Avignon lavender tour had always been high on our wishlist. Sauntering amidst sweet fragrance of enchanting purple rows of the Lavender fields and taking pictures sounds dreamy, isn’t it? And the lavender fields of Provence in France are the most beautiful in Europe. Best time to visit Provence for lavender bloom in France is from late June to the beginning of August. After missing the lavender season in Provence by a couple of weeks last year we ensured that we planned well in advance this year. We booked a Lavender Tour from Avignon and apart from the Lavender fields they also include some wonderful villages of France in the itinerary.
The Avignon Lavender Tour
We had booked our apartment in the old city of Avignon and our pickup was arranged in Place de l’Horloge around 5 minutes walk from the apartment. Nicola the owner of the tour company was our guide for the day. Everyone was picked up by 9 am. as planned. The minivan was an 8 seater which made it easier to get along with Nicola and other fellow travelers.
Nicola started with a short history of the medieval town of Avignon. It was interesting to know that old city of Avignon is a walled city with well-preserved ramparts and seven gates dating back to 14th century.
Nicola himself being an avid traveler has traveled to the most part of Asia, eight times to India alone. The tour company is run by himself and his wife Veronica. They alternatively take tourists on tour as they had year old baby girl Adele to take care back home.
Our first stop was the biggest spring of Europe Fontaine-de-Vaucluse which is around 45 minutes drive from Avignon. Once on the highway, we drove past abundance of vegetation farms of apple, apricot, cherry, melons, tomatoes, and olives. Olives are very important part of Avignon daily life as they used only olive oil in cooking and an olive paste is used as an appetizer. There were many local producers selling farm produces, which seemed much fresher and cheaper than ones sold in the market back in the city.
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is a small village with only around 500 habitats. The most popular attraction being the 300 m deep spring located at the foot of the Vaucluse Mountains formed by the streams from the Alps between Italy and France.
The walk to the spring takes around 20 minutes along the river and one can see the ruins of the castle of the Bishop of Cavaillon high above on the right.
Nicolas had a spare pushchair which made our walk effortless with Chhavi. The route lined with souvenir shops was jam-packed with tourists. We stopped by to have a look at the river which was fascinating as a lot of green vegetation grew beneath the water.
The morning seemed to be the best time to visit the village as there was hardly any tourist and the buses leaving for the village would reach only by noon which would get the village busy and crowded.
Our next stop was Lavender Museum which had a small lavender farm, the museum entrance ticket price was included in the tour price. A guy explained us the lavender varieties and guided us into the room which had a screen running a movie on distillation process. We had an audio guide to walk through the next room which had traditional distilleries and other information on the history of the distillation process and the lavender fields in France.
Later a lady guided us through the small kiosk which displayed items like dried french lavender, lavender essential oil, cream, soap etc where you can buy lavender products. We were amazed to know that Lavender was used for medicinal properties like sinus, joint pains, headaches, allergies, and bruises.
The museum also had some small lavender fields which were equally beautiful and we could capture some wonderful pictures of the purple rows.
Gordes Lavender fields
Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque
Fifteen minutes drive from the museum we were delighted to behold the first glimpse of lavender fields near Gordes Village at the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque. The lavender fields around the abbey weren’t in full bloom still it made for a postcard-perfect picture of the Gordes lavender fields or the Provence lavender fields. We made a quick visit to the abbey and moved on to our next stop the village of Gordes.
Gordes is the most beautiful quaint village perched on the edge of the plateau of Vaucluse.
Must see are the castle turned museum and the St. Firmin church.
A walk around the charming narrow cobbled alleys is a must. The alleys offer wonderful panoramic views of the Luberon fields and villages below.
We had our lunch in one of the restaurants and drove around looking for the fully bloomed Lavender fields.
Lavender Fields of Lioux
We had booked the lavender tour in mid-June which was just the start of Provence Lavender season France and hence was not very sure if we will be able to see the blooms. But thanks to Nicolas and his wife who knew the places around very well and had a very good idea on best lavender fields in Provence and where to look for the purple blooms. We found a plenitude of mesmerizing rows of Lavender fields. The hues and scent of the Lavender fields were bewitching and we could not hold back our ecstasy for being able to capture this postcard perfect picture.
The beautiful village of Roussillon is a commune in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southeastern France. It is located in Luberon at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse and was the last stop of our day tour. CNTraveler lists Roussillon as one of the most beautiful towns in France. The village of Roussillon less than an hours drive from Avignon.
The village is surrounded by countryside which has one of the biggest deposits of ochre in the wide range of colors of red and yellow and is found in the magnificent cliffs surrounding the village. There are several walking trails around the village to explore the jagged ochre cliffs. The trails are punctuated with information boards with loads of information on the history and origin of Roussillon ochre. The entree fees would cost you around 2.50 Euros. If hiking is not your thing you can alternatively wander through the narrow alleys of the medieval village of Roussillon lined with shops, buildings, and even churches painted in different shades of ochre.
We spent some time exploring one of the trails and later visited the village for a remarkable walk through the quaint alleys whose houses and churches were washed in vivid hues of reddish-orange to light chocolate colors.
There are several restaurants in the village if you are looking to buy something to eat or drink. If you are visiting in private vehicle there is a lot of parking space in the village. We recommend you not miss a small ice cream shop here which sells gelato in many delicious flavors, our favorite was the lavender flavor which was something we tried for the first time in Roussillon.
There is a shop where one can shop for an amazing array of hues and shades.
Our dream of visiting the fields of lavender blooms was crossed out from our bucket list. Nikolas bid us goodbye with lovely souvenirs.
We definitely recommend to book this tour with Nicolas and Veronica, they also offer several other tours of the wild and historic Provence. They also offer customized tours. Visit Provans for more details. If you are looking for beaches head south to French Riviera for some of the best beaches of France and there are ample of things to do near Perpignan a beautiful medieval city in southern France.
When does the Lavender bloom in Provence France?
The probability of finding lavender fields in full bloom is from late June to early August though it greatly depends on the weather. But the best time for the lavender season in France is around mid-July.
Sault France is also said to have some of the gorgeous lavender fields which we keep it for the next time. The Avignon lavender fields pictures make for an awesome souvenir. What do you say? Have you experienced these purple blooms of Lavender fields? Do share with us your experiences.
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