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Along the lavender routes in Provence where everything suddenly turns purple
Travel from the end of June to the end of August through picturesque villages, crystal clear lakes and red earth canyons

Seeing the lavender bloom in Provence is a real sensory experience: 1000 kilometres of blooming roads and alleys, a joy to the eyes, a delight for your palate, nose and touch; how could one resist the urge to touch those delightful expanses of purple and lilac flowers?

This fragrant plant is also an ingredient of many delicious products such as honey, biscuits, tea, syrups, jams and liqueurs (the most famous are those produced by the Absolue Lavande distillery of Sisteron).

But when and where can you go to admire this natural spectacle in all its beauty?

First of all, the right period: the blooming season starts around the end of June and lasts until mid-August, but it blooms later at higher altitudes. It is always the climate to have the last word though, a little different every year. For this reason, we recommend monitoring the stage of the blooming process on the website Routes-Lavandes.

These are instead the most beautiful locations:

The Valensole plateau which is regarded as the centre of lavender production; it is here that the majority of the most Instagrammable fields are located.

The Verdon Gorge, the most spectacular canyon in Europe: it is about 25 km long and reaches a depth of up to 700 metres. The turquoise water of Lake Sainte-Croix and the purple of lavender create an amazing contrast. There are also various picturesque villages nearby: Riez, Sisteron and Manosque.

With as many as 100 varieties of lavender grown in the area, Sault is the second most important production centre after Valensole. Here the purple of the flowers, the yellow of the wheat fields and the dark green of the oak forests provide a picturesque range of colours. Beautiful, immense fields can be found throughout the surrounding areas, especially on the stretch between Reillanne and Banon, as well as on the Albion plateau.

The amazing Roussillon canyon located near Gordes, home of the magnificent Sénanque Abbey is instead characterised by all the shades of red earth. The picture with the fields in bloom in front of it is one of the most iconic photos of lavender.

Two other enchanting villages which exemplify the essence of Provençal charm are Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Isle sur la Sorgue; they are even more beautiful in this period. Finally, within half an hour by car, there is Avignon, the city of the two popes.

(ph. Baraa Jalahej e Thomas Despeyroux)

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