Avignon is the ideal starting point for a full- or half-day journey filled with stunning vistas and bewitching aromas. In summer, the roads are lined with rows of lavender under bright Provencal skies as you journey to such towns as Sault or Roussillon, where you can stock up on perfumes, soaps and other delightfully scented products, right at the source. And there’s a whole museum devoted to lavender in the village of Coustellet.
The stunning hill-top village of Gordes, with its distinctive dry-stone walls, is another favorite destination. Notable historic landmarks in the region include the beautiful 12th century Sénanque Abbey, which looks over its own lavender fields, and the miraculously preserved 1st century aqueduct Pont de Gard. There are more Roman traces in the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, birthplace of Nostradamus and the subject of Van Gogh’s most famous painting, Starry Night.