Not many people know it, but there actually are some lavender fields in Sardinia, and Lavanda di Elvio in Riola Sardo, a small village off the west coast of the island, is one of them.
Founded in 2003, Lavanda di Elvio actually became more popular when it was used as the setting of a photo shooting by the local Instagram community in 2015. I have had the chance to visit for a special event recently, and I can finally say that all the fuss about it is for a good reason – the place is simply gorgeous, and should you happen to be in Sardinia when the lavender is in full bloom, you really should make it a point to visit.
In this post, I will tell you everything you need to know about Lavanda di Elvio, the first lavender field in Sardinia. I will start with a brief overview of why and how it came about, and then share some useful practical information that will help you plan your visit. Before I do so, however, let me tell you a bit more about lavender and its many uses.
For more lavender fields, check out my post “22 Gorgeous Lavender Fields Around The World.”
Lavender And Its Many Uses
For centuries now, lavender has been known for its many therapeutic uses. Known to be an antidepressant – its color and scent help people relax; it’s also used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-septic which you can use to cleanse wounds or even to alleviate the itch and pain that follow insect bites (yes, even mosquito bites).
Lavender is also used as a pain killer, and to alleviate respiratory problems – I only know too well, as I have asthma. Lavender extracts are often used for cosmetic reasons – I am sure you have all come across lavender scented soaps, lavender body lotions and the like.
As if these uses were not enough already, in recent years lavender has been used to create the most interesting flavor combinations, so you can have lavender flavored gelato, brownies and muffins and what not.
To us commoners who won’t be able to create interesting recipes with lavender, one of its biggest appeals is that, when in bloom, it creates an incredible background for photos – especially at sunset. I must admit that – actually – that is what prompted me to visit Lavanda di Elvio, Sardinia’s first lavender field. But needless to say, I learned so much during my visit and it all came as a very pleasant surprise.
Continue reading to find out more about lavender fields in Sardinia and how to visit the most beautiful one.
Everything You Need To Know To Visit Lavanda Di Elvio
How Lavanda di Elvio came about
Elvio Sulas, the founder of Lavanda di Elvio, was born and raised in Riola Sardo. A farmer, he fell in love with lavender, its scent and its uses after visiting a friend in Provence. It was 2003 when he decided to put his heart and soul on the study of the many properties of lavender, and to plant it and grow it in a small field he had outside the village, next to his vineyards.
This became the first of the now two lavender fields on the island, and for a long time it was actually the only one. Since then, Elvio has been producing lavender oil, which he prepares by extracting the essence from the flowers.
Guided visits of Lavanda di Elvio
If you care to visit the most beautiful lavender fields in Sardinia, you should book in advance by emailing [email protected] or calling the number +39 320 041 0362. There is a €5 admission fee to visit the fields, and that includes the possibility of taking photos in and around the field, of learning more about its history and works, and about the secrets of the production of lavender and its byproducts. The visit usually ends at the so-called cellar, an old wine cellar located in the center of Riola Sardo, which also acts as a gift shop.
When to visit Lavanda di Elvio
The best time to visit lavender fields in Sardinia is in June, when the plant is in full bloom. Make sure to plan your visit in the late afternoon – perhaps as you are on your way back from one of the marvelous beaches nearby – for better lighting and photo opportunities. The best time to photograph is right before sunset.
I am hardly one to give photography tips, but if you care to have stunning photos of the lavender fields in Sardinia, make sure to dress for the part with colors that are in sharp contrast with the purple of the lavender. The best color to wear is definitely white, as it will pop up nicely against the fields.
How to get to Lavanda di Elvio
La Lavanda di Elvio is located on SP66 in Riola Sardo, at roughly 30 km and 35 minutes drive from Oristano, and 113 km and about one hour and 20 minutes drive from Cagliari. The best way to get there is by car – in general, I recommend renting a car for your trip to Sardinia anyways.
I visited the lavender fields of Lavanda di Elvio for a special event, during which we enjoyed a sunset picnic prepared with locally sourced products such as the vegetable conserves of Sa Marigosa, the delicious olive oil of Oleificio Corrias, and traditional Sardinian bread baked by Pintau bakery, in the nearby village of Villaurbana.
Needless to say, the fields prove to be an incredible location for a summer picnic. Unfortunately, the service is currently not available to the public but I recommend enquiring about special events, picnics and similar if you are interested – you never know they may be able to organize something special for you as well, or that they may well be on offer by the time you visit.
Products on sale
At the time of writing, Lavanda di Elvio solely produces lavender oil, lavender soap and lavender water. As the attention it receives is increasing, there is a project to expand the range of products, which can be purchased directly online on the website.
Further readings about Sardinia
Planning on visiting Sardinia? Make sure to read my other posts:
- The Most Incredible Day Trips From Cagliari
- 10 Absolutely Unmissable Things To Do In Sardinia
- The 15 Best Beaches In Sardinia
- 15 Great Things To Do In Cagliari, Sardinia
- What To See And Do In Bosa Sardinia
- What To See And Do In Alghero Sardinia
- The Nicest Small Towns And Cities In Sardinia
- The 12 Best Museums In Sardinia
- The Most Interesting Archeological Sites In Sardinia