Lavender fields in French Provence, a journey for all the senses

Lavender fields in French Provence

The lavender fields in French Provence they are all a visual and olfactory spectacle. For a few months, the azure blue typical of this plant covers the plains of the historic region of southeastern France.

Under the name of lavender or Lavender A genus of plants belonging to the Lamiaceae family is known and is made up of about sixty species. But more important is that its fields have a enormous beauty y exude floral, sweet and delicate aromas. Next, we are going to show you some of the best lavender fields in French Provence. But first we will explain when they are at their maximum splendor and how to see them.

When does lavender bloom and how to get to its fields?

Lavender

A lavender field

Lavender blooms between mid-spring and late summer, depending on the area. But in French Provence it does between June and July, this last month being its time of maximum splendor. It is a period when the rows of these bluish flowers extend from the Blue Coast until the Alpes of Haute Provence and from the department of Bouches du Rhône until those of Yes y Vaucluse.

As for how to get to the region to see the lavender fields, the best way to do it is By plane. The main airports are those of Marseilles y Nice, but there are also international flights to smaller ones such as Montpellier or Nimes-Arles.

However, if you live in Catalonia, you can also use the bus as a means of transportation, given its relative proximity (Barcelona is about four hours from the aforementioned Nimes). From Barcelona you have several lines. And we can tell you the same if you travel with your own car.

On the other hand, we do not recommend the train, unless you are traveling, precisely, from Barcelona. In the latter case, there are high-speed trains that take about five hours to Marseilles. But from other areas of Spain the journey is longer and more difficult. On the other hand, once you find yourself in Provence, you can move around the region by bus or rental vehicle.

The most beautiful lavender fields in French Provence

lavender plantation

Lavender fields in French Provence disappear into the horizon

After explaining how to get to this Gallic region and when it is best to go to appreciate the fields in their maximum splendor, we are going to show you some of the best lavender fields in French Provence. In them, the plant extends in rings through kilometer-long fields whose limits are lost to sight.

Sometimes these are man-made crops, but other times they grow wild. In any case, the "blue gold", as this plant is also known, offers a spectacle of aroma and color that has enormous beauty, especially in the places that we propose below.

Valensole plateau

Lavender in Valensole

Lavender crops in Valensole at sunset

As you know, plateau means plateau in Spanish and, indeed, that is what you are going to find in Valensole: large plains covered by exuberant rows of lavender. It is an area that belongs to the department of Alpes Haute Provence, which we have already mentioned, and the region of Provence-Alps-French Riviera.

But Valensole is also a small and charming town that every third of July organizes a lavender festival. This will give you an idea of ​​the importance of this crop for the economy of the area. Also, you should visit their church of San Blas, built in the 11th century.

Sault, some of the best lavender fields in French Provence

Lavender in Sault

Lavender fields in the Sault area

Another of the best places to see lavender fields in French Provence is the territory of Sault. It belongs to the same region as the previous one, but to the department of Vaucluse and is located on the edge of a plateau almost eight hundred meters high. Don't miss the image that the lavender rings make up with the Mount Ventoux In the end, it is really impressive.

A festival dedicated to blue gold, in this case August 15. Likewise, you will find many distilleries that you can visit and stores that offer you products made with lavender because, as you know, This plant has many applications. Later, we will talk to you about them.

But you should also see in Sault the Romanesque church of Notre Dame de la Tour, which was built in the mid-12th century and is listed as a historical monument of France. And a curious museum which houses pieces as unique as an original copy of the Encyclopedia de Diderot y D'Alembert or an Egyptian mummy.

Sénanque Abbey

Sénanque Abbey

The stunning lavender fields at Sénanque Abbey

You will also find it in the department of Vaucluse, near the town of Gordes. Its fields are covered by a combination of lavender, lavandin and lavender, which is even longer and violet. Curiously, until the seventies of the last century, these lands were dedicated to cereal. It was the monks of the convent who chose to exchange it for blue gold.

Currently, not only do they continue to cultivate it, but it is their main means of livelihood, as they make essential oils, perfumes and even lavender honey and flavored cookies for sale.

Don't stop stopping to admire The abbey, which was built in the 12th century on the remains of a previous one. It is a Cistercian monastery that stands out architecturally for its austerity. You should pay attention, above all, to their cloister and in the chapter house, with its six pointed cross vaults.

Coustellet

Lavender Museum

Lavender Museum in Coustellet

This small village is located at the entrance to the spectacular Luberon Regional Natural Park, a mountain massif that occupies approximately the middle area of ​​Provence. Likewise, you will reach it by the road that connects Avignon with Apt, within the department of Vaucluse.

There you can see the farm The Château du Bois, which is located about one thousand one hundred meters high and has eighty hectares of fine lavender of the highest quality. But what will surprise you most about this small town is that it offers you the Lavender Museum, created in 1991 by the Lincelé family, which has been cultivating it for five generations.

In it you can see a magnificent collection of stills for the distillation of the plant. But you will also see agricultural equipment for cultivation and traditional costumes of the area. Workshops, thematic visits, conferences and other activities are even organized to spread lavender culture. Finally, in their store you can buy all kinds of products made with the plant.

Digne-les-Bains

ammonite slab

View of the Ammonite Slab

This town is known as “the historical capital of lavender” and it also has a museum and an annual fair dedicated to it. Therefore, it is one of the best places to see lavender fields in French Provence. You will be impressed by the enormous extensions of them in the surrounding villages. For example, Mezel, Estoublon o Arms of Asse.

Likewise, the first weekend of August celebrates the so-called Corsican Lavender. It is a parade of floats decorated with the plant and musical groups. However, the name of the city does not come from the cultivation of this plant, but from the hot springs of the area, which emerge at more than fifty degrees from its springs.

On the other hand, you have to see in Digne-les-Bais the imposing gothic cathedral of saint jeronimo, although the original is that of Notre Dame de Bourg, and the Clock Tower, with its spectacular bell tower. You should also visit the Gassendi Museum, with its collection of mountain art, and, above all, the so-called Ammonite Slab. It is a huge stone measuring 320 square meters that will transport you to the very origin of the formation of the Alps, as it presents more than fifteen hundred fossils of these extinct cephalopods.

Immerse yourself in the world of lavender perfumes

Alembic

An old still for processing lavender

To finish our trip to the lavender fields in French Provence, we will tell you about the properties and uses of this plant. It was already used in ancient times for its medicinal values and pleasant aroma. Among the first, it has a sedative, analgesic and healing effect. And, as for the second, it was used to perfume bath water.

Already in the Renacimiento is beginning to be used for creation of essential oils and lavender perfume. It was in the city of Grasse, precisely in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, where they first began to be used as a base for colonies. In fact, it is known as "the capital of perfume" and such was the fame that its creations achieved that the famous novel by Patrick Süskind (Perfume) is set in it.

Three of the most prestigious houses in the world dedicated to the production of this aromatic substance have their headquarters in Grasse. Is about Galimard, founded in 1747, Molinard The 1849 y Fragonard in 1926. Likewise, the city has the International Perfumery Museum, which is unique in its kind.

In any case, since it began to be used for perfumes, lavender has become a fixture in them. Today there are thousands of people who have it as essential ingredient due to its wonderful aroma and freshness.

In conclusion, we have shown you some of the best lavender fields in French Provence, although you also have wonderful ones in Spain. But, above all, We encourage you to enjoy the perfumes, essential oils and other products that are made with this plant.. They are magnificent.


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