Apt Gordes |
Apt Vaison |
Arles Camargue |
Apt Vaison-la-Romaine Distilleries
Open the Lavender Fields Map for reference while you read about the itineraries.
Roadmap: Michelin #245.
This route from Apt to Vaison-la-Romaine is 3 hours driving time, making a very long day if you visit some of the villages and all six of the lavender distilleries along the way. If you run out of time, you can skip the last two distilleries, Saint Trinit and Aurel, which are on a side trip out-and-back from Sault.
We've been by all these places, but not always in the right season when they're open. And, what with the difficulties to maintain a small business these days, we can't guarantee that they're all still in business. If they aren't all there, the sites are still wonderful and the drive magnificent.
Apt is the starting point.
Exit town to the east on the main N100 road (direction Forcalquier). 10 km out, look for the turnoff to the right to Castellet.
From Castellet return north (the way you came in) to the N100, go right, and in 2 km turn left to the little village of St Martin-de-Castillon. Continue northwest on the D35 to Caseneuve.
From Caseneuve, take the little road northwest, about 1 km, and then right on the D209 and follow the signs to Viens.
From Viens, go northwest, then north, following the D33 until it joins the larger D51, and keep following the signs for Simiane-la-Rotonde.
Exit Simiane-la-Rotonde to the north on the D18, which then goes northwest to the village of Saint Christol.
From Saint Christol, you drive northwest across the Plateau d'Albion, where the French Force de Frappe nuclear missiles were once located. Only 11 km from Saint Christol, you'll see the butte with Sault sitting on top.
Sault is a hand place and time for lunch. We haven't been there for awhile, so can't make any particular recommendations.
From Sault to Saint Trinit and Aurel, two little villages to the northeast with distilleries, is only 20 minutes round-trip driving, plus the time for sightseeing, of course. Take the D950 northeast to Saint Trinit first. Then reversed direction from Saint Trinit and at the first junction turn right onto the D1 and head for Aurel. From Aurel, it's a straight shot back southwest on the D942 to Sault.
From Sault northwest on the D164 the road will be sign-posted for Mont Ventoux. There are lavender fields at the beginning of this stretch, then the road goes through forests up to the bare top of the mountain.
Continue west from the peak of Mont Ventoux, now on the D974, to the village of Malaucene.
From Malaucene, go north on the main D938 road to Vaison-la-Romaine.