Share This Article
I have always associated almonds with Italy or Spain, not with the Czech Republic. Some time ago I found out that almonds grow in Moravia and I was very interested in the topic! Their glory days have passed, but this tradition is slowly being revived, and spring flowers and autumn harvests attract thousands of tourists.
The organizer of the trip that invited me was the Grono-Tour office in cooperation with the South Moravian Promotion Office, and one of the sponsors was Worldee.
Location and access
The almond orchards are located in Hustopeče – south of Brno (about 30 kilometers). The land where they are located is South Moravia. It is about 50 kilometers from the border with Slovakia, and less than 30 kilometers from the border with Austria. It is best to leave the car in the center of the town or at the foot of the hill (parking lot at the cemetery) and continue along the “almond path”.
Almonds in Moravia – history
The history of almond trees in the region is long and interesting. It is estimated that almonds appeared in Moravia about 300 years ago. In its heyday, over 50,000 trees were said to grow in the area. They covered an area of almost 200 hectares, and their greatest boom took place in the 1960s. The main reason for the flourishing was the need for self-sufficiency of socialist Czechoslovakia.
The choice of the site was preceded by research in various regions, and in parallel with the establishment of orchards, the regional promotion of almond planting began by giving free seedlings to home gardens. The first plantings and purchase of land for orchards took place in 1948. The cultivation was monitored to select the best variety, which was the Rakvická variety.
Over time, the authorities came to the conclusion that the cultivation of almonds was not economically viable and changed the profile of orchards to fruit trees, mainly apricots. Today, they are mostly wild and abandoned and no one takes care of them, but the trees are of impressive size. Interest in almond cultivation practically disappeared after 1989.
In the past, almonds were everywhere in Moravia, today there are much less of them, but they still exist and attract many tourists every year. Their “new” story began in 2011. The first activities were the organization of the Almond Tree and Wine Festival and the slightly later erection of the observation tower. Almonds bloom from mid-March to mid-April – depending on the year.
Today in the region you will find about 1,200 almond trees and huge amounts of orchards of other fruits (especially apricots). Of course, fruits other than almonds are also used in the area to make other liquors (so as not to waste).
The almond trees that grow on the hill are several to several dozen years old and were planted after World War II. The biggest impulse to return to the almond tradition was the funding obtained in 2010.
If you come to this area in autumn, you can easily pick up almonds that have fallen out of the green shells. There is a ban on picking them from the trees, but you can take the ones that lie under the trees.
Almonds used to be popular in Moravia, and the products made from them were known not only in the country, but also abroad! Today, these orchards are still recognizable and the products are returning to the market. On site you can buy almond products in both solid and liquid form. Not all of them are made from local almonds, but the taste is surprising.
Of course, the basis is salted, roasted or smoked almonds – perfect for a snack, but this is only the beginning. The world’s only almond lemonade is also produced on site. In addition to almonds, it has a bit of lemon in it and this combination is impressive! After refreshing with a drink, you can also try almond coffee or almond mulled wine (for colder days).
What may interest you more is in the bottles. Mandlovka is an alcohol-distillate made from almonds and available in three flavors – classic, coffee and cherry. Sweet, strong and tasty – you must try it.
On site you will also find cosmetics, gift sets, but also local wines.
It was built in 2012 and offers an amazing view of the area! You will see unusual wine regions, just almond and apricot. Getting to the top requires some effort, but that’s how lookout towers work. You will see almonds in Moravia, apricots, reservoirs and other interesting places.
From the top you can admire the surrounding hills, and thanks to the information boards you will easily find your way around. Skilled observers will certainly find Palava, but strain your eyes harder and you will surely find other interesting objects.
Hustopečská Mandlárna – company store
Hustopečská Mandlárna is located in Hustopeče. It is a cafe and company store where you can buy almond products. You will find there everything we have just described, accompanied by coffee and cakes.
There you will find gift sets and products perfect as a souvenir after your stay in the area. In addition to the fact that they are made of almonds, they are also very interesting in taste. Although these products taste best locally, you will also find them in many cafes and shops in the Czech Republic.
South Moravia is an amazing land. Brno is a stone’s throw away, but I recommend you to go south. The wine region of Modre Hory – Blue Mountains awaits you there. On the slopes of the hills there grow vines, from which excellent wines are made. It is worth visiting the wine resorts in the region – Velké Pavlovice, Němčičky, Bořetice, Kobylí and Vrbice. In each of them you will find winemakers who will gladly invite you to try the treasures from their wine cellars.
Worth a visit?
Definitely worth a visit! Almonds in Moravia are a trace of old times, but also an amazing curiosity. They are waiting for you throughout the season, but it’s best to hit the days when the almond trees bloom or the Harvest Festival.
You can visit this place, as well as many others in the area, during a trip with Worldee.