Guide to visiting the Provence lavender fields in France

Kirsten Powley

written by
Kirsten Powley

updated 11.06.2024

With quaint villages and rolling vineyards, Provence is perhaps the best place in the world to see fields upon fields of lavender. This charming region is known for being stunningly beautiful. It is also known for its cuisine that incorporates lavender into its oils, honey and delicious sorbets. Here's everything you need to know when visiting the lavender fields in Provence, France.

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to France, your essential guide for visiting France.

Plateau de Valensole lavender fields

The Valensole Plateau's lavender fields are perhaps the most famous and photographed in not only Provence but in the world. The area is filled with fields, deep blue lakes and picturesque villages.

Most famous is Valensole itself, situated above the plateau with the 11th century St Blaise church as a focal point. Here and in the pretty village of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, there's plenty to explore.

You'll find fields of lavender framed by sunflowers, making this a spectacularly beautiful place to see. One field definitely worth seeking out is at Lavandes Angelvin – uninterrupted views of lavender with seemingly perfectly placed trees. You might even recognise the view as this is one of the most photographed spots in Provence. The best way to explore the Valensole region is by car.

Dreaming of a holiday in France? Start planning your trip by finding out how to get there.

Lavender in Plateau de Valensole, Provence, France © Shutterstock

Lavender in Plateau de Valensole, Provence, France © Shutterstock

Luberon lavender fields

The Luberon Valley is the locals’ favourite, with its hilltop villages and beautiful scenery. If you want a dose of authentic Provence as a side to your lavender fields, then Luberon Valley is a good choice.

Because the essence of the Luberon Valley is more about the whimsical streets and picturesque villages, lavender fields are naturally less concentrated here than in Valensole and Sault. That’s not to say it won’t still be easy to find them or that they’re any less beautiful, though. Tucked between vineyards and olive groves, you’ll find plenty of Provence lavender fields on a drive.

Some highlights are:

  • Senanque Abbey, where the monastery is a unique backdrop to the rows of purple lavender
  • The midway point between Gordes, Lacoste and Bonnieux
  • The petite village of Rustrel; and Chateaux du Bois

Visiting the chateau itself is only possible by organised tour, and only in early July. The trip is well worth it for the finer fragrance of its fields, thanks to its higher elevation compared to most other Provence lavender fields in France.


Provence lavender fields at Senanque Abbey, Gordes, Provence, France © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Pays de Sault lavender fields

The village of Sault sits on a ridge with forest on one side and a rolling valley on the other. Its well-preserved medieval streets are a pleasure to walk through. Even approaching Sault is a spectacle – the road leading up to this village offers views of the plateau full of lavender.

As it’s more concentrated than the lavender fields of Valensole Plateau, you can easily explore these fields by foot or bike and will never be far away from your next field.

It's easy to seek out the best lavender fields in Sault – there's a 5km lavender path through the finest fields. You can park at the public car park close to the Vallon des Lavandes distillery and walk the path.

One highlight is the field opposite La Bastide des Bourguets, which offers a backdrop of mountains and a charming stone hut which will make you feel like you've stepped back in time.

Lavender field and old town of Banon, France ©  S.R.Lee Photo Traveller/Shutterstock

Provence lavender fields are a major draw for keen artists and photographers © S.R.Lee Photo Traveller/Shutterstock

Drome Provencale lavender fields

The Drome Provencale region also ranks among the best Provence lavender fields. Lavender gardens here usually burst into bloom from mid-June to early August, with the highest season occurring in July. This is when the fields transform into a sea of vivid purple flowers, creating a spectacular sight.

While visiting the Drome Provencale, you can take leisurely walks on foot or by bicycle through the countryside and enjoy the beautiful views of the lavender fields. There are also a number of farms and distilleries, many of which are open to the public and offer insights into lavender growing, harvesting, and lavender oil production.

Towns and villages in the region organise various festivals, including markets, parades, music and dance performances to celebrate the lavender harvest. The Drome Provencale is also famous for its scenic routes, known as 'Routes de la Lavande', which lead through the most beautiful Provance lavender fields and picturesque villages.

Best time to visit the Provence lavender fields in France

Lavender season in Provence sadly isn't a year-round affair. The best time to see the plants in bloom is from the last week of June to the beginning of August. Peak bloom is around mid-July – although this may vary from year to year depending on the rainfall.

Provence lavender fields are often found next door to sunny sunflower fields which are also best to enjoy in July and August, so if you want the best of both worlds, that's when to go.

While September is no doubt a lovely time to visit the Provence region, with fewer crowds and cooler weather, all of the lavender will have been harvested. Even in late August, you may cut it fine. So if your plan is to avoid the most crowds, your best bet is to go in July before the school's break for the summer holidays.

Like many things, it's best to be flexible if possible. So if you're thinking of heading to France for the lavender season next year, try to give yourself a couple of weeks so you can be sure to witness the fields at the peak of their beauty.

Thinking of visiting France? We can help! See our Colors or Provence trip and start your holiday!


Lavender field summer sunset landscape near Valensole © emperorcosar/Shutterstock

Tips to visit lavender fields in Provence

Although the beauty of the Provence lavender fields is stunning, there are some rules and precautions to keep in mind when visiting them:

  • It is important to be respectful of the local environment. Stay on designated walking paths and do not trample on plants. Be mindful of private property and follow any signs or instructions from local farmers.
  • Resist the temptation to pick a few lavender flowers as a memento. It is highly discouraged to pick flowers in the fields, as this disturbs the natural beauty of the fields and interferes with the growth of the lavender. Appreciate the natural beauty of the flowers and take plenty of photos as a memento.
  • Lavender fields are a haven for bees, attracted by the scent of the flowers. Although bees are usually not aggressive, you should be mindful of their presence when walking and be respectful. It is advisable to keep a safe distance from bees, not to brush them off or disturb them. If you have allergies or a fear of bees, take the necessary safety precautions.
  • Provence is famous for its sunny weather, so take the necessary sun protection measures before walking through the lavender fields. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. You should also keep an eye on your water balance, so make sure to bring plenty of water with you.

