Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Summer is the lavender season in Provence! From the French Riviera to the foothills of the Alps, the Provence lavender fields start to turn purple, and it is a wonderful show to see and smell.
To get the most out of the lavender season in the region, there are different lavender routes in Provence that help you get to see as many lavender fields as possible. This 5-day Provence lavender route from Avignon is our favorite, and it will take you through some of the most beautiful Provence lavender fields near Avignon and in the Pays de Sault in the Vaucluse department.
Be aware that the lavender season in Provence is not the same everywhere, and it depends on the altitude of the terrain and weather conditions during the previous months. For this Provence lavender tour, come in July to see the Provence lavender fields in full bloom. In some of these places, however, the lavender continues to bloom until early August.
For more information on the main areas, the type of lavender to see, and the best tips, check out our quick guide to the lavender fields of Provence.
This lavender route Provence is one of the most beautiful road trips in France. Click here for the best road trips in France.
Provence Lavender Route Overview
- Start: Avignon
- Finish: Avignon
- Duration: 5 days
- Suggested Route: Avignon – Sault – Roussillon – Avignon
- Total distance: 183 km, 3.5 hours drive minimum
- Regions covered: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
- Best for: sightseeing and natural sites.
Lavender Route Provence Map
Provence Lavender Tour – Itinerary 5 Days
The starting point of this lavender route, France, is Avignon. If this is your first time in Avignon, spend at least one day exploring this charming medieval city before hitting the road. If you need to hire a car, wait until the end of your stay in Avignon to pick up your rental car. Click here for our best tips for renting a car in France.
Day 1 | Avignon
Avignon is one of the most beautiful French cities, with a rich medieval past. This charming historic city on the South Bank of the Rhône River was home to seven Catholic popes from 1309 to 1377. The Papal Palace, where they lived, is a jewel of civil Gothic architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Enjoy one day in Avignon. Here everything is within walking distance, and you can easily explore the city while strolling through its small cobblestone lanes. Be sure to visit the Palace of the Popes and wander along the Pont d’Avignon (the famous bridge of the famous song for kids) or admire it from afar.
For your night in Avignon, book at the Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis Avignon. This hotel is located in a beautiful 16th-century building with original arches and vaulted ceilings surrounded by a beautiful garden and an outdoor swimming pool.
Day 2 | Avignon – Sault
Morning in Sénanque Abbey and Gordes
The first stop of this lavender route in Provence is Coustellet to visit the beautiful Lavender Museum (276 Route de Gordes, Coustellet). This museum is a great introduction to the world of lavender in Provence, and it also has a good shop with excellent lavender-based products.
From Coustellet, take the D2 road to the Abbey of Sénanque, surrounded by one of Provence’s most iconic lavender fields. Here, the lavender fields are at an altitude of 350-700 m, mainly with lavandine.
The Abbey of Sénanque was built in the 12th century in Romanesque style, and it is possible to visit on a guided tour by the monks – but do respect the peace and privacy of the monks. Here, there’s also a shop to buy some lavender souvenirs.
After Sénanque, drive to Gordes, one of the picturesque hilltop villages of the Luberon, with the label Most Beautiful Villages in France. Visit Gordes with its cobbled streets, pretty stone architecture, and little shops selling local products and all kinds of crafts. Gordes also has several places where you can have lunch.
In the afternoon, head to Sault, where you will spend two nights. In Sault, book a room for two nights at Hostellerie du Val de Sault, a property in the form of a small Provencal village surrounded by lavender fields. This beautiful place has an on-site restaurant, top facilities, and a swimming pool.
Day 3 | Pays de Sault
Day three of this lavender trail Provence is dedicated to visiting Sault and the surrounding villages. Pays de Sault is the capital of lavender in Provence. Less touristy than the lavender fields near Avignon, Pays de Sault is a good place to see the real Provençal lavender without the crowds.
In the Sault lavender fields, you will find a few bories (traditional stone huts in Provence), and they look great in the middle of the lavender fields.
Morning in Sault
Sault is a charming Provencal village near Mont Ventoux. Located at a higher altitude (800-900 m), summers are not as hot as in other places in Provence, like Valensole.
Sault is one of the few places in Provence where you are 100 percent guaranteed to see lavender fields still in bloom in mid-August, whatever the weather. This lavender is never cut down before 15 August because that is the date of the Sault Lavender Festival, during which a big competition is held to harvest the blooms using a sickle.
DID YOU KNOW? Sault also has a hippodrome, Déffends, which is the highest working one in France and holds horse races throughout the year. It also has a lavender field in the middle of the track!
Take the time to visit Sault. Here, lavender is present in every shop and all its forms. Sault also has several lavender-themed attractions, like the Arôma Plantes farm and distillery (Route du Mont Ventoux). The Sault market, on Wednesday morning, is also a colorful place to explore and buy a bouquet of lavender.
Hilltop Villages in the Pays de Sault
In the afternoon, take the car to explore one or two of the hilltop villages around Sault: Ferrasières, Auriel, Brantes, or Monieux. Ferrassières hosts the first big lavender festival of the summer on the first Sunday in July; Brantes faces Mont Ventoux, and it has an incredible view of it; the lavender fields with the village of Auriel in the background are wonderful.
From Sault, you can also drive up the mighty Mont Ventoux (1,909m) – nicknamed the ‘Giant of Provence’ – for some fresh air and stunning views or take a tour through the Gorges de la Nesque.
Spend the night in Sault.
Day 4 | Sault – Roussillon
Day four of this lavender route Provence definitely has a red tone. From Sault, drive south to visit the Luberon, another very charming corner of the Vaucluse department.
Morning in Rustrel
Stop in Rustrel for a real change of scenery. Rustrel and the area around Roussillon are famed for their dramatic, richly colored ochre landscapes. Here, you can walk in the Colorado Provençal, a beautiful hike (1-2 hours) through cliffs and multicolored ocher rocks shaped by erosion but also by the work of men for centuries.
Afternoon in Roussillon
After Rustrel, drive to the village of Roussillon. On the way, you can stop at Apt, which boasts one of the largest and best street markets in the region (on Saturday mornings) and is renowned for its preserved fruits.
Roussillon is one of the most beautiful small towns in Provence. The town sits on top of cliffs of red and yellow clay, and the clay hills have been an important source of the ochre pigment since the 18th century.
After visiting the village, you can follow the Ochre Trail, a developed pathway through the ochre-colored hills of the former ochre mine.
Roussillon is a small town, but it has wonderful places to spend the night. The B&B Bastida des Demoiselles is one of the best hotels in the Provencal countryside, with an on-site restaurant and a beautiful garden with a swimming pool.
Day 5 | Roussillon – Avignon
From Roussillon, drive back to Avignon, the last stop of this Provence lavender itinerary. On the way, some pretty hilltop villages are worth exploring: Lacoste, Menerbes, or Bonnieux. If you are not in a hurry, you can also decide to make a detour to Fontaine de Vaucluse for a drink or dinner in one of the restaurants by the Sorge River.
So, what are you waiting for? Book this Lavender route Provence today!