Provence and lavender fields are inextricably linked and in many ways have become the identity of the region, and even of France itself. 

The lavender fields of Provence are now a significant tourist attraction in their own right. Lavender festivals bring a certain rhythm to the summer season in Provence. They not only celebrate the iconic lavender, but they help celebrate an integral part of the culture of Provence and its rich history of lavender growing. There are quite a few festivals to choose from and we invite you to join us as we go through our favourites in detail. You can expect to learn what each festival is all about, what to expect and what makes each festival unique.

kids in lavender
women in lavender

What to expect from a lavender festival

Lavender festivals in Provence are the perfect activity for families, couples, and friends looking for a unique day out. At these festivals, it goes without saying that you can expect a day filled with the sights and smells of lavender. Yet, despite what you may believe, lavender festivals are much more than just lavender products – of course there will be markets where local producers sell lavender products like oils, cosmetics, and food items but it is far more than that. There’s often a much broader celebration of local traditions, including food, folk music, arts and crafts, and more. You can watch traditional distillation demonstrations and enjoy folk dances and music. Competitions in lavender cutting showcase the insane skills of the local farmers.

Our favourite lavender festivals

Sault lavender festival

Date: 15th of August

What to expect at the Sault lavender festival

Situated between 700-900 metres in altitude on the foothills of Mont Ventoux, Sault offers exceptional climatic conditions for growing lavender. The lavender plant has contributed to the prosperity of the area and continues to sustain passionate and dedicated producers. It has, as a result, become a tourist attraction for Sault and the neighbouring villages. Every year on the fifteenth of August, Sault hosts one of the world’s largest lavender festivals with a huge Provencal parade featuring folk groups in traditional costumes, Provencal music bands, and tambourine players. Wagons and floats filled with lavender sprigs and decorated old tractors parade through the streets. It really is quite the spectacle.

Markets: Discover a variety of lavender and lavandin-derived products, local terroir products, and artisans’ creations. You can browse through stalls offering everything from aromatic bouquets and natural cosmetics to handcrafted jewellery and Provençal crafts.

Activities: Enjoy a diverse range of activities including a book fair featuring local authors, a painters’ exhibition showcasing regional talent, and the highlight of the festival, the French Lavender Cutting Championship. Amateur enthusiasts can also participate in their own cutting competition.

Food and drink: Refreshment stands offer a selection of drinks and fast food. At noon, a grand banquet provides a chance to savour traditional Provençal cuisine amidst the festive atmosphere.

What’s unique about the festival: The festival hosts the renowned French Lavender Cutting Championship and an amateur lavender cutting competition.

"The Sault Lavender Festival was a dream come true. The parade was so colourful and lively, and the markets had so many unique products. We loved the lavender-flavoured treats!"
E, Bristol

lavender festival

Valensole lavender festival

Date: Third Sunday in July

The Valensole plateau, located between the Durance Valley and the Verdon Gorges, is renowned for its magnificent landscapes and endless lavender fields. As a major lavender production area in Haute-Provence, Valensole hosts one of the most beautiful and largest lavender festivals each year to celebrate the beginning of the harvest.

What to expect at the Valensole lavender festival

Activities: Not only do you get to explore the blooming lavender fields, interact with local producers, learn about distillation using traditional methods, but you can enjoy lively folkloric and musical performances too. There are also guided tours of the lavender fields that provide insights into the cultivation and history of lavender in the region.

Markets: Take a stroll through the producer’s market stalls and explore their wide array of lavender products, local crafts, and Provençal goodies. You can find everything here from handmade soaps and essential oils to lavender-infused culinary delights.

Food and drink: Local food vendors offer a variety of Provençal delicacies and refreshments, such as lavender honey, freshly baked pastries, cheeses, and charcuterie. We recommend trying the lavender-flavoured ice cream and the utterly refreshing lavender lemonade – a staple at the Valensole lavender festival.

