Take a deep breath and let the scent of lavender indulge your senses when you’re in Provence in the summer. Here the lavender fields symbolize the local history and beauty of this lovely area.
“Lavender is the soul of Provence”, so said famous French author Jean Giono whose books were often set in Provence.
The lavender flowering season takes place between June and August. The best time to visit these beautiful fields is between the end of June to mid-July when the fields will be in full bloom.
Quite possibly the most famous lavender field in the world is to be found in the gardens of the Senanque Abbey. Dating back to the 12th century, the still working Abbey close to the village of Sault is stunning beautiful. The resident monks grow the lavender and sell souvenirs so you can take a little scent of the region home.
You’ll find more lovely lavender fields in the following areas:
Pays d’Apt in the Luberon
Pays de Buech in the Baronnies
Pays de Digne
Pays de Forcalquier et Montagne de Lure
Pays de Valensole et du Verdon
Vallee de la Drome in the Diois
Lavender routes in Provence
In August, the lavender distilleries and farms organise open days where you can learn about the harvesting and how the distillation process works.
In Cousellet there’s a pretty lavender museum, where you can learn about the history and cultivation of the lavender.
Plan a drive along the fields with the Route de la Lavande route-planner.
Two important dates during the lavender seasons are:
Mid July: “La fete de la Lavande” in Valensole
Mid August: “Lavender Harvest Festivale” in Sault
A few facts about lavender
Lavender is used to make soap and cosmetics. You can also use it in recipes and buy lavender honey – delicious!
Lavender can be used for healing and is good for sore throats and muscles aches, some skin conditions and for reducing stress.
Lavender can be used for disinfectant and antiseptic purposes.
There are about 25 different types of lavender. The most common is the Lavandula angustifolia and the Lavendula stoechas and it is cultivated all over the world.
Lavender means in Latin, to wash.
Lavender is from the same flower family as mint.
By Darina Nykl who lives in Holland where she works in a hospital and is an author. She blogs about the stories she is writing which are mostly set in Amsterdam, Paris, Provence and the Cote d’Azur, places that inspire her: darinanykl.com