Provence’s famous lavender fields are a stunning sight not to be missed on a visit to the region. The rows of brilliant purple set against an azure sky take the breath away, and together with the gentle aroma wafting across the fields, it’s a little paradise.
When to visit?
Unfortunately, the lavender fields don’t last forever. To avoid disappointment, visiting at the right time is essential. Often the lavender is blooming by late June, certainly at low altitudes. But to see the larger higher altitude fields you need to make the trip between the end of the first week in July to the third week.
Where to go?
There are three very different, but equally spectacular touring routes to see the lavender in Provence.
La plateau de Valensole: Here you will find expansive fields on high plains. The big skies and rolling hills create great depth in photos. And if simply taking in the breathtaking scenery isn’t enough, there are many quaint villages, lavender farms and distilleries to visit in the surrounding area.
Mt Ventoux to the Luberon: Between the majestic Mt Ventoux and the Luberon lies another stunning lavender route which is strikingly different from the others. Here you’ll find large sweeping valleys where the lavender fields are interspersed with wheat fields, forests and countryside. We set off on a lavender field hunt – as you need to know where to find the best vistas.
Further north, in the Drôme: Here you will find hidden fields interspersed with wine vineyards. A treat!
What else to do?
Visit a distillery: At lavender distilleries, you can buy a plethora of lavender-based products: perfumes, soaps and essential oils. The actual bouquets of lavender also make an endearing souvenir.
Have a long lunch in a local village: There are many beautiful villages to explore, and of course wonderful restaurants and wine domaines to visit. In Forcalquier you can find delicious treats in the market; if you are looking for something more up-market, consider La Bastide de Moustiers, a Michelin-star restaurant and hotel in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. The town also is known for its exquisite hand-painted pottery.
Take in some culture: The village of Gordes in the Luberon region boasts the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénaque, a Cistercian abbey surrounded by lavender fields that was founded in 1148.
Rent bikes: Renting bikes is an ideal way to explore the lavender fields and surrounds. Or head to the Les Lacs du Verdon, a stunning Provencal river valley offering various activities including cycling, climbing and thermal baths at Greoux les Bains.
Balloon ride over the lavender: Another option is to take a balloon ride, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the rolling rows of purple. Balloons can be hired from the town of Forcalquier.
With a huge array of options, get in touch to arrange your trip in this lavender paradise!
Provence Cultural Tours
Mas de la Chouette