My husband and I just returned from a lovely trip to Provence. I had heard that seeing the lavender was something you must do in your lifetime, so we had added it to our “Living in Geneva Bucket List”.
The lavender was breath-taking! But it was a little bit hard to find. Here are my tips if you plan to check it out:
#1 – They say the season is late July / July. I do hear that they start to harvest at the end of July and early August. We went July 13-15 and it was perfect.
#2 – Book a hotel way in advance. There is a lot of tourism in Provence in the summer, with the Avignon festival and of course, lavender tour buses. There wasn’t much choice 30 days out.
#3 – If lavender is your primary goal, pick a town near Sault or Valensole*, two of the best-known lavender towns. It isn’t so easy just to drive by it, like I assumed originally. We stayed in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, which was adorable, but it was 2 hours from Sault. Having a central location would have been better….although I had very patient husband who drove out of our way to see it in the end!
#4 – The 943 road near Sault was the best spot. There are fields both North and South of Sault on this little road. There were fields and fields of lavender.
#5 – Sault is also a good lunch spot since you can see fields from the terraces. Although, Sault itself didn’t have as much character as other Provencal towns.
#6 – The Abbaye de Sénanque near Gordes provided some beautiful photo opportunities. Our GPS didn’t pick it up, but if you approach Gordes, you can’t miss the signs.
#7 – Valdition is a winery in the les Alpilles area that had one lavender field. If you are south in Saint Rémy or Arles, it could be worth making a wine-tasting appointment to see their gorgeous gardens and their lovely field.
#8 – don’t get snake bit. I read after the fact that vipers can hide in the shade of the lavender. Just be safe!
#9 – Aren’t a soap / perfume person? Purchase some lavender essential oil – it has great medicinal properties for healing, and also can be used for relaxation and easing headaches!
#10 – Read up on the festivals happening. We were there for Bastille Day which was fun. Many small villages have festivals centered around lavender.
*We did not personally see Valensole, so can’t guarantee the types of lavender fields….but our research said this was the “lavender capital”.