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Old Lavender Fields, Tihany

The lavender fields hidden between Csúcs (Peak) Mountain and Apáti Mountain are a real purple gem of the Tihany Peninsula.

Herbalist Gyula Bittera loaned a small part of the land from the Tihany Abbey and planted the first lavenders using propagation material he brought from France. The easy-care plants spread quickly and the area soon became the first industrial-scale lavender plantation. Its early success is clearly shown by the fact that it was even listed on the stock exchange.

Soon more lands were rented thus the lavender fields occupied nearly a 100 hectares. At the end of the 1930's, almond trees were planted between the lavender rows, some of which can still be seen today.

Unfortunately, starting from the end of the 1950's, there was no one to look after the plantation, and it slowly started to decay. Most of the area was ploughed and the rest became neglected and scrubby.

This small wonderland was rediscovered during the '90's and they started reviving the field, and plant lavender on a larger area.

Today there is nearly a 30 hectares large area growing with lavender. Some of the plants in the field grow to be 2 meters wide shrubs which attract thousands of butterflies. The harvested lavenders are dried first then they are taken to the markets in bouquets or in the so called aroma bags. The lavender seed are processed in the oil distiller in Kerepestarcsa.

Every June-July, during the blossoming of the plant, visitors can take guided tours on the lavender fields. During this season we can learn about the different uses of lavender at the Lavender Festival where we can also visit the folk art market, the handicraft workshop and the amateur art presentations.

This small, purple flower is not only beautiful and fragrant but also very useful. It is not widely known that a bouquet of lavender put in the wardrobe will keep the moths away. It can be also put next to the bed of babies as its fragrance is relaxing and works as a sleep aid. And if we plant some flowers in our balcony we will definitely have to worry less about mosquitoes as they are scared away by the smell.

Another fun fact which might be less useful but interesting nonetheless: if we need weed control on our lavender field the easiest way is just to let some sheep do the work - they will eat the green plants but they do not like lavender.

One of the more recent lavender plantations can be found at the Gödrös junction, where every year the lavender picking is held, an event popular with tourists during which anyone can pick the lavender to a collecting bag purchased on spot. The event is not only worth visiting because of the sight of the lavender field and the Balaton but because of the wonderful feeling of relaxation which takes over - probably an effect of the peaceful atmosphere of the landscape and the plant itself.