Lavender near Madrid - Who needs Provence?

2018-07-05

Kate The Traveller

Brihuega lies less than an hour’s drive from Madrid’s Barajas Airport, through the A2 motorway towards Guadalajara. This small town boasts lavender crops and the annual Lavender Festival, in the period of the strongest flowering of this magnificent plant (July). Lavender fields can be seen already from the distance, in the form of purple shades on the terrain and their aroma, especially in the evening, causes a colorful dizziness.

The two main locations of the lavender fields near Brihuega are on the GU 925 towards Malacuera and CM 2005 towards Sigüenza. The first field, located on the hills, creates a fantastic wave of purple patterns, the second is arranged on a flat terrain, where the lavender fields stretch endlessly from the horizon. Walking among the rows of lavender bushes, I was surprised by the number of bees pollinating these plants. There are literally millions of them and their quiet buzz, creates a specific musical background for the beautiful scenery. At first it seemed impossible for me to walk inside the fields, being concerned by the number of these winged companions around, but moving peacefully, the bees were flying in a different direction, making room for me as well. In order to visit the fields, you should buy a bracelet, worth 2 euros, in the lavender parking lot.

This is a very hot time for Spain. Temperatures in the middle of the peninsula can reach up to 42 degrees Celsius, and the aggressive sun burns the skin mercilessly, especially my light, Slavic complexion. Be careful! Take lots of sunscreen with you and a hat / umbrella, to protect your head. Do not count on rainy days, these appear only once a month and often in a form of a short-lasting, violent summer storm. High temperatures, which seem difficult for anyone born in a colder climatic zone, do not bother the Spaniards at all, on the contrary, they spend a lot of time outside in the fresh air, often saying that “buen tiempo” or good weather has arrived.

The Lavender Festival is accompanied by Feria – a kind of Spanish market combined with gastronomic and musical attractions, taking place in the old town of Brihuega. It is an opportunity to purchase fantastic hand-made lavender products: soaps, pillows, creams and bunches of the plant, while you can also enjoy a cold beer and real Spanish tapas. The service quality of the Spanish merchants running the fair in such an economically demanding period leaves much to be desired, and despite sure delays in getting your food and drinks, Carpe Diem is generally felt.

The Lavender Festival is a unique opportunity to experience a wonderful cultural event, with the natural spectacle of nature in the background. It takes place right in the center of lavender fields at sunset, on one of the weekends in mid-July. It is a series of attractions culminating in the Sunday concert of a guitar “virtuoso”. The sounds are subtle, not loud, all of the participants are dressed in white. Drinks and meals are not served in order to stay in harmony with nature around. The atmosphere is magical. Tickets for the concert must be booked earlier at www.festivaldelavanda.com. Every year, the concert is different and unique. Around May, you can follow the announcement of the event for the year.