Lavender of Provence

The words Provence & lavender have become so synonymous with each other over the decades that you can hardly mention one without the other: The dusky purple shades and delicate fragrances that decorate its fields every summer are now so emblematic of the region, and even of France itself, that the Provence lavender fields have very much become a tourist attraction in their own right.

The main lavender fields of Provence are centered on, and to the north, of the Luberon and Verdon plateau regions to the north of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, and to the east of Avignon, with the flowering season in the lowlands being generally from mid June to early July, though it can vary slightly from year to year depending on rainfall and temperature. Around the town of Sault for example, the colder weather means the blooming season is slightly later, i.e. roughly speaking from early July to early August. There are quite a few lavender festivals in Provence worth looking out for if you’re in the area at the time, most of them are one day events and can make for an entertaining day out. The first of the year in the town of Ferrassières, on the Plateau D’Albion, which is on the first Sunday of July (July 5th in 2020) and is a quite relaxed low key affair. The town of Valesole hosts possibly the most famous Lavender festival in Provence on the third Sunday of July every year (19th July in 2020), while Sault celebrates on August 15th each year. The popular spa town of Digne les Bains in Haute Provence, to the north east of Valensole, drags it out for a full five days with its own lively festival called the ‘Corso of Lavender’ happening from the 31st of July to the 4th of August in 2020. All through the summer months you’ll find lots of mini festivals and farmer’s markets too that have a big lavender component and it has to be said that there is a general, very noticeable, festive atmosphere throughout the region during lavender season.

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