, main dish, dessert)
- Drinks (wine and mineral water) are included in the price
2) Swimming and lunch in Mala Milna (price 200 HRK per person, +2 hours)
- Make a break from hiking and jump in the crystal clear turquoise colored sea in Mala Milna bay
- Taste the local food in Mala Milna restaurant
3) Hiking from Milna to Hvar (price 75 HRK per person, +2 hours)
- Hiking from Milna back to Hvar follows a small, rocky trail and it takes around 2 hours depending on the speed of the group.