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Before going on any trip I try to do some research – it gives me the feeling of excitement and anticipation. Going on a road trip to France I had a list of things that I wanted to see and lavender fields on Valensole Plateau was one of those things. We missed our hiking and plane tour over the Alps in Annecy, we sort of wasted our time in Chateau de Versailles, so I was hoping the lavender fields of Valensole Plateau was going to be the savior of my road trip.
Lavender fields location
Valensole Plateau in Provence is an area of 800km2 covered with lavenders. The Plateau is situated in the south of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and near the Verdon Gorges – France’s Grand Canyon. There are several charming villages that you can visit on your day trip. If you are staying in South of France Aix-en-Provence, located only 45 miles (70 km) away, is the perfect base for your exploration of Provence, Lavender Fields and Gorges du Verdon. YOU CAN READ MY ARTICLE ON AIX-EN-PROVENCE HERE
The main lavender fields of Provence are centered on, and to the north, of the Luberon and Verdon plateau regions to the north of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, and to the east of Avignon.
Things to do around Valensole Plateau
You can visit the Lavender Museum located in Cabrrères-D’avignont – Le Musée de la Lavande, where you also can buy lavender products in their shop. There are, however, several shops around the Valensole Plateau where you can get soaps in all shapes, sizes, and forms and dried lavender.
In the village of Riez, an ancient Roman town, every July a colorful two-day Renaissance festival takes place, with processions in traditional costumes, dancing, a local product market, a ball and many shows.
Visit beautiful Notre-Dame de Sénanque Abbey – a community of Cistercian Monks. The beauty of the architecture and of the valley where the Abbey lies is supposed to be stunning. The Abbey is closed on Sunday mornings and special religious days. They offer one-hour guided tours in French each week. The Abbey is located just near the village of Gordes.
Best time to visit lavender fields
The blooming season of lavender fields in France is from June to August. The best time to see these beautiful lavender fields can vary slightly from year to year depending on rainfall and temperature. Just be aware that it is the hottest and the most crowded season. I would recommend you to visit the fields just after the bloomings starts, towards the end of June and just before the end of the season, beginning of August.
There are many lavender festivals in Provence during the blooming period if you’re in the area at the time. Most of them are a one-day event. The theme is lavender and there’ll be a huge amount of locally produced lavender products to sample and to buy, but you will also experience local traditions like food, folk music, and arts & crafts.
Where to stay in Provence and what villages are worth visiting
If you want to visit Valensole Plateau on a day trip you can stay in Aix-en-Provence, located just 45 miles (70 km) south of Valensole. YOU CAN READ MY ARTICLE ON AIX-EN-PROVENCE HERE
Gordes – Cobbled streets and golden stone houses wind their way around a mountaintop, ending up at the majestic 16th-century château. The village has been home to several celebrated French painters, including Marc Chagall. With the sun-baked greenery and jagged rocks surrounding it, it is easy to see how it could provide inspiration. Highlights of the village are the Pol Mara Museum; the ancient, preserved settlements known as ‘bories’; and the joyful summer music festival. Notre-Dame de Sénanque Abbey is located outside the village.
Roussillon – Along with Gordes is the most popular village in the Luberon area of Provence. Situated in the heart of one of the biggest ochre deposits in the world, Roussillon is famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries. There are several art galleries and studios, and a number of excellent restaurants where you can appreciate the talent of chefs well-known throughout the region.
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence – The village has sun-soaked medieval walls, ornate fountains and one of the oldest arcs de Triomphe in the country, and it can also claim to be the place that inspired some of Van Gogh’s most celebrated works. Surrounded by lush green perfumed valleys, its ancient streets are lined with beautifully restored old houses, old fountains, shady squares, picturesque restaurants and elegant boutiques.
Sault, France – All around the city lie immense blue fields alternating with fields of wheat for as far as you can see. Activities here vary greatly from tasting the local products (nougat, macaroons, and lavender honey) to climbing Mont Ventoux.
Since we were on a road trip and were coming down from Annecy, we stopped at the first field we could find. Unfortunately, it was nothing like I have seen on social media. It was hot and dusty and there was no scent of lavender. It was us and one Asian couple, who were having their own “photo shoot”. I am not a model and didn’t practice at home so I just took a few snaps of the field, went into the store and bought some soap, and then we were off to Aix-en-Provence to continue our road trip towards Normandie. READ MY POST ON OUR STAY IN AIX-EN-PROVENCE HERE