Making a trip to visit the lavender fields in France remains one of my favorite bucket list moments! At the time I was living in the charming city of Aix-en-Provence and had the chance to go on a day trip out to see the lavender fields of Valensole and kayak in the nearby Lac du Verdon.
If visiting and photographing the lavender fields in Provence, France is on your own bucket list, then read more below! I answer all your questions about how to get to Provence’s lavender fields, when’s the best time to visit, and the best photography tips for shooting the lavender fields.
Where Are the Lavender Fields in Provence?
The world-famous lavender fields can be found in France’s southeastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. There are three plateaus where you can find lavender: The Valensole Plateau, Sault Plateau, and Luberon Plateau.
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The plateau de Valensole is one of the most popular places in Provence to see the lavender fields. Second to Valensole is Sault, the capital of Provence’s lavender production.
As for the villages, Valensole, Sault, Mont-Brun Les Bains, Grasse, Lourmarin, Sisteron, among others, all have idyllic lavender fields. You don’t necessarily have to visit the most popular one. Support the little guys, too! In any case, you’re likely to see miles and miles of fields lush with the purple flower (la petite fleur bleue in French) on your drive to Provence.
Want to stay in the area? Check out these best places to stay around Valensole.
Where we went to see the lavender fields
- J.P. Angelvin: A local producer of lavender in Valensole. Follow the D6 highway between Manosque and Valensole. These guys are the best! It’s here where you’ll find the lavender fields with the iconic ‘Lone Tree’ in the background. A photographer’s dream!
- Address: Lavandes Angelvin, Campagne Neuve, 04210 Valensole
- GPS coordinates: Latitude 43.824546, Longitude 5.938015
The Best Time to Visit the Provence Lavender Fields
When can you see the lavender fields in Provence? Late June and early July are the best times out of the year to visit.
Precisely, mid to late June is when the lavender season really starts to be in full bloom. Between then and early July is the best time (although not a guarantee) to catch the fields in full bloom. Early August might be too late, but it depends. The last harvest is in Sault in mid-August during their festival (read more below).
Travel Tip: In general, know that July is a popular month across France for travelers. Not to mention, the French take their holidays in August which is why France’s top tourist spots see spikes in crowds around this time.
We traveled to Valensole, France for the lavender season in mid-June. The lavender fields in Provence have since gained in popularity since we visited so you can expect more crowds. Nonetheless, if your mission is primarily to photograph the lavender fields, aim to visit in late June and throughout July before the final harvest in August.
La Fête de Lavande – Lavender Festival
Sault Lavender Festival: With Sault as the capital of Provence’s lavender fields, an annual festival has been held every year there on August 15 for the last lavender harvest. The Sault Plateau, like the Valensole Plateau, is the largest producer and harvester of lavender. During the festival, you can pick your own lavender for free from the fields. There’s also a buzzing farmer’s market filled with lavender goods and artisanal products!
Photography Tips for Shooting the Lavender Fields
The Provence lavender fields are a photographer’s dream. Here are a few photographer tips for shooting the lavender fields in Provence.
Aim for the golden hour at sunrise or sunset
As every photographer knows, lighting is key. When we visited the lavender fields, photography wasn’t on my mind. It was actually long before I took travel blogging seriously. (Luckily, I kept notes and a visual diary of that day to remember for later!) So when we went, it was high-noon.
If you can, aim for sunset as that’s the best time to get that golden glow and backdrop at the lavender fields. Mid-day lighting from the sun will result in harsh lighting, making it harder to edit in post. (Like in my photos!)
Sunset tip: Sunrise in mid-June in Provence is around 6 am, maybe too early for shooting. Summers in France have long days, so sunset will be around 9-9:30 pm in June.
Bring a trusty tripod
I would love to visit Provence again now that I have a compact tripod and a better sense of my photography style. Having a tripod is essential for capturing those perfectly-aligned shots of the lavender rows with stability and precision.
Pack back up outfits
Turn a good picture into a great picture by coordinating the outfits you wear in the shot. (Assuming you will be in the photo.) Plan your outfits in advance to nail that shot! I’ve seen a range of outcomes by photographers that compose elegant shoots with dresses to farmer-style shoots with overalls and straw hats.
Watch out for the lavender bees!
BEE CAREFUL! Please be aware that the fragrant lavender fields attract lots of bees. The lavender fields are actually humming with them! Be careful and mindful of your surroundings as to not disturb the bees when you walk through the lavender rows.
If you visit the lavender fields, please remember to be a responsible traveler. Don’t pick lavender without paying the local farmer or producer (always inquire first), don’t trample on flower beds or fields, and don’t leave trash behind!
Is visiting the lavender fields in Provence, France on your bucket list?