What Grows on Top of Hvar? Meet the Fields of Immortelle

Total Croatia News

September 10, 2018 – Not so many tourists make it to the top of Hvar, which is a pity for the views are sensational, and the agriculture fascinating.

I always make my annual pilgrimage to the top of Hvar during the lavender harvesting season, when my good friend Jadran Lazic waits for us at about 5am one morning in early July by the entrance to the Pitve tunnel, then drives us to his beloved lavender fields, where we harvest the 300 plants and then relax with a fine barbecue. It is a part of island life which few tourists get to experience, and it is both extremely hard work and a great insight into the harsh realities of island life before tourism. You can get a flavour of the harvest in Jadran’s video below.

He was telling me about a plan to add another crop close to his lavender a couple of years ago – smilje, he called it in Croatian, and it took us some time to figure out the translation, but finally I worked out that is was immortelle, a plant which is purported to have anti-aging properties. 

I had not come across anyone growing it commercially in Croatia, but when the New York Times did a piece on it last year in the Zadar region, claiming prices of 2,500 euro per kilo, or 1.15 litres. 

One local family has gone ahead with large-scale immortelle planting, high above the village of Svirce and just below the peak of Sveti Nikola at 621m. Jadran was on hand with his drone recently to capture this lesser-known crop which could be a very profitable one for Dalmatian farmers in future. Take a look below.



Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment