LAVENDER FIELDS AT VALENSOLE
Location: Valensole Plateau in the Alps-de-Haute-Provence
Anthesis: from mid-June to late July (harvest time: arround 20th July)
HOW TO GET THERE
By public transport: from Paris-Gare-de-Lyon to Aix-en-Provence TGV station(around 3 h). Then the bus line 26 will take to Manosque - Gare SNCF in one hour, and from there take the line 133 bus to Valensole stop, which will take approximately 34 minutes. Booking website: https://www.sncf.com/en
By car: From Aix -en-Provence it's an hour drive away through the winding roads of haute-provence. You can chose a car rental company like Hertz、Avis、Europcar、Sixt to rent your car.
The Lavender Fields at Valensole are the largest and most well known fields in the world. The Provence region is always known for its picturesque scenery, and its collection of charming villages. The lavender flowers bloom from late June to mid-August, with July being the best time to visit the lavender fields.
ANGELVIN LAVENDER FIELDS
Angelvin Lavender fields is one of the most reputable lavender fields in the area. Once enter the farm, you're instantly hit by the lavender plants' sweet aromas. The paths in between the lavender plantations are free of access, which allows you to get up close with the plants.
LAVANDIN & LAVENDER
Here's some facts about Lavender: the majority of lavender farms in Provence grow a species of Lavender called Lavendin, or commonly referred to as French Lavender. While Lavender has a softer and milder scent, Lavendin has pronounced aromatic properties and a stronger taste.
Since it is a bigger plant, Lavendin guarantees a larger harvest. Compared to Lavender, which when processed can be used as an culinary ingredient, Lavendin, due to its stronger taste is more commonly used as an ingredient in cleaning materials and airfresheners.
What makes the Valensole plateau an ideal place to grow Lavendin is its temperate climate, relatively dry weather, high altitude and rocky soil formations.
ANGELVIN LANVENDER FARM
The Angelvin Lavender farm has been running for 4 generations now. The family business was the first to introduce lavender scented soaps in France, and favor local production and retail. All of the products they produce are sold exclusively on site to ensure the best quality control.
Just 2 minutes away by car is Terraroma Jaubert, which translates to "earth's aroma". They have a wide collection of lavender productions produced by home-grown lavenders.
Almonds are also a famed local prodution here at the Valensole plateau. Terraroma might just be the perfect place to buy organic lavender products, local snacks and souvenirs for friends.
There is a large selection of Lavender and Lavendin essential oils to choose from, each serving different healing properties. Lavender is a soothing agent and helps with burns and light surface injuries. Lavendin's aroma is a calming agent and relaxes the body. Lavendin essential oil can help sleep and alleviate insomnia symptoms.
Lavender pouches are a popular purchase. Putting a pouch beside your bed and sniffing it before bed helps himprove sleep quality.
LAVENDER FIELD NEAR BRUNET
About half an hour drive from Terraroma, and you'll find youself in the largest lavender field in France. This lavender field can be found on the D8 national road from Valensole to the D953 highway, near Brunet. Its sheer vastness makes it one of the most impressive sights in the region. Each year, the fields attact many tourists and photographers from all around the world, all looking to visit this spectacular sight.
Groups of photographers stay stationed the entire day to capture the incredible lanscape at different times. Since it was almost sunset, the subtlest change in sunlight gives drastic shifts to the atmosphere. While walking in the fields, you hear armies of bees hustling around pollinating the millions of lavenders.
Towards sunset, you can lay down on the soft ground to see rays of sunlight passing through the swaying lavender branches, each of the lavender flowers glistening as the sun spreads it's warm glow and the wind huffs gently. This is the moment when you truly feel like you are in Provence.
Although the different lavender fields are not far away, we would recommend renting a car to cut down on travel time. It is best to visit the impressive lavender field near Brunet just before or during sunset. The nearby towns such as Gréoux-les-bains, Riez or Vinon-sur-Verdon are also worth visiting.
Written and photographed by Pierre Ieong