Lavender cultivation for oils and scent is still an characteristic feature of Hvar agriculture which was at its height in the 19th century. The lavender fields are still cropped by hand in late summer. The village of Velo Grablje was once one of the largest producers of lavender oil in Dalmatia in the 1930s, but fell into disrepair. It is now the centre of the annual lavender festival which celebrates the hard work of the men, women and children who continue the traditions of lavender cultivation and distillation.
The festival has markets for local products, especially lavender products, musical evening, films and exhibitions on the history of Velo Grablje and the lavender trade, and the opportunity to try distilling oil from the lavender seeds. The village of Velo Grablje is one of Hvar’s etho-eco-villages which are intended to find new and sustainable ways to conserve traditional village lifestyles and landscapes.