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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.