Valensole, a beautiful area in the southern part of France – The Provence.
It’s a pretty large area where the lavender is being harvested. You will see lavender all around you.
The lavender normally blooms mid June. But it all depends on the temperatures during spring and how much rain has fallen.
When you need to pin point your travel days, check when the festival will start where they harvest the lavender. Go just before that date.
You will need a car to get around. So there are 2 options. Drive towards this area or go by plane and rent a car.
We did the last, we flew to France and drove from the south to this area. I can highly recommend this as it’s a beautiful environment.
The Provence, what a magical area in France!
I wanted to photograph the lavender fields for some time and last year I had a few days off, right at the time the lavender should be blooming.
4 weeks before the date I booked us a ticket and started to gain some more information on where to go, what to see and where to sleep.
Just before we left we saw on facebook and instagram that the lavender started to bloom, we would be a few days too early in the season as it turned out. We flew to Nice and drove through some beautiful area’s to our home stay somewhere on the Valensole Plateau.
Off course we came for the lavender, but there are so many things to see and do in the area we decided to do 2 days of lavender and 2 days to enjoy ourselves somewhere else.
The lavender fields where about to start blooming, so a lot of them were still pretty green. One evening we had an almost overcast sky, so we basically had one chance to get the shots that I wanted and because I globally knew where to go we just drove off and found some very nice fields just before sunset.
This is also what I would recommend. Just drive around the area and see which fields are good and are appealing to you.
back home I found out that I had made some errors regarding focus, so maybe I’ll go back once more 🙂
What else to see
Everyone will go for the blooming lavender and that is what the area is all about. But if you take the car and drive 45 minutes back to the south you have some amazing landscapes and things to do.
When you are here you should definitely visit Sainte Crox du Verdon. You can rent a canoe here and go upstream until the dam. A beautiful gore where there is nothing but nature. The current gets faster if you approach the dam, but it is truly worth it! It will take around 2 hours to complete.
You can also drive around the Lac de Sainte-Croix. There is an panoramic route around the lake and this will give you some stunning views over the area.
There is also a small waterfall to the south of the lake. It’s well hidden and you will have to find your way to it, but the view is definitely worth it!
Be careful though! The top of the waterfall is a bit unstable and last year a man died while standing below the waterfall when a rock fell down…
The Valensole Plateau
Photographing lavender on the Valensole plateau is something magical. You will find lavender all around you.
You will need a car to get around and to avoid all the tourists driving around by large busses.