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Lavender fields in Provence are a sight to behold!
Everyone wants to see them. Crowds flock to admire the blooming fields and smell the wonderful purple fragrance all around the South of France.
Provence has the most gorgeous lavender fields which bloom each year, between mid-June to mid-July, sometimes even up to the end of August.
Unfortunately, the lavender fields in Provence don’t bloom on a fixed date!
That’s mother nature for you…
It depends on the heat, the rain, the altitude, and other factors that influence their maturity.
But one thing is sure, when lavender fields in Provence do bloom, you’ll be mesmerized by the gorgeous hues of purple and lilac and their fantastic smell.
We went on a 3 day road trip to see the lavender fields and explore the most charming medieval villages in the area.
So if you’re ready to go down the lavender route, then it’s road trip time!
After driving about 200km from Nice, you’ll reach the Valensole, a gorgeous area where lavender fields in Provence will take your breath away.
Be careful, crossing the road, and don’t pick the lavender!
Other fields are scattered between the villages of Riez and Valensole, all with their unique character.
They start blooming around mid-June.
Note: From here you can explore the Alpes de Haute Provence and its famous canyon: the Gorges du Verdon.
LAVENDER FIELDS: ABBAYE DE SENANQUE
The stone village of Gordes is absolutely worth a visit full of charm, cobblestone streets, and local lavender nougat. Try it it’s delicious.
Drive the small roads between Gordes to the Cistercian monastery Abbaye de Senanque. Stop at the many lavender fields along the way, all shapes, and sizes, each with its unique view.
If you have the time it’s worth going inside the abbey. Trying singing within the walls and hear how pure your voice sounds 🙂
In front of the Abbaye de Senanque, there’s quite a large lavender field with the monastery as a backdrop. Gorgeous!
Be aware this is a fully functioning monastery, meaning monks live there! Take photos, but be respectful. Get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds, plus the light is better.
LAVENDER FIELDS BETWEEN MENERBES and BONNIEUX
Part of the fun is driving through charming villages in Luberon while exploring the lavender fields and the luscious vineyards.
You may even be surprised by sunflower fields.
A few of these villages are all relatively close to each other. They include Oppede-le-Vieux, Menerbes, Lacoste, and Bonnieux
You may find that the fields are smaller in this area, but they’re nonetheless colorful and full of surprises, absolutely worth a stop.
Fortified and perched between the forest and the valley below, this northern village in Provence is worth a stop for its lavender fields.
The roads twist and turn on the way up to the village and you’ll get the opportunity to see many lavender fields.
Some small, some large, but all have something special.
If you have more time, park your car before the Vallon distillery and get ready for a 5km walk through the lavender fields. By the way, the family-run distillery is definitely worth a visit!
Check the tourism office
Just remember that these fields are owned by hard-working people. Don’t pick the lavender, don’t walk on it. Be careful with insects and be respectful of the grounds.
Because of its altitude, the lavender fields around Sault are often harvested later than mid-July. But again, it all depends on the climate.
Sault has a gorgeous view of the valley below and delicious honey lavender!
ARE ALL LAVENDER FIELDS THE SAME?
Visit Maison de la Lavande for interesting lavender facts and check out the 18th-century copper stills after you’ve explored the lavender fields!
There are 3 types of lavender.
- Lavandula Latifolia (lavender aspic) This type of lavender grows under 600m of altitude. It has several branches from one stem and many small flowers.
- Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender fine): It grows over 800 m of altitude, for example, around Sault. This type of lavender is small and has a flower on each stem.
Its perfume is exceptionally delicate, and that’s why great perfumes are made with this type of lavender.
- Lavandin. And finally, the result of both lavender types combined is called Lavandin. It has a small bush form and grows up to 800m of altitude.
With no particular virtues, Lavandin is mostly used to make soap smell good and to fill little cute cloth bags for the inside of our closets. Makes for great souvenirs.
LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
There’s no doubt that lavender fields are beautiful. But did you know that lavender is also used for medicinal purposes?
For example, you can use lavender essential oil to:
- Calm insect bites
- Reduce headache by applying a drop on the inside of the wrist or temples. You can also add a few drops to boiling water and inhale.
- Helps sleep better with a few drops on your pillowcase
- Massage to reduce joint pain and sprains when mixed with natural oil
- Use in a vaporizer to alleviate colds and coughs
- Also, try hot lavender tea, it helps with digestion.
LAVENDER IS THE SOUL OF PROVENCE
– JEAN GIONO
WHERE TO SLEEP ON THE LAVENDER ROUTE?
If you’re planning to stay a few days or even weeks in the area to explore the lavender fields in Provence, here are a few choices for a good night’s sleep and a few extras 🙂
Apt is the largest and most central city in the Luberon region. You can find quite a few hotels ranging from budget to luxury. It’s also a good base if you’re planning to explore the area over a few days.
This comfortable hotel has all the amenities for a great stay. Large rooms nicely decorated, some with a terrasse or balcony. Plus, a buffet breakfast every morning with fresh bread and jams.
Le Manoir is conveniently located just 4 km from Apt’s city center yet it’s quiet and surrounded by fields and vineyards.
Reasonably priced, and a perfect base to explore the area.
The owner of the Hotel Le Manoir and his wife, do everything they can to be helpful and will answer any questions.
Ample free parking and wifi.
If you like outdoor markets, then be there on a Saturday.
Gordes is a charming village with cobblestone streets and secret corners. Small squares and amazing views, as well as delicious restaurants and quirky shops, make this village unique.
It’s also a beautiful area to spend the night while exploring the lavender fields.
HOTEL DOMAINE DE L’ENCLOS
This luxurious property has gorgeous views of the countryside and is only about a 10-minute walk to the center of Gordes. The best of both worlds.
Rooms at the Domaine de L’enclos are decorated in a provencal style with elegant taste.
Amenities include AC, a sauna, wifi, a pool, an excellent breakfast with fresh products, a wine bar, and excellent service.
If you want some nature, peace, and quiet away from the city, then this 17th-century mansion will give it to you.
Located about 15-20 minutes from Valensole, it’s an easy drive to see the beautiful lavender fields.
The rooms at Les Lavandes de la Fuste are a Provencal style. Plus the staff is very helpful!
This hotel offers all the comfort and amenities needed such as free parking, free wifi, a good restaurant, and a swimming pool.
If you want to see the lavender fields then plan your trip between mid-June to late July and sometimes even August.
You can’t really know exactly when the colors peak, but even if you don’t see the lavender in full bloom, there’s no doubt you’ll still enjoy the gorgeous lavender fields in Provence.