Colours of Provence are surely 50 shades of violet. If you are planning to visit Provence this summer, these tips and hints will help you to plan your stress-free vacation.
One of the greatest summer experiences is visiting lavender fields in Provence. And I have to say, these emblematic flowers exceeded all my expectations. However, while traveling in this beautiful region in southeastern France, I found out that it full of surprises. As I also discovered gorgeous fields of sunflowers and wheats, peaceful mountains and forests, drawing vineyards and charming small villages.
Where and When to visit the fields of Provence.
There are a lot of picturesque blue, violet and purple fields all over the region. The biggest are around the Valensole and Luberon Plateau, east of Avignon and around the Abbaye de Sénanque (the valley of Gordes). Flowers in these parts of the region usually bloom from mid-June to mid-July.
Another famous area for beautiful lavender fields is around Sault, which is located higher up on the plateau with a bit colder weather. That means the blooming season is rather later here, from early July to mid-August.
However, the blooming season depends on the rainfall in the year.
You can drive all over Provence getting different landscapes, fields and flowers. However, I found it difficult to orient on the spot, especially if you are there for the first time and only for a few days. Furthermore, lavender in some places is blooming up until mid-August. For that reason, I recommend you first decide where you want to go and when, so you would have the most wonderful and memorable experience.
I visited fields around the Plateau of Valensole, on the northern edge of the Verdon Regional Nature Park. Flowers in that area usually bloom from mid-June to mid-July. So, I planned my road trip during the first week of July and discovered fields in its full glory.
You will need either renting a car or taking a tour from one of the cities around. As fields are actual farms and can not be reached by walking or public transportation.
Where to stay.
I stayed in a small hotel, called Ibis Manosque Cadarache. Very simple accommodation, but the location was great for reaching different fields. You could also check hotels, B&B and Airbnb around Manosque or Valensole in the heart of the lavender meadows. Bear in mind though, during the blooming season the places would be fully booked months in advance. However, if you stay anywhere close by, the town of Valensole is totally worth a visit as it is so charismatic. There are cosy stores where farmers sell bouquets, essential oils, soaps, honey, salt, cookies and all sorts of products, of course, all made of lavender. And there are also yummy truffles, another local speciality. Each year on the 3rd Sunday of July, the town of Valensole organises its Lavender Festival.
Roads & locations.
We took the Route of Manosque – D6, towards Valensole. It is very popular among lavender-photo-hunters, painters and flowers lovers from all over the globe. When we approached fluffy endlessly rolling lavender rows, and scented absolutely wonderful aroma, we understood why.
Moreover, the same road not only takes you to the lavender fields, but also to the sunflowers and wheat fields. For instance, you can park your car in front of the family owed field-farm-distillery Lavande Angelvin and have all three types of fields around you. In fact, you can take pics, buy amazing local products and talk to the producers at the same place.
The best light and the best photos are during sunset and sunrise.
First thing you will notice right away on the fields is a huge amount of bees. They are working hard on collecting that delicious pollen and usually don’t mind people, just try not to disturb them or flowers. Nevertheless, it is something to keep in mind, if you have allergies.
During the day it is usually too hot to walk around, so better spend your day at the Lavender Museum or visiting villages. Evenings or very early mornings (around 5:30-6:00) are perfect for taking fabulous photos. By the way, at dawns there are less bees on lavender, but as soon as sun hits the horizon there are plenty of them on sunflowers. :)
LAVENDER is a true symbol of Provence. And I hope thanks to this info, you can now easily plan your journey to breathtaking fields of provence and experience its unique ATMOSPHERE.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me -> GET IN TOUCH.