Best places to stay to see lavender fields in France

Hotels in Provence, as in the rest of France, are graded with zero to five stars. The price more or less corresponds to the number of stars. Though, the system is a little haphazard, having more to do with ratios of bathrooms per guest than genuine quality; ungraded and single-star hotels are often very good.

Many family-run hotels close for two or three weeks a year in the low season. In smaller towns and villages they may also shut up shop for one or two nights a week, usually Sunday or Monday. As dates change from year to year and as some places may decide to close for a few days in the low season if they have no bookings, it’s always wise to call ahead to check.

Some great accommodations for seeing the Provence lavender fields are:

Explore the variety of accommodation options to stay in Provence. And if you want your stay in France to blend in with exploring the stunning surroundings and various outdoor activities, check out our list of the best campsites in France.

Lavender Fields, Aix En Provence © Shutterstock

Other beautiful places to visit in Provence

Gorges du Verdon

The breathtaking beauty and majesty of the Gorges du Verdon, also known as the Grand Canyon du Verdon, almost match its American counterpart. Peppered with spectacular viewpoints, plunging crevices up to 700m deep, and glorious azure-blue lakes, the area is absolutely irresistible. A visit here is one of the best things to do in France.

The river falls from Rougon at the top of the gorge. It then disappears into tunnels, decelerating for shallow, languid moments and finally exiting in full, steady flow at the Pont du Galetas at the western end of the canyon.

Alongside is the huge artificial Lac de Sainte-Croix, which is great for swimming when the water levels are high. Otherwise, the beach becomes a bit sludgy. With so many hairpin bends and twisting narrow roads, it takes a full, rather exhausting day to drive right around the Gorges.


Although Nice is not technically part of Provence, a city break in the capital of the French Riviera is a nice addition to your trip. Far too large to be considered simply a beach resort, it has all the advantages and disadvantages of a major city.

Nice reached its zenith in the belle époque of the late nineteenth century and has retained its historical styles almost intact. For example, the medieval rabbit warren of Vieux Nice, and the Italianate facades of modern Nice. Or the rich exuberance of fin-de-siècle residences dating from when the city was Europe’s most fashionable winter retreat.

It has mementoes from its time as a Roman regional capital, and earlier still, when the Greeks founded the city. The museums are a treat for art lovers, and though its politics are conservative Nice doesn’t feel stuffy. It has a highly visible LGBT community and spirited nightlife.

Place Massena in Nice, France © Shutterstock

Place Massena in Nice, France © Shutterstock


Were it not for the great metropolis of Marseille, just 30km south, Aix-en-Provence would be the dominant city of central Provence. Historically, culturally and socially, the two cities are moons apart, and for visitors, the tendency is to love one and hate the other.

Aix is more immediately attractive. The tangle of medieval lanes at the city’s heart, known as Vieil Aix, is a great monument in its entirety. You'll find here an enchanting ensemble that’s far more compelling than any individual building or museum it contains.

Aix-en-Provence is a fantastic place to explore. The streets are alive with people. While here, take the chance to explore the many tempting restaurants, cafés and shops. With the backdrop of architectural treats from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it’s easy to while away days enjoying the pleasures of this city.


Capital of the Catholic Church during the early Middle Ages and for centuries a major artistic centre, Avignon remains an unmissable destination. During the Festival d’Avignon in July, it becomes the place to be in Provence.

Low medieval walls still encircle Avignon’s old centre, as it nestles up against a ninety-degree bend in the Rhône river. Their gates and towers restored, the ramparts dramatically mark the historic core off from the formless sprawl of the modern city beyond.

Avignon can be dauntingly crowded, and stiflingly hot, in summer. But it’s worth persevering, not simply for the colossal Palais des Papes (home to the medieval popes, and its fine crop of museums and ancient churches), but also for the sheer energy that pulses through its lanes and alleyways.

This tailor-made tour out of the way in France starts with an in-depth introduction to France in Paris: several unique day excursions connect you with local Parisians to show you their city and way of life. Afterwards, continue south to start a few days' walking journey through Southern France before ending around Avignon.

Cathedral and Papal Palace (Palais des Papes) in Avignon, Provence, France © Shutterstock

Cathedral and Papal Palace (Palais des Papes) in Avignon, Provence, France © Shutterstock


With its sun-kissed golden stone and small-town feel, Arles ranks high among southern France’s loveliest cities. It’s also one of the oldest, with the extraordinary Roman amphitheatre at its heart, Les Arènes, simply the most famous of several magnificent monuments.

Arles is pleasantly laidback – at its liveliest on Saturdays when Camargue farmers come in for the weekly market – and a delightful place simply to stroll around. Its compact central core, tucked into a ninety-degree curve in the river, is small enough to cross on foot in a few minutes. While ancient ruins are scattered everywhere, the heart of the Roman city, the Place du Forum, remains the hub of popular life.

The aerial view of Arles in France © Shutterstock

The aerial view of Arles in France © Shutterstock

Seeing the Provence lavender fields is for many a bucket-list travel activity. Ready for your trip to France? Check out The Rough Guide to France or The Rough Guide to Provence & the Cote d'Azur.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to France without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

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Kirsten Powley

written by
Kirsten Powley

updated 11.06.2024

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