France has so many beautiful scenery types that I don’t even know where to start. When I first moved to France I was eager for more Paris with all its Parisian clichés. More than four years later, I can say that I’m a professional guide even among my French friends. Last week I was able to check an important bucket list item from my Places to see this life list. I found the best spot for lavender fields in Provence region.
Best spot for lavender fields in Provence
Walking through the lavender fields is a mesmerizing moment and a delight for the senses.
You can see a sea of lavender all around you, as far as the horizon line. When the breeze blows, it carries a delicious perfume in it that will enchant your spirit. And as you go further in fields, all noises disappear, in exchange of a continuous humming of the hardworking bees.
Where to go to observe the lavender
I’d say, if you’re in France, the best French spot for lavender fields is Provence region. But this area can be quite large. So where exactly to see the lavender?
On the D6 road called the Route of Manosque, there is a lavender distillery just 5km before reaching Valensole village, called Terraroma Jaubert. This is the perfect spot for a stop, as there is a big parking just for people wanting to admire the crops or to purchase something.
Attention! As the lavender is on the other side of the road, please be careful when crossing. There are cars circulating at high speed – the speed limit in the area is 90 km/h.
Where to pass the night
If you like to take it slowly and not speed between towns, there are two options for the nearby area:
To sleep in Valensole. Valensole is a cute village in Provence and is the closest spot for lavender fields. As it may seem as a good option, finding accommodation here can be quite a challenge, as there are A LOT of tourists here.
To sleep in Manosque. Manosque is a cute small town where you can find accommodation a lot easier. The inconvenient is that there is no real bus service between Manosque and Valensole. You can only find a bus per day, leaving at 10:00 from Manosque, but you have to take it back at 13:00 in Valensole.
- We chose to stay in Manosque, in a cute Airbnb, in order to visit the Road of Castles of South Luberon.
To sleep in a city. Around the lavender fields, there are several large cities where you can pass the night. It is important though that you have a car or inform yourself if there are any bus services. Aix-en-Provence is the closest, but Avignon can be an interesting option too.
- Discover more about this region by visiting Avignon.
How to access the crops
As we chose to stay in Manosque, we had exactly three options:
- take the bus
- hire a bike
- hire a car
Taking the bus was directly off the table, since it was scheduled at the time we were still discussing visiting plan with the lady from the Tourist Office.
I confess that the bike seemed the best option for us, as we found a bike shop offering bikes with electric assistance. Nonetheless, we didn’t take the bikes, as they were too expensive: 25€ the normal bike and 26€ the electric one – for the day. From Manosque to Valensole, 21 km doesn’t seem much, but we were planning 2 days of visit
- one for the lavender fields
- one for the picturesque villages and the castles of Provence
In the end we went for the car, as it was the best option for mobility and price. At 70€ per day – gas included – we could visit so much more of the area, without worrying of our fitness condition.
When to see the lavender fields
Photos with lavender fields always appear make us dream and want to be there ourselves. That’s the reason that for a long time the lavender fields have been high on my bucket list. Last year when we wanted to go, it was already the beginning of August, hence too late for the bloomed crops.
Depending on the exact location and the altitude of the plateau, the crops bloom between June and August. If you’re good with French, you can consult local websites.
In Valensole there is the Lavender Party on 15th of July, when they harvest the crops. On higher altitudes the flowers last until 10th of August.