We are more than excited to share with you our guide to navigating the lavender fields in Provence. Come with us on a lavender journey as we explore the most well known areas for lavender hunting, some secret local spots, top tips on getting around and the future of the lavender season.

Lavender in mountains
woman in lavender field

When does the lavender bloom?

Lavender in Provence typically blooms from May to July, with early July being the prime time to witness the fields in their full splendour.
Optimal viewing time

Early July

This is the best time to visit the lavender fields in Provence. The region is full of bright purple fields as far as the eye can see. We recommend, if you can, to arrive before the school holidays (starting after the first week of July). This will help ensure you avoid the crowds and will give you the best lavender experience possible.

Mid-July

Harvesting begins in mid to late July. The upper Luberon lavender fields and Château du Bois are generally harvested around the 15th of July. The lower Luberon (around Lourmarin), Valensole fields, and those around Sisteron are typically harvested around the 25th of July. Make sure you check the harvest dates the year you plan on travelling to avoid disappointment.

Late bloomers in August

Is it possible to see lavender in bloom in August? Well, the answer varies each year. During particularly hot summers, lavender is cut earlier, but if the weather has been cooler and rainy, the season might extend slightly.

Key spots for late bloomers

Sault, Ferrassières, and Aurel: These mountainous regions grow Alpine lavender, which blooms later, far surpassing the bloom period of Valensole and Sénanque. These areas are likely your last chance to see lavender in August, typically until around the 10th. Visiting these higher elevation areas not only provides an opportunity to see lavender later but the aerial view from the mountains create a picturesque mosaic that you will struggle to see from eye level.

Popular, must-visit lavender fields

The majority of the lavender fields in Provence are concentrated around the Luberon and Verdon plateaus, north of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, and east of Avignon.

L’Abbaye de Sénanque and Gordes

The lavender spots around L’Abbaye de Sénanque and Gordes are renowned for a reason. In Gordes, the best spots to view the lavender are on the outskirts of the village, particularly along the roads leading to the abbey, where the fields stretch expansively against the backdrop of this picturesque village. Just a short drive away, the ancient Abbey of Sénanque is set amidst expansive lavender fields. The best spots to see the lavender at Sénanque are directly in front of the abbey, where the rows of purple blooms create a striking contrast to the abbey's stone facade. This vantage point, especially in the early morning or late afternoon light, provides the most beautiful opportunity for photos.

The monks at Sénanque actually continue to harvest lavender here, maintaining centuries-old traditions and producing various lavender products. As a visitor, you get to experience a window into history whilst enjoying the serene beauty of these fields. Please note to respect the abbey's sanctity it is polite to cover your shoulders and knees if visiting here.

Must visit lavender museum & distilleries in the Luberon

For an added touch of Provence charm, don’t miss the distilleries in the Luberon near Sault and Apt, such as the renowned Distillerie Les Agnels. This distillery is one of the closest to our properties in the Luberon and offers a truly authentic experience of lavender production. Additionally, the Lavender Museum at Coustellet provides a fascinating insight into the history and craft of lavender cultivation and distillation. These stops are convenient when staying in the heart of Provence and make perfect additions to your itinerary, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the lavender-scented beauty of Provence.

abbey in lavender

Valensole Plateau

Valensole is synonymous with lavender, with fields that stretch as far as the eye can see, set against the most dramatic mountain backdrop.
The Route of Manosque (D6) is the most famous route to admire these fields. This well-known road is lined with expansive lavender fields, making it a prime spot for capturing the iconic lavender photographs. As you drive along the D6, you will find many opportunities to pull over and take in the views. For those seeking a more secluded experience, the smaller roads branching off from the D6 also offer incredible views. These lesser-travelled paths provide more intimate encounters with the lavender fields, allowing for a quieter, more peaceful experience away from the main tourist routes.
On the D8 road, heading towards Puimoisson, you will find vast stretches of lavender fields with fewer crowds. This area is perfect for those looking to capture the quintessential lavender field photos without the hustle and bustle.

The Route de Valensole road leads directly into Valensole Village, offering contrasting views of both lavender and sunflower fields. The juxtaposition of the purple and yellow blooms is particularly striking here and is a popular spot for budding photography enthusiasts. The small road of Chemin des Grandes Terres winds through some of the most beautiful and tranquil lavender fields in Valensole. This path offers a serene, relaxed setting. If you want to take your time to wander through the lavender fields and give yourself the opportunity to take some amazing photographs, this is the spot for you. Do not be scared to explore these roads, you never know what you might find.

Valensole Plateau
Valensole Plateauhttps://www.yellohvillage.fr/lieux_touristiques/plateau_de_valensole_lavande

Drôme Provençale

The Drôme Provençale area is surrounded by mountains and cliffs, budding with vibrant lavender fields that exude tranquillity. The area in general can be quieter than other lavender spots, providing you with a less crowded alternative. One of the highlights of visiting Drôme Provençale is the opportunity to taste authentic lavender honey. Local producers are eager to share their knowledge and offer samples. The rich, floral notes of the honey perfectly capture the essence of the lavender fields and are a testament to the region’s dedication to quality and tradition.

