Ever since I began learning about France, I dreamed of visiting the lavender fields of Provence. Lavender is one of my favorite flowers not only because of its beautiful color, but also because of its intoxicatingly soothing scent. Since I would be staying in France this summer, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finally visit the lavender fields! Dreaming of visiting these fields yourself someday? Keep reading to learn all about the lavender fields in Sault, Provence!
Planning the Trip
Before booking my trip I did some research to find out the best way to visit these purple fields. Most blogs and websites recommended renting a car, but I was only going to be in the area for a couple of days and wanted to save some money. I then remembered reading a post from fellow blogger Rebecca Goes Rendezvous about her trip to Luberon last year. She also had concerns about renting a car and booked a guided tour instead. I decided to do the same.
After some more research I found a half day tour from À la française for 55€. I thought this tour was the most reasonable for my budget since the full day tours were closer to 100€. This tour included transportation from Avignon, a guide, and visits to a lavender distillery, lavender fields and the village of Sault.
About the Lavender Fields in Sault, Provence
Sault is not quite as popular as the famous Valensole fields, but it is still well known for its lavender production. Located on a plateau not far from Mont Ventoux, Sault is full of fields of lavande fine a precious type of lavender. Because the area is at a higher altitude, it blooms later than the lavender further South. The best time to visit the lavender in the Luberon area is mid-June to mid-July and for Sault it’s mid-July to mid-August. The region is also well known for its nougat made with lavender honey. You can sample this famous nougat at André Boyer Maître Confiseur, master confectioner in the village of Sault.
Our tour group was limited to 5 people in a van along with the tour guide. Normally there are up to 8 people per tour, but the numbers were reduced for social distancing. The drive from Avignon to Sault was about 1 hour and we passed through a few charming villages on the way and got to see the fields from above. Unfortunately I did not enjoy the car ride because I felt a little nauseous from the winding roads. If you get motion sickness like me, be prepared in advance! Once we arrived in Sault I felt much better because I could see and smell the wonderful lavender all around.
Visiting a Lavender Distillery
Before exploring the fields, we stopped by the lavender distillery Arôma Plantes. In addition to a a store where you can purchase all kinds of lavender products, there was also a small museum. Here we learned how lavender oil is produced and other interesting facts about lavender! There are two main lavender varieties grown in Provence: lavande fine and lavandin. I mentioned before that lavande fine is a precious type of lavender grown in Sault. This plant is short and has one flower spike on each stem. Lavandin is also grown in some parts of Sault, but is mostly grown at lower altitudes. This type of lavender is also taller, more vibrant, and more potent than lavande fine and is often used in cleaning products. It can have up to three flower spikes on each stem.
Uses For Lavender
One of my favorite parts of the exhibit was a list of ways you can use lavender at home. Here are some of the tips and tricks the distillery recommends:
- Use lavender floral water to treat razor burn
- Put it in a bouquet to decorate your home
- Stop itching from a bug bite with lavender oil
- Use dried lavender flowers in baking
- Put some lavender oil drops on your vacuum filter for a natural diffuser
- Make a homemade cleaning spray with water, white vinegar and lavender essential oil
- Mix a drop of lavender oil with a spoonful of honey to sooth a sore throat in winter
Exploring the Lavender Fields in Sault, Provence
While we were at the distillery, our guide left to scope out the best fields of the trip. We ended up visiting 3 different fields for about 10-15 minutes each. My favorite field was one that had the tiny village of Aurel in the background.
One important thing to know about the fields is that there are lots of bees around. You don’t need to worry though because they are way more interested in the lavender than they are in you! Our guide was even kind enough to offer to take pictures of us and gave us some tips for the best angles to shoot in the fields. I had so much fun taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful landscape.
The Village of Sault
Before heading back to Avignon, our guide dropped us off in the village of Sault to explore a little bit and try the nougat. My boyfriend, another traveler and I all went to André Boye, but not to try the nougat. We were on the hunt for lavender ice cream! I had one scoop of lavender and one scoop of calisson (an almond based sweet from Aix) in a cone. This ice cream was so refreshing and pretty with the little lavender flowers speckled inside. We chatted and ate our ice cream at a viewing area while admiring the fields from above. Although it was a quick trip, it was very memorable and I can’t wait to visit again someday.
Final Tips for Visiting the Lavender in Provence
Before I sign off I just want to recap and give you a few more tips if you plan on visiting these fields in the future.
- Rent a car if you have the means and the time because it will give you more freedom to explore the fields.
- If renting a car is out of the question, book a guided tour!
- Peak lavender season in the South is from mid-June to mid-July, go further North to Sault if you want to see lavender from mid-July to mid-August.
- If driving a car, visit the fields early in the morning or later in the evening to get the best light for pictures. The fields still look beautiful anytime of day however.
- Be aware of all the bees, but don’t worry they won’t hurt you.
- Know the difference between lavender and lavandin when buying lavender products.
- Be respectful of the fields and don’t walk too far in. You can still get a great photo just a few feet inside the fields.
- Don’t pick the lavender in the fields. If you want some for a photo you can buy a bouquet at a distillery or in a village.
Thank you so much for reading! Keep an eye out for my next blog posts coming soon about visiting other parts of Provence!
À la prochaine,
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