France,  Travel

Valensole, France -A Lavender Lover’s Dream Come True

I have an obsession with Lavender. Ever since I was a little girl, I used to read travel magazines, skimmed through Instagram and Facebook posts, and come upon photos of people walking or posing along these French lavender fields. One place, in particular, that was always pictured, Valensole, France. This became one of my bucket list wish lists, and I made it my goal to visit this place when we found out we were moving to Germany. Because of this, I made it my sole purpose for our Southern France trip this summer to visit Valensole, France’s lavender fields.

Valensole was about an hour’s drive from Aix-en-Provence, where we were currently staying for our vacation. It’s now the end of July. During our vacation planning stages, I found that the lavender harvest season was sometime in July. The best time to visit Valensole is between the end of June or the beginning of July before the lavenders would be harvested. Determined, I had hopes.

The lavenders already harvested… a sad view for me.

When we arrived to lavender country, a bunch of the fields had already been harvested. It was a sad view for me. As we drove further into the countryside, we finally found an area that had not been touched that was across the road from a local lavender farming facility and store (see below). I was ecstatic, thrilled to be exact! Rick Steves’ guide book says you should rejoice if you come upon a lavender and sunflower field next to each other! Just my luck, there was a sunflower field just directly next to this lavender field, whoo hoo!

Okay, so we went in the middle of the day, about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The sun was still high up and I knew the lighting would be terrible. However, we made the best of our trip and photo ops (that’s what Photoshop is for, right?).

The lavender was long overdue it’s time as I could tell the colors were fading. The sunflower looked as if it had not been watered, and the sun was beating down on it so it was pretty sad to look at, but like I said, we still managed to take some photos. Here are some photos we took.

No photoshop here, but still pretty!
View of the Lavender store and parking area from the field.
The sunflower field next to the lavender field. They need some H2O :(.
Ok, there’s a bit of over-exaggeration here, it is photoshopped with the colors.

Me trying to pose like the Instagram photos I’ve seen on Instagram lol

We visited the store afterwards and bought lavender oil, a postcard, and hand soap. Travel tip: ask the locals questions about the area. I asked the store clerk when the lavender fields had been harvested, and she informed me that the area had been harvested 3 weeks ago. She also recommended the best time to come was a couple of weeks before mid-July. Will note that for our future visit!

The Lavender store/distillery

Before leaving the area, we drove a few miles down the road from the store, as the store clerk informed us there were a few more lavender fields that had not been harvested. Sure enough, not far from the store, about a 5-minute drive or less, was another field. We didn’t really hang around for too long but took a few photos. It was nice to know that a few lavender fields left around this time of the year.

Tips

  • Best time to visit Valensole’s Lavender Fields: between the end of June, beginning of July if you want to catch the lavenders before harvest season!
  • Locations:
    • For the location we found, here are the coordinates for the parking, store, and field we stumbled upon during our visit: 43.815948, 5.932219
    • Second location: 43°50’16.0″N 5°57’37.2″E
      https://goo.gl/maps/itLrRiwpJyfMwzGY7
    • Other locations you can find wonderful photo opportunities, you can read on this site
  • Other Helpful Tips:
    • Talk to the locals and get some amazing insider tips from the locals in the area! 
    • Updated*** 2021: Be sure to read any updates in the local area regarding Covid restrictions!!

I hope to make it out to the Valensole area again one day when the time is right to visit the lavender fields. I am grateful for the opportunity to have found at least one field still untouched next to a sunflower field at that! I am also grateful for the opportunity to visit Valensole, a childhood dream come true! A bien tot! Till next time!

Follow our final adventures in Aix-en-Provence coming soon!

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