Key viewing spots in Drôme Provençale

Grignan: The fields around Grignan are particularly beautiful, offering expansive views of lavender against the backdrop of the historic Grignan Castle. Early morning or late afternoon visits provide the most beautiful light for warm photography shots. Early morning time in particular is so peaceful and quiet, the perfect time for self-reflection and just being in the moment.

La Garde-Adhémar: Near this picturesque village, you will find several impressive lavender fields. Why not take a wander through the fields and get lost in the colours?

Montélimar to Dieulefit Route: This scenic route passes through numerous lavender fields and offers various points where you can stop and enjoy the views. The fields here are often covered with other gorgeous wildflowers, giving a more wild and rugged feel to the area.

Local lavender culture

Drôme Provençale is not only about the lavender fields but also about the immersive experience of local culture and production. Along the lavender road, visitors can explore various farms, distilleries, and museums dedicated to lavender. Here are some highlights:

Lavender farms: Many local farms open their doors to visitors, offering tours that explain the cultivation and harvesting of lavender. Some of our favourite farms to visit include Ferme de l’Étang and Domaine des Arômes, where you can see the fields up close whilst learning from the farmers themselves for an intimate lavender experience.

Lavender distilleries: Visiting distilleries like Distillerie des 4 Vallées gives you an interesting insight into the distillation process that transforms lavender into essential oils and other products. Be prepared to watch demonstrations of this process in action. You will then have the opportunity to purchase high-quality lavender products straight from the source - the ideal gift for a loved one.

poppy and lavender

Secret spots

Nyons and Venterol

Despite being renowned for its olives, Nyons also has beautiful lavender fields. The fields around the town are typically less crowded and the town offers unique olive oil and lavender honey tastings. The village of Venterol, with its ancient olive trees, also offers a quieter and more secluded experience for those who just want to sit and take in the surrounding beauty.

Brantes

In the foothills of Mont Ventoux, Brantes has spectacular lavender fields set against the backdrop of the mountains. This village is less frequented by tourists, making it the perfect refuge from the crowds and to view the lavender in all its glory.

Saint-André-de-Rosans

Located in the Drôme Provençale, Saint-André-de-Rosans is a secret spot with sprawling lavender fields and views as far as the eye can see. The lavender fields completely surround the village and with the mass of options, the fields are typically less crowded and very peaceful.

Terraroma

The rolling hills of Terraroma is a recent yet spectacular development in Provence’s lavender landscape. The Terraroma sign in the middle of the field is a notable landmark, but with thoughtful angles, cropping, or by simply walking to the far end of the field, you will be able to capture the perfect lavender shot here.

You can park easily at the Terraroma distillery across the road and once you are done exploring the area, why not pop in and browse the array of local lavender products such as honey, soap, essential oils, and dried lavender.

Sault Plateau

The Sault plateau, like Valensole, is also rich with lavender fields. If you drive along the Mont Ventoux road (D164) from Sault, known as the lavender capital of France, you will discover the Chemin de la Lavande, translated as the ‘Lavender Path’. This area features wilder and more preserved lavender fields, which consequently means less crowds and a far more unique lavender experience.

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

This quiet lavender field amongst the trees is surrounded by lush green trees. The natural landscape really enhances the serenity of this location, making it a beautifully quiet and unique spot for lavender enthusiasts.

Whether you are wandering through the quiet fields of Venterol or capturing the perfect shot at Terraroma, these hidden gems offer a serene escape from the more popular locations. We hope if you choose to explore these secret spots in Provence you may experience a more unique and intimate experience with the region's iconic lavender fields.

Brantes lavender mountains

How to get to the lavender fields

Exploring the lavender fields of Provence requires flexibility and convenience, and consequently, a car. To truly get the most out of visiting Provence, having a car is not just a luxury but a necessity. Renting a car, or bringing your own, provides the freedom to travel at your own pace and access remote, hidden locations. Travellers can use the Routes de la Lavande resource to create their own lavender bloom road trip, ensuring a personalised and immersive experience of Provence’s lavender fields.

The future of the lavender fields

The lavender fields of Provence are evolving. While the region faces challenges due to high temperatures, low rainfall, and pest infestations, local growers, scientists, and business owners have proactively created the Fonds de Dotation Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Lavandes en Provence (Fonds SPLP). This endowment supports crucial initiatives such as pollinator protection, planting pest-resistant hybrids, and adding irrigation systems.
What this means is the introduction of other blooming flora alongside the lavender plants not only rejuvenates the soil and increases carbon storage. As a result, we will start to see the traditional manicured fields transform and gradually give way to a wilder, more natural beauty, where different plants coexist, supporting the health and growth of the lavender. For visitors, this means a more diverse and enriching experience. With local efforts to preserve and adapt to changing conditions, we hope that the future of these fields is bright and sustainable.

As we round off our journey through the lavender fields of Provence, remember that these purple landscapes last only a short moment in time every year. If this gorgeous spectacle is something you want to see, pack your bags, rent that car, and embark on a lavender adventure that promises not just beauty but a deeper appreciation for the vibrant spirit of Provence. Whether you lose yourself in the well-trodden paths of Valensole or discover the secret paths of Sault, we can guarantee that each visit will offer a unique and intimate connection with the area.

If you have any questions about the lavender season in Provence, or wish to talk to one of our team on the ground in Provence for more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

A bientôt,

The Provence Holidays team