Where should you go to see the lavender fields in the south of France? This is the question everyone asks me when they come to Provence in summer. Everyone dreams to see lavender fields riffling in the golden sun.
Lavender truly is Provence’s purple gold and one of the region’s most beloved attractions. But where to find the most beautiful lavender fields in the region? This is a guide to a road trip through the lavender fields: Provence edition.
When is the best time to visit Provence for lavender?
Provence’s fields start to bloom in June. By the end of the month, most of the region’s lavender will be flowering. The fields peak in early to mid-July. The higher the altitude of the field, the later the lavender will bloom.
However, not all lavender fields in Provence bloom at the same time. Hence, we recommend you to check whether the fields are really blooming in the area you are going to visit.
- The fields in the Luberon and Rhone valley region begin to bloom around mid-June
- Drome Provençal fields and the Valensole plateau begin around early July
- The fields in/around Sault begin to bloom in mid-July
They all have different blooming and harvesting times that are not exactly the same. This all depends on elevation, climate and variety. So if you come a bit too early or late in the season, don’t fret! Just drive around and you’ll be sure to find another field with that mesmerising purple lavender.
Generally speaking though, the best time to go to the Provence to experience the lavender in full glorious scented bloom is between end-June and end-July. If you don’t like the crowds and you want your lavender exploring to seem exotic, go before mid-July.
L’Abbey de Senanque
The spectacular but very popular abbey (rightfully so) is definitely worth a visit. If you’re daydreaming about the monks lovingly growing lavender in the backyard: you’ve come to the right place because this actually happens! Note that you cannot walk through the flower fields at the abbey, they’re only to admire from the paths.
The facilities of the abbey aren’t really equipped for receiving busloads of tourists. The crowds can be quite horrendous, negatively impacting your experience. To avoid this, try to come before 9am or after 7pm and combine it with a visit to nearby Gordes or Roussillon.
Plateau de Valensole
Lavender farms and distilleries are peppered across the Valensole region and welcome you to visit their fields. Many sell their own Provence lavender products like essential oils, scented waters, soaps and if you’re lucky, lavender ice cream!
One of our favourite fields are located along the Route d’Oraison but you can find plenty between the villages of Riez, Valensole and Forcalquier.
Probably the most off beat of the three locations, the roads above Sault will have you indulge your love of lavender in peace and quiet. Sault is located at 776 meters above sea level. This means that it offers you gorgeous panoramic views over lavender fields below.
Do note that because of its higher location, blooming season in Sault is a bit later than in the Valensole region. If you’re up to take a detour towards Gordes or Roussillon, you can drive from Sault along the D943 and then the D230 past a plethora lavender fields.
If you happen to pass the sunflower fields, they are also a great little find and a perfect photo background. They aren’t as plentiful as the lavender, but you can still see them in full bloom around this time.
The fields nestled close to Pertuis, north of Aix-en-Provence, and a little tricky to find if you don’t know where to look. But fret not, we’ve got it covered: here are the GPS coordinates to the sunflower fields in Provence.
Where to stay in Provence?
The magnificence of the lavender fields is addicting, and we can guarantee you’ll want to see them all. It’s all up to you of course but we encourage you to spend a whole week exploring this region. We’d suggest at least 3-4 days would be a minimum amount of time to get a feel for the area and not feel so rushed.
We’ve handpicked some of our favourite villas in Provence that are strategically located between the lavender fields. Whether you’d like to visit just a few, or all of them, these houses are perfect as a home base for your road trip through the lavender fields of Provence.
Mas Renoir is a typical Provençal country house. Wake up, and start your road trip itinerary to one of the closeby lavender fields. Then, get back to Mas Renoir, and the rest of the afternoon is spent lounging and taking dips in the pool to cool off at your leisure.
Domaine des Étoiles
Domaine des Étoiles is the perfect home base for your lavender road trip if you’re doing it with family. It boasts breathtaking views of the hills of Provence, and a calming pool too. With an astonishing 12 bedrooms, there’s space for anyone and everyone.
On the property, there is even a beautiful pathway to a small lavender field, if you want the comfort of having it right at your doorstep.
The special aspect of Mas Luce, is that if you’d like a view of lavender, the house itself already gives you that pleasure. With a beautiful walkway of lavender right at your doorstep, the luxury of this villa can’t be beat. It’s a private getaway with all the modern amenities in the classic atmosphere of Provence.