The famous lavender fields of Provence are one of the most beautiful and popular sights of this lovely region in the south of France.
If you’re thinking of visiting and want to see the lavender, here are our handy tips for making the most of your trip.
Best time to visit Provence to see the lavender
It does depend on the weather to a certain extent, lots of late spring rain for instance might delay the blooming. But, generally speaking from mid June, the time of the summer solstice, to mid-August is when the lavender is at its best in Provence.
Those summer months in Provence can be very busy, if you want to avoid the crowds, go before mid July. Visiting the prime spots early in the morning or late afternoon early evening will also mean you’ll miss the coach loads of visitors.
Where to see the lavender at its best
The plateau of Valensole in Provence is a sea of purple from mid June to mid-August. The air is scented with lavender and the hills echo to the sound of the goats and sheep who wear bells as they frolic. You definitely need wheels to see the lavender, public transport isn’t an option.
Sault – the capital village of lavender. It’s a lovely hill top village with plenty of cafés and restaurants and quirky little shops. The views over the lavender fields are sensational.
From here you can drive the lavender route (tip: visit the tourist office for a map) which even in June is absolutely gorgeous.
Get off the beaten track and head north to Montbrun-les-Bains, climb the back roads up to Barret-de-Lioure and drop down into Ferrassières, a tiny village where you’ll be able to enjoy the most incredible lavender field views (and no coach tours).
L’Abbey de Senanque is a spectacular abbey where the monks grow lavender and is definitely worth your visit. However, the cul-de-sac parking in a canyon valley can be a real problem, go early or late to avoid the queues.
Here’s a handy lavender route map from the tourist office: Route du Lavende
Where to stay
Avignon makes for a great base in Provence, it’s an hour’s drive to Sault but there’s plenty to do and see in this lively city for when you’re not out sniffing the lavender. It’s also where you’ll find the awesome Palais des Papes, where the popes of Rome lived hundreds of years ago.
Carpentras is about 30 minutes from Sault and is home to a fabulous market, wonderful cafés and fabulous architecture.
French Connections has loads of lovely B&Bs, gites and even Chateaux to stay in when you’re in Provence. Use the handy search list buttons to find your perfect holiday home.