I heard about this place at the beginning of this year (2017) and I was impressed by how close it´s from Madrid and how little known it is. At first I thought I was looking at pictures from The Provence (France), but no, it´s Brihuega, a little town in Guadalajara, 97km from Madrid, where carpets of lavender bloom every year.
So, I didn’t hesitate in programming alarms everywhere to make sure I didn’t forget to go there when lavender blooms.
…And there was the photo I had seen before. Those fields were as real and wonderful as I expected them to be, and they also smell. Putting your feet there is a whole sensory experience.
If you want to walk through them, which you should, the owners will charge you 2 € and put a bracelet on you so you can enter to most of the fields of the area.
Also, if you have the chance, visit Brihuega town and Cívica. We did it in the morning to then enjoy the sunset in the lavender fields. A great day trip.
When is the flowering of the lavender in Brihuega?
This great spectacle of nature repeats itself every year and I’m still surprised that it is not yet overcrowded and little known. Sharing it creates remorse because it is a place that you want to enjoy alone.
If you feel like going, it is important to keep in mind the time of the year. Before flowering, lavender is a small shrub with fine, long stems of an intense green color. It´s beautiful but it can be a bit frustrating to get there early. On the other hand, it also dries and loses its color fairly soon, even before being collected.
The flowering of lavender in Brihuega takes place in the middle-end of July. It is then when the fields are dressed in violet and when the festival of lavender is celebrated.
Brihuega Lavender Festival
Besides planning different activities, like guided tours in the fields, photography contests and even flying over the fields in hot air balloons; every year, a stage is set up and hundreds of chairs are placed among the lavender bushes. At sunset, when the colors shine even more with the sun, the concert begins. Besides buying the ticket, there is only one requirement to access to it: to dress white clothes.
This year the festival will take place on July 15th, with Diego El Cigala being the main artist. But I have to confess that I have checked the festival web pages during the whole year, waiting for the tickets to come out, and when I saw the price I chose to visit the fields without going to the Concert. So I went a week before the festival. I guess it´s a wonderful experience to a see an artist like that in these fields, but I also appreciate being alone in them (and saving some money).
How to get there?
The fields of lavender are in the environs of Brihuega, many of them in Hontanares. To get to Brihuega from Madrid, the easiest way is to go by car, following the national highway A-2 till the exit 73 (Torija / Brihuega / Torre del Burgo). From there, continue through the CM-2011 road. When you arrive in Brihuega you have to follow the road CM-2005 towards Hontanares, then you will see how the fields are stained with lavender.
It can be a bit tricky to navigate between the small secondary roads. To make things easier I have prepared a map with the locations of some of the most colorful lavender fields in the area. I also marked the best places to see the sunrise and sunset with the fields and the recommended restaurants of the area.
You no longer have excuse, lavender awaits you in Brihuega. Of course, do not let the moment pass because a few days after flowering, it is collected to obtain the essential oil.
Where to eat?
I couldn´t book through eltenedor.es, so I decided to improvise and see where we could eat when we got there. BAD IDEA. The town has only a few restaurants and they were all booked for the day. We ended up eating a “bocata” (sandwich) in a bar.
In the map I marked the restaurants so if you are planning on going these days try to book first to taste their famous baked cabrito, served with baked potatoes.
Since the sunset was around 21:45, and no restaurant were available for us, we went back to Madrid after it. Therefore, it was a very cheap plan for a day outside the city.