Before booking our trip to Aix-en-Provence, I did a bit of research on where the best lavender fields in Provence are located and what time of year is best to visit. I did a few Google searches. I clicked my way through the clickbait and I sifted through those over saturated pins on Pinterest. I searched by location on Instagram. It sounded like finding lavender fields in Provence was as easy as finding piles of trash on the side of the road in Naples, Italy. Easy day. (Although Naples really is wonderful, you should go there too).
Most fashion bloggers would give vague advice in their blog posts like, “Oh, just drive around and you’ll see them!” Well, if you were to drive to Gordes from the north, from Gordes to Aix-en-Provence, from Aix through the mountains to Ansouis, no. No, you would not. At least that’s how my first few attempts panned out. Now, I saw one or two small lavender fields off in the distance. We were either on the freeway or you couldn’t easily get to it, much less frolic in it. People, I’m tryin’ to frolic.
I knew for sure there was at least a lavender field at the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque. I also wanted to see the abbey itself and this is just as stunning as you’d imagine. It’s a must-see if you are in the Gordes area.
So after no luck at “just stumbling upon one” on the first day, the second day was a success. A few more searches later, I saw there were several outside of Bonnieux. After a picnic in Ansouis, fueled by cheese and strawberries from the market, I fired up the rental car with a renewed enthusiasm.
From the hilltop viewpoint as we were leaving Bonnieux, we saw the landscape below sprinkled with lavender! We drove down the hill and finally spotted a field (made more visible by the 6 or 7 cars that were parked on the side of the road). These fields weren’t just filled with Instagram models in their early twenties. We saw a group of motorcyclists in leather taking photos, older couples and even a lady with her little dog. I was so sad we couldn’t bring Alfie on this trip!
Then, of course, we too proceeded to take a few snaps with a bunch of other trespassers in some French guy’s lavender field.
If you are like me and would prefer not to drive aimlessly in a foreign country, here are the coordinates of that lavender field: 43.851346, 5.280495. Finally satiated after a failed quest the day before, we moved on to Roussillon.
After exploring the ochre trail and the town painted red, we headed back to Aix. We passed another field on the drive back between Roussillon and Gordes (coordinates: 43.917152, 5.269262). This one was slightly smaller, but I liked the cypress trees in the background and no one else was there.
Valensole and Sault seemed to be the best spots for lavender fields in Provence, but after the morning market in Aix-en-Provence and visiting Roussillon, time was tight. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to see all the wonders of Provence. You could be there for weeks and not see it all, much less two nights!
Seeing the lavender fields in Provence wasn’t my number one motivation for wanting to visit the region. Is drinking rose and eating cheese on a warm summer night in an outdoor café in Aix a more or less dignified reason? After all, I have been known to take the train to Rome simply for cacio e pepe and gelato. I love exploring small towns in Italy, and I knew France had some charm that could rival even the most adorable Italian villages.
If visiting the lavender fields in Provence is your number one reason for visiting the region and you want that photo with lavender as far as the eye can see, that’s over in Valensole or I’m a moron and just missed it. I blame the rosé and poor research skills that surprisingly got me through college.
Now, I did find some sunflower fields as far as the eye can see!
Have you seen the lavender fields in Provence? I would love to know your experience and where you found the best fields?! I have a feeling I will be back and would love to have better locations for next time.