The Valensole lavender fields, also known as the Valensole Plateau, are one of the best places to see lavender in The Provence, France.
The incredible Valensole lavender fields are getting more famous over the years. Especially during the lavender season in The Provence, through late June and early July, people from all over the world travel to Valensole to admire the rolling lavender fields in full bloom.
Before I went to visit the lavender fields in Provence, I was a little skeptical about all these iconic lavender photos throughout the world wide web. Moreover, because I got the feeling it would be very crowded. Luckily I visited Valensole during COVID-19 which gave me the possibility to enjoy these magical lavender fields without the crowds. This place should be added to every traveler’s and photographer’s bucket list.
To make the best out of your visit to Valensole, I will share useful information and tips about the region, the best time to visit, how to get around, and where you can find the best lavender fields in Valensole. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or to share your thoughts about this article. I would highly appreciate it.
The Plateau de Valensole, France
The Valenseole Plateau (or Plateau de Valensole) is a natural region of France, situated at an altitude of 500 meters in the south of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. This area of approximately 800 km² extends from Manosque, Dignes-les-Bains, Esparron-du-Verdon and Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, near the famous Gorges du Verdon. It is particularly famous for the fields of lavender, but this area also offers beautiful Provençal landscapes and a lot of cultural and recreation activities.
The production of Lavender has been very important for the region, for over a century. The lavender in France spreads over the vast fields and over the years, the area has adapted to grow lavender for commercial purposes. The warm and dry climate of the Provence, with an average of 300 days of sun in a year, is ideal for lavender production. There is a lavender museum in The Provence - Musee de la Lavande - plus several lavender distilleries offering tours where you will learn more about the production and harvesting of the lavender. They also organize events and sell high-quality products like lavender honey and lavender essential oils.
The ultimate highlight during the lavender season is watching and photographing the lavender in full bloom as it results in incredibly beautiful purple landscapes. It's also when the Lavender Festival takes place. The lavender fields in full bloom attract lots of tourists in the peak season of June and July but definitely something you should see once in your life.
The town of Valensole itself is a quiet and charming traditional Provencal town. Located on a hill to the East of Manosque. It has a square in the center of the town, the place Thiers, with an old fountain. From there you can walk the main street with cafés, restaurants, and boutique shops, and you can reach the Church of Saint-Denis at the top of the town, originally built in the 11th century.
Where can I find lavender in Valensole?
The plateau de Valensole in France is one of the three best places to find lavender in Provence. The most popular and beautiful fields of Valensole can be found along the D6 (Route de Riez), the D8 near Brunet, the D56 (Route de Puimoisson), and the D953 (Route de Riez).
The most visited lavender fields in Provence are the ones near Lavandes Angelvin, the lavender distillery. My absolute favorite lavender fields in Valensole were the ones along the D8 from Valensole towards Puimoisson, especially one spot with an iconic cabana (stone hut) hiding in the fields. You will find beautiful rows of lavender in contrast with a stunning mountain landscape. I also loved the fields near Puimoisson with a small stone hut, located along the Route of the Moustiers (D56).
Keep in mind that the lavender fields are in constant motion. Every year the fields can be different. Some may be overgrown, others can be replaced with other crops like thyme and rosemary. This article is based on my visit to the Valensole lavender fields in 2021.
What is the best time to visit the lavender fields in Valensole?
The best time to visit the lavender fields in Valensole is during the last week of June and the first week of July. The lavender blossom takes place from mid-June to mid-July and usually, the lavender fields will be harvested during the second week of July.
At the same time, this period is the most popular time to visit Valensole. This means you will visit the lavender fields along with a bunch of other visitors. Nevertheless, if you would love to admire and capture the lavender in full bloom, make sure to plan your visit during the lavender blossom, just before the harvest. If you travel too early, the lavender fields are still green and small.
How to get to Valensole and how to get around?
In my opinion, there is only one best way to get to Valensole and that’s by car. Valensole is surrounded by countryside and for that reason, public transportation is limited in this area.
In less than one hour, you will cover the 70 km distance from Aix-en-Provence to Valensole. It’s also easy to reach from Avignon or Marseille, but the drive from there will take some longer.
If it’s not possible to go by car, I would suggest booking a Lavender Tour or Day Trip to Valensole from Aix-en-Provence or Avignon. Take note that the tours take place during the busiest times of the day, and you will not be as flexible as going by car.
Where to stay in Valensole?
Finding a place to stay in Valensole can be hard during the popular lavender season. Most accommodations are located outside the town of Valensole. There are several boutique accommodations like gîtes or authentic guest houses. In bigger towns like Manosque, you will find several hotels. Make sure to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible. We stayed in a lovely guesthouse on Chemin Val Notre Dame with a very friendly host - Alda - living at the upper level. The guesthouse was just outside the town of Valensole, booked through Airbnb.
Visit the Valensole Lavender Fields
The beauty of the Valensole lavender fields impressed me a lot. In the end, I wish I had more time to explore all the lavender fields in Valensole, but also in other places in The Provence in France. I hope this article helps you prepare for your trip to Valensole. Feel free to reach out in case you have any questions and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
If this blog was useful for you, I would love to hear your thoughts in a comment below. Also, let me know if you would like me to write a blog about the best photo spots to photograph the lavender fields, including GPS coordinates.