What’s unique about the festival: The Valensole Lavender Festival is unique for its immersive distillation demonstrations using a traditional 19th-century still, offering visitors a rare glimpse into the age-old process of lavender oil extraction amidst the stunning backdrop of the blooming Valensole plateau.

"We visited the festival on a romantic getaway, and it exceeded our expectations. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was so lively. Watching the distillation process was fascinating!"

M & S, Paris

valensole lavender festival

Digne-les-Bains Lavender Corso

Date: First Sunday in August

Every year at the beginning of August, the city of Digne-les-Bains celebrates the end of the lavender harvest with their family friendly lavender festival. Since 1929, this event has attracted visitors from across the region and now from all over Europe.

What to expect at Digne-les-Bains lavender festival

Activities: At Digne-les-Bains you can expect elaborately decorated floats, spectacular fireworks displays, traditional Provencal dance performances, live music performances and even fairground rides.

Markets: This festival has various stalls featuring local crafts, lavender products, and goods from Provence. You will find everything from handmade soaps and essential oils to unique souvenirs and artisanal foods.

Food and drink: Digne-les-Bains festival boasts numerous food stalls offering a variety of local delicacies and beverages, such as lavender honey, pastries, cheeses, and charcuterie.

What’s unique about the festival: The Digne-les-Bains Lavender Corso is unique for its grand float parades, where elaborately decorated floats made entirely of lavender and other local flowers create a spectacular and aromatic visual feast that captivates visitors of all ages. It’s a sight not to be missed.

"The float parades were absolutely stunning. Seeing the intricate designs made from lavender was incredible, and the scent in the air was just wonderful. The whole event had a very festive and welcoming atmosphere."

J, London

lavendar festival
Digne-les-Bains Lavender Corso

Lavandissima in Le Thor

Date: Second Saturday in July

Le Thor, a former fortified city in Comtat Venaissin, celebrates Lavandissima to showcase its thriving lavender production. Located just a few kilometres from Avignon, this festival offers an array of activities that highlight the region's agricultural heritage and cultural vibrancy in unique and fun ways.

What to expect at Lavandissima lavender festival

Activities: At Lavandissima festival you can participate in fascinating guided tours that delve into the history of lavender cultivation and the heritage of Le Thor. Enjoy live musical performances that celebrate both traditional Provencal music and more contemporary tunes. The festival concludes with a spectacular fireworks display, a beautiful way to end the day.

Markets: The local producers' market at Le Thror lavender festival offers a wide range of products that highlight the best of Provençal craftsmanship and agriculture. Visitors can purchase handcrafted items, fresh produce, and unique lavender-based products.

Food and drink: At Le Thror you can indulge in lavender-infused treats like honey, biscuits, and ice cream, and enjoy traditional Provencal dishes such as ratatouille, tapenade, and fresh baguettes. The comfortable dining areas in the festival provide a welcoming space to relax and soak in the festive atmosphere, setting Lavandissima apart from other festivals.

What’s unique about this festival: Lavandissima festival is renowned for its guided tours, which offer an in-depth look at the region's lavender production and heritage, providing an educational and immersive experience for visitors.

"Our children loved the festival, especially the fireworks. The local food was delicious, and we bought some lovely lavender products to take home. It was a great family day out."

G Family, Barcelona


What to bring to a lavender festival?

When attending any of the lavender festivals in Provence, it is important to be prepared to make the most of your experience. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the fields and navigating the festival grounds. Ensure you have cash on hand for purchases, as not all vendors will accept cards. A reusable bag will come in handy for carrying your market finds. Oh and last one - don’t forget your camera.

Each of these festivals offers a unique glimpse into the rich traditions and vibrant culture of Provence, with lavender at the heart of the celebrations. Whether you are interested in the history and production of lavender, looking to enjoy traditional Provencal music and dance, or simply wanting to indulge in local food and crafts, there is something for everyone, every age. Any questions, as always, please do not hesitate to ask.

A bientôt,

The Provence Holidays team