I spent last week seeing the lavender in Provence and I am so excited to show you the photos!
In July the fields of Provence erupt into a vibrant shades of purple. Seeing the lavender in Provence wasn’t on my list of travel destinations until my sister insisted that we go, and it was one of the best trips that I have taken.
Where to See the Lavender in Provence
Kelly and I saw many lavender fields, and we took note of where to find the best ones. Here are a few of the best places to see the lavender in Provence.
The lavender field outside Senanque Abbey is one of the most famous lavender fields in Provence. The field is blocked off so that people can’t walk around in the lavender, which means that everyone has the chance to take a perfect photo without any people in it.
We stayed in Gordes for a couple of nights, and we made a point to head to the abbey early just to avoid crowds, this is a place where bus tours stop. We went around 9am and there were only a handful of people there, and it wasn’t too hot yet.
We stumbled upon this field on our drive to Lourmarin, and it happened to be right at the intersection of two well marked streets so I think it will be easy for you to find. It is located where D102 meets D169, at the base of Roussillion. This field is on a slight hill and you can see the mountains in the distance. Only two other people were there – a convenience because we were able to take photos for each other.
You can find a couple very large lavender fields in Lacoste along D108, just by the winery and very close to the intersection of D36. There is a small parking lot, making this easily accessible.
Kelly and I discovered this field, and two days later after Charles met up with us I took him out there. The fact that I was easily able to find this field again gives me confidence that you can locate it too. This is the place to go if you want to see lavender, but you don’t want to drive around searching for it.
Sault is the place to go if you want to leisurely drive around. The village is darling and you can admire the patchwork of brightly colored purple and green fields from the hilltop.
We got our bearings and then drove out to explore the fields below. We enjoyed just driving around Sault and discovering fields, each one seemed to be prettier than the next.
What to Know About Seeing the Lavender in Provence
When to Go
If you want to see the lavender, we have some advice for you. It gets HOT in Provence. We experienced 90 degree days of dry heat. The week of the 4th of July is a perfect time to go. The lavender will be in bloom – you don’t want to wait until later and risk having the lavender harvest before you arrive. It can also be even hotter later in July.
Rent a Car
You will definitely want to rent a car. We booked our car from the train station in Avignon, which was convenient and it shaved a significant amount of time off the trip compared to driving from Paris. Most cars are stick shift, so if you can’t drive stick, specifically book an automatic in advance.
You Could Bike, but it Would Be Hard
You could bike to the lavender fields but I would only recommend this if you are an experienced cyclist who is up for a challenge. Provence has lots of narrow roads and steep hills, and as I mentioned before, it gets very hot. Kelly and I thought that biking sounded miserable, but lots of people do it. Kelly and I used electric bikes to go for a quick ride to a viewpoint in Gordes, and it was tough enough to convince us that we didn’t want to do any more biking.
Where to Stay
Kelly and I recommend staying in a few different towns. I was in Provence for seven days, and I moved hotels every two days, staying in four different hotels. This might sound like a lot, but the drives were quick. The shortest was 20 minutes and the longest was 2 hours, and the drives took us through vineyards and fields of lavender and poppies. You will savor the time that you spend driving through parts of Provence.
The drives also gave us the opportunity to stop off and explore scenic towns along the way. There are essentially two things you will see on a trip to Provence to see the lavender: fields of lavender and cute-as-a-button French towns.
Honestly, I think you would be missing out if you stayed in just one town. We wouldn’t have seen as much of Provence. Plus since the towns we stayed in were very small, it is possible that we would have gotten a little bored if we spent all of our time in one place.
I stayed in Gordes, Lourmarin, and Rognes and they are lovely towns and perfect jumping off points for both seeing the lavender and exploring the historic villages in the area. We also stayed in Mougins, which is a historic town by Cannes just because we wanted to see another part of France. I will be sharing posts about the exceptionally wonderful hotels we stayed at in Gordes and Rognes later.
Since it will be hot, and potentially very hot, I recommend booking a hotel with a pool. We would go exploring in the morning, and settle in by the pool in the afternoon once it got really hot.
Be Warned, There are Bees
I do have one crucial warning to those of you who are allergic to bees. The bees fill the lavender fields to the point where you hear a constant and somewhat loud buzzing. The bees are very focused on the lavender and aren’t the least bit aggressive, but you should be aware of their presence and prepared with an EpiPen just in case.
Have you gone to see the lavender in Provence? I would love to hear about your trip in the comments!
Many of these photos are by my sister Kelly.