07 Oct Provence: Lavender
Provence, lavender, sunflower fields were part of my day dream which I wish one day they would come to my real life. The moment Will drove through the first lavender field in Valensole, I had to hold myself back a little….I was captivated by the exquisite smell that led me to the sea of lavender. Seeing them through my eyes was quite an experience, it was magical, whimsical and unforgettable. Here I submerged into the sea of fragrant blossoms and lived in Peter Mayle’s dream.
I had planned my Provence trip for a while and hoped to get there by the most flourishing and vibrant stage of lavender season. We were so lucky not only the lavender was in full bloom but also the sunflower fields. Every year the blooming time can be slightly different depends on the weather. For your reference, we were there by beginning of July. The drive started from our base – Moustiers St Marie, was scenic and comfortable. Don’t worry you wouldn’t miss the lavender, there’s endless of it. You may refer to my google map for the lavender driving route. My drive starts from Moustiers St Marie, all the blue highlighted roads would have plenty of lavender fields on the side. If you wish to hit the jackpot to see both the sunflowers and lavender at the same time, try the route from Point G to K along road D15. Plan for minimum half day for touring around the area.
The lavender grown around Valensole are mainly for commercial use, it means they will get harvested once they reach the last trimester of blooming stage right after the lavender festival. I can’t predict the weather but normally around the end of June to beginning of July you will get much higher chance to catch the blooming season. Strongly suggest to bring tea tree oil with you as it’s a natural bugs repellant. I diluted 1:30 with water and sprayed it all over my clothes and skin. It worked quite well and I didn’t get disturbed by the wasps too much. For ladies, remember to tie your long hair up to avoid wasps trapping in your hair!!!
For sure you will be getting some lavender soaps or essential oils and you will find quite a few distilleries, factories and shops along the roads. The price varies from store to store and my recommendation is don’t shop where tour buses are spotted, the price tends to be higher and selection is not as great as some smaller boutiques.
Walking through lavender fields in Provence is no longer my dream but my forever most memorable travel experience that I share with my significant other. I hope you enjoy this photo essay and may trigger your wanderlust to chase this lavender dream. Hey, the lavender road hasn’t reached to the end yet, I’ll share more in the next post where you can find wild and organic lavender in Sault.