The Valensole Plateau embodies the quintessential image of Provencal summer, with vibrant purple lavender fields, sunflower-filled valleys, and peaceful hilltop villages. Photo-worthy vistas extend in all directions, and the village of Valensole houses shops selling flowers, perfumes, oils, and other lavender-derived products.
Stroll through fragrant fields, visit charming rural towns, and learn about the history of lavender cultivation on this scenic plateau. Half-day or full-day trips from Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, or Marseille allow you to explore the Valensole lavender fields along with nearby sights such as the medieval village of Moustiers Sainte Marie, the Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon), or the L’Occitane factory. Lavender specific tours are available only in summer and typically include free time to admire the scenery. For a personalized experience and more time for photos, opt for a small-group or private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Valensole Plateau is a must-see for nature lovers and first-time visitors to Provence.
- Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for photos, when crowds are scarce and natural lighting is at its best.
- Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the countryside.
- There is no shade in the lavender fields; remember to bring a hat and sun protection.
How to Get There
The Valensole Plateau is located close to the Verdon Gorge in France’s Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, roughly 44 miles (70 kilometers) by road from Aix-en-Provence. Public transportation in the area is limited, so it’s a good idea to rent a car or join a guided tour.
When to Get There
Valensole’s lavender fields bloom for a short period during summer and the harvest typically takes place in August. Visit from mid-June to mid-July for the most impressive views, when the flowers are in full bloom and many local towns host lavender festivals and markets.
Lavender Tours in Provence
Valensole isn’t the only place to find these fragrant flowers—lavender is also grown in the
Luberon region, around the Provencal villages of Gordes and Roussillon, on the Sault plateau, and in the foothills of Mont Ventoux. Popular lavender-themed destinations include the medieval Sénanque Abbey, which lies against a backdrop of purple flowers, and the village of Coustellet, which houses a Lavender Museum detailing the ancient traditions of lavender farming in Provence. The local markets in Sault, Valreas, and Aix-en-Provence also offer an array of lavender goods such as oil, perfumes, handmade soaps, cosmetics, and even edible treats like lavender ice cream and lavender-flavored honey.