Lavender Fields photo lavender-senanque0041s.jpg (11 k) Late June through July is the best season for lavender in Provence. This field is in front of the Senanque Abbey near Gordes, the last week of June.

Also:  | Lavender Fields | Lavender Apt | Lavender Buech | Lavender Digne | Lavender Drome | Lavender Forcalquier | Lavender Sault | Lavender Valensole | Lavender Flowers |

And:  | Route du Mimosa |

Nearby: | Avignon | Carpentras | Digne-les-Bains | Forcalquier | Gordes | Riez | Sault | Valensole |

Lavender Map Map of lavender regions - The lavender fields of Provence cover several distinct regions (pays):
• Pays d'Apt - Luberon
• Pays de Buech - Baronnies
• Pays de Digne
• Pays de Forcalquier et Montagne de Lure
Pays de Sault et du Ventoux
Pays de Valensole et du Verdon
• Drôme Provençale
Vallée de la Drôme - Diois

Season

Lavender fields bloom from mid June to mid August, depending on the area and the seasonal weather. Best is from the last week in June through July. Lavender is harvested from July to September.

In the Luberon and the Rhone Valley lavender begins to bloom mid June. The Valensole plateau and Drome Provencal begins around the beginning of July. The area of Sault begins blooming mid July.

Wheat fields and lavender fields are found in the same areas, and often side-by-side. The wheat ripens just before the lavender season, so lavender fields are often bordered by golden bands of grain, backlighted by the sun.

We've also found sunflower fields in the lavender areas, a couple of times just beside the lavender. End June is too early for the sunflowers, but July-August should bring some stunning views to the sunflowers and lavender together.

By Car or Bus

Visiting lavender fields works best if you have a car, so our advice is to rent a car if you can.

Public-transport trips can work, but we don't have details. In Avignon you can take 1-day bus tours. There will probably be bus tours for lavender fields, or tours to Gordes or Apt or Sault. The bus-tour companies are clearly visible when you walk from the station into Avigion, or ask at the Office de Tourisme.

A normal, public bus trip between these towns could be a method for seeing the lavender fields along the way.
Bus Carpentras - Sault
  - Route: Carpentras, Mazan, Mormoiron, Villes-sur-Auzon, Monieux, Sault.
  - Cars Comtadins; tel 0490 672 025
Bus Apt - Sault
  - Route: Apt, Villars, Saint Saturnin-lès-Apt, Petits-Cléments, Grand-Cléments, Rustrel, Saint Christol, Sault.

For details, contact the Gare Routière Avignon (tel 0490 820 735) or the Office de Tourisme in Sault, Apt or Carpentras.

Valensole Plateau

Provence lavender field and ripe wheat The Plateau de Valensole has a lot of lavender fields in a fairly small area. To visit some great lavender fields here, take this 33-km loop drive: Valensole D56 east to Puimoisson; D953 north to the "Poteau de Telle" junction; the D8 west back to Valensole. • On the D8 between Valensole and the D953 junction (4 km north of Puimoisson) has lavender fields. At the "Poteau de Telle" junction (D8/D953) are massive lavender fields [43.896292 N, 6.128771 E].
• On the D6 between Valensole and Riez, about 5 km southeast of Valensole, there are nice lavender fields near the entrance to the Petit Arlane (Centre Naturiste).

Sault and Mont Ventoux

The area of Mont Ventoux, including the town of Sault, northeast of Avignon and Carpentras, has lovely lavender fields.

Due east of Avignon, there are some lavender fields in the area around Gordes, Apt and Saignon. Some of these fields also contain the picturesque stone Bories.

Senanque Abbey

Lavender at the 12th-c Senanque It's only a single field, but the famous lavender field north of Gordes has the 12th-century Senanque Abbey as a backdrop.

Lavender from the Cote d'Azur

From the Cote d'Azur (Nice-Cannes area), the nearest lavender fields are at the Pays de Valensole. The drive up to Castellane is about 1h30. From Castellane, it's 45 km west across the Gorges de Verdon to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, at the northern end of the Lac de Sainte Croix. This takes about an hour with the summer traffic, but you should allow some time to stop and enjoy the view as well. From Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, the road west climbs up to the Valensole plateau and directly into the lavender fields. The total journey (one-way) would be about 2-1/2 hours, excluding stopping to look around.

An alternate route would be west on the autoroute to Brignoles (exit 35, about 1 hr), and then north via Barjols, Tavernes, Montmayan, Quinson and Riez (65 km, another hour).

To have a look as fields of wild lavender, drive up to the Plateau de Calern north of Grasse (about 1 hour to 1h30 from Nice). Amidst the rocky terrain and fields of other wildflowers, the hillsides to the east of the telescopes are covered thickly with wild lavender.

Snakes!

We were warned near Apt (Saignon Bories) by a passing motorist to watch out for vipers in the lavender fields. In St Saturnin-les-Apt hotel-resto it was explained to us that vipers do in fact nestle in (and even nest) in the shade beneath the lavender plants; manual picker ladies used to chop through them inadvertently while harvesting the lavender. In our extensive wandering through the fields we've not seen any, but we're being especially careful now.

Festivals and Corsos de Lavande

Additional Information

Comité Départemental du Tourisme des Alpes de Haute-Provence
Maison des Alpes de Haute-Provence
19 rue du Docteur Honnorat
04005 Digne-les-Bains
Tel: (33) 492 31 57 29
Office de Tourisme du Pays d'Apt
Place Bouquerie; 4 ave Philippe de Girad
84400 Apt
Tel: (33) 490 74 03 18
Comité Départemental du Tourisme du Vaucluse
La Balance, Place Campana
BP 147, 84008 Avignon Cedex 1
Tel: (33) 490 86 43 42
Office Intercommunal du Tourisme du Pays de Forcalquier
Place du Bourguet
04300 Forcalquier
Tel: (33) 492 75 10 02
Verdon Accueil - Office de Pôles
04210 Castellane
Tel: (33) 492 83 67 36, or (33) 494 70 21 64
Office de Tourisme et Thermalisme de Digne-les-Bains
04001 Digne-les-Bains
Tel: (33) 492 31 42 73
Office Cantonal de tourisme d'Orpierre
Pays du Buech
Tel: (33) 492 66 30 45
Office de Tourisme de Nyons
Drôme
Tel: (33) 475 25 10 35