- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Lavender Fields in France
Imagine fields of bright purple and delicate mauve under a deep blue sky, take a deep breath and experience the true scent and colour of Provence. The stunning sight of the Plateau de Sault or the Plateau de Valensole in mid July, the two main areas of lavender cultivation in part of Provence, are reason enough alone to visit this beautiful part of France. Lavender blooms from late June to August and is harvested from mid July to late August, the exact time being dependent on the region, the plants and the seasonal weather so if you want to be sure to catch the lavender in bloom you should plan your visit from mid June to mid July.
It’s hard to believe, but there was a time not so long ago when visitors to Provence rarely ventured far from the Côte d’Azur. The inland was chiefly known as the center of France’s fragrance industry and apart from Avignon, was thought largely uninteresting for tourists.
How times change. The same lavender hills which provide the base ingredients for a multitude of different scents now welcome multitudes of visitors, all reveling in the sight and smell of purple blooms carpeting gently sloping hills. The landscape is only interrupted by historic villages where artisanal crafts are practiced much as they were 200 years ago.
If you’re staying on the coast, you can head out from Cannes or Nice on a private full day tour of the hinterlands, stopping at the beautiful village of St Paul de Vence, its narrow streets lined with galleries, as well as the perfume center of Grasse.
ou can enjoy the lavender fields by car, by bike or on foot. The map indicates where around the Luberon you will find concentrations of lavender fields: on the high plateaux around Sault, at the foot of the Mont Ventoux, and around Apt and Gordes.