Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The largest city of the region is Marseille, followed by Nice, Toulon, and the famous Avignon, famous for the bridge and especially the Palace of Papes.
Provence’s most beautiful season takes place between June and August. This time of year is when the famous Provencal lavender fields are in full bloom! If you are planning a visit to the south of France, then bear these months in mind as the beauty of the lavender will turn your Provence holiday into a perfect summer wine escape! Not only do you have the great wine and food that is on offer all year round, but the essence and color hues of the blooming lavender make everything all the more beautiful, plus there are so many lavender-filled activities available to travelers visiting the region.
When to go: To catch the prairies of lavender in full bloom the best time to visit is between the end of June to mid-July (this depends on the rainfall throughout the year). From mid-July to mid-August harvesting takes place and this is a cause for celebration. So if you do make it to Provence during the summer, be sure to celebrate lavender with some of the region’s famous Rosé Wines.
Here’s a guide on what to do and where to go during Provence’s lavender harvest season! courtesy of www.winerist.com
Picture-Perfect Lavender Fields
Mid July in Provence, catch the endless purple prairies by visiting the Plateau de Sault or the Plateau de Valensole, two of the main areas of lavender cultivation. Nicknamed the “breadbasket of the region,” the Plateau de Valensole is an 800 square kilometre large plateau dedicated mainly to the cultivation of lavender and grain.
Lavender Activities and Distillery Visits
In August, lavender distilleries and farms play open house, making it a great opportunity to learn about the harvesting and distillation process and even participate in the creation of the revitalising lavender essential oil in some cases. There are a number of lavender distilleries throughout Provence open to visitors during the summer including…
Aroma Plantes Distillery
A family farm located on the slopes of Mont Ventoux owned by the Liardet family. They specialise in growing organic medicinal and aromatic plants. The distillery is open to the public and during harvest visitors can participate in the distillation process. The distillery is also a starting point to two marked loops where you will take a guided tour through the lavender fields.
Opening times: All year round.
Address: GAEC Aroma’Plantes, Route du Ventoux “La Parente”, Sault 84390, France
Distillerie les Coulets
A traditional lavender farm and distillery open for visits between July and September. It is open all year round for the purchase of lavender products.
For more information call: 04 90 74 07 55
Address: Distillerie les Coulets, Hameau les Coulets Route de Rustrel, Apt 84400, France
Distillerie Les Agnels
A family distillery and wellness in the heart of Agnels that distills lavender all year round. The types of activities available are small lavender workshops as well as visits to aroma gardens, aromatic shop, and a therapeutic pool with lavender water.
Address: SARL Les Agnels, Distillerie de lavande, Route de Buoux, D113, 84400 Apt, France
Musée de la Lavande
At the Lavender Museum in Cousellet you will learn everything you’ve ever needed to know about the history of cultivation of lavender.
Address: Lavender Museum, 276 Route de Gordes, BP16 – D284220 Coustellet
Fête de la Lavande in Valensole
On July 19th, the Tourism Board organises the Fête de la Lavande in Valensole with a display of lavender-decorated floats; guided tours of the lavender fields and distilleries as well as explanations of the distillation process will be taking place in the festival itself and there will be plenty of activities for children as well.
Fête de la Lavande in Sault
The Lavender Harvest Festival in Sault takes place on the 15th of August. There’s a lot going on in the festival. To name a few: a lavender cutting championship, parades with folk groups (keep an eye out for traditional Provencal costumes), sale of local products, live music, fresh local produce and wines! There are also lavender games for adults and children. Don’t forget to try the lavender ice cream!