Lavender fields in Provence, France blooming guide: when & where to go?

Marie Calfopoulos Photographer in Provence France lavender fields in Sault photo session

When you think about the French countryside, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably a small village with cobblestones streets and adorable shops, surrounded by luxurious nature: grape vines, olive groves, sunflower fields… But the most iconic symbol of Provence, France is the lavender fields!

When are the lavender fields blooming in Provence, France?

First things first: the lavender is not in bloom all year round, not even all summer long! In Provence, it starts being in full bloom around mid-June and most lavender fields are cut on the second to third week of July.

Beware: you won’t see any nice looking lavender in August! A lot of people believe the lavender will be in bloom all summer, but if you happen to see a lavender field after July, it’s bound to be dry and grey (it’ll still smell nice, but it won’t look the way you expect it to). Most fields you’ll see this late in the summer will have been harvested anyway, so the flowers will be cut.

Yes, it’s a very short time! You only have 4 to 5 weeks every year to enjoy the lavender fields in bloom in Provence, France.

Farmers harvesting lavender fields and making bouquets in Sault, Provence, France

Before mid-June, most lavender fields will not look purple but green, because the little flowers will not be open yet. That’s why you should time your visit wisely if seeing the lavender fields in Provence and enjoying their beauty and smell is one of your priorities. Obviously, it all depends on the weather in the previous months, so it’s impossible to predict the exact date of the lavender blooming.
A picture is worth a thousand words, see for yourself:

Same lavender field in Luberon, Provence, France. On the left, it’s early June: not in bloom yet. On the right, it’s the end of June: in full bloom.

Lavender fields located around Sault, north of Vaucluse and south of Drôme, by Mount Ventoux, also tend to bloom a little later, towards the very end of June, and are cut a little later than the lavender fields located in Luberon or Valensole. This is due to the fact that the fields in Sault are higher in altitude so the temperatures are lower there.

What if we aren’t visiting Provence during lavender blooming season?

It’s too bad because the Provence lavender fields are definitely a must-see, but don’t worry, there are lots of beautiful sites all over Provence!

Provence is filled with historical sites to visit such as the Palais des Papes in Avignon, the Pont du Gard roman bridge and medieval towns such as Les Baux-de-Provence in the Alpilles area. If hiking is your thing, you’ll have plenty of trails to choose from. It’s also a land of fine wine and delicious food you can shop at typical markets in its many picturesque old villages.

No wonder just about everyone who visits Provence falls in love with it!

Une séance photo de couple engagement à Lourmarin, village du Luberon entouré d'oliviers en Provence
Une séance photo de couple engagement à Lourmarin, village du Luberon entouré d'oliviers en Provence
One of the loveliest villages in Provence: Lourmarin in the Luberon area

Marie took beautiful photos of my family when we visited Provence in July 2023. I had felt nervous about booking a photographer in a foreign country, but Marie was easy to communicate with, and the process went smoothly. Marie’s knowledge of the area allowed her to select a gorgeous lavender field for the photos. We had a fantastic time and are grateful that we connected with Marie on our trip. Merci beaucoup, Marie!

Katy C.

Where are the most beautiful lavender fields located in Provence, France?

One of my favorite views in Provence, France: the very small village of Aurel, located near Sault by Mont Ventoux. It looks just like a painting!

My personal favorite: Sault and its surroundings

Located about one hour from Avignon and 40 minutes from Gordes, Sault (pronounced "so") overlooks a valley filled with lavender fields. The village is set on a rocky outcrop and the scenery is just magical: Mont Ventoux is right there and at its feet: dozens of lavender fields, farms and winding roads.

lavender fields in Provence France, Sault photo session with photographer Marie Calfopoulos Photographer
Peaceful Aurel is conveniently located right next to lavender fields

The nearby even smaller village of Aurel is just perfect for a stroll and some photos. You won't see many visitors there, maybe a few locals and some sheep in the neighboring meadow. My advice: drive a little further to Ferrassières where you'll get to see some bories (dry-stone shelters built by shepherds) in the middle of the lavender fields.

lavender fields in Provence France, Sault photo session with photographer Marie Calfopoulos Photographer
A vow renewal elopement ceremony in the lavender fields of Ferrassières, Provence, France

The quiet atmosphere of Sault, compared to the crowded Valensole plateau (more on that below), allows you to really take in the beauty of the place. Farmers will be happy to welcome you in their distilleries, where you can learn how they transform the lavender flowers into oil and various products.

lavender fields in Provence France, Sault photo session with photographer Marie Calfopoulos Photographer
lavender fields in Provence France, Sault photo session with photographer Marie Calfopoulos Photographer
Sunset in Sault with Mont Ventoux in the background

Luberon, ideally located near Gordes and other lovely villages

If there's one area you'll sure be visiting during your Provence stay, it's the Luberon. With its world famous villages such as Gordes, Lourmarin, Oppède-Le-Vieux or Ménerbes, this is the quintessential Provence. Thankfully, there are some beautiful lavender fields scattered all over the Luberon. Which makes it the ideal choice for a combo of a village + lavender field photo session. Since most visitors stay in that area, it also means you won't have to drive far to see the lavender fields.

A senior portrait session in the lavender fields near Avignon, Provence

Avoid Valensole unless you are ready to deal with crowds...

Valensole is one of the main areas for lavender production in Provence, and it does have some really amazing sites. It's a very large plateau where you'll find many wheat and lavender fields, but beware: it's so popular it's filled with other tourists just like you that want their dream shot. Cars line along the road, and even buses, which makes the experience quite disappointing. Here's an example of sunset in Valensole during lavender blooming season...

The Valensole plateau is famous worldwide, hence the crowds...

Also note that due to a very dry and hot summer in 2022, some of the most iconic fields in the Valensole area had to be removed and have been replaced by wheat (including the one above). Farmers might plant lavender again in the future, but it takes several years for lavender to grow into bushes, so be patient.

If you end up visiting Valensole, do check out the Gordes du Verdon and the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. It's quite a drive since the Valensole plateau is so big but they are definitely worth seeing.

Valensole is much more quiet at sunrise (for very early birds)

We had the pleasure of taking our engagement photos with Marie. It was a really fun photo session, in Sault, at sunset! Marie brought her expertise and advice while letting us be ourselves in front of her camera. The result is amazing, our friends and family were so impressed by the quality of the photos she took. We highly recommend her.

Tessa Q.

Be respectful of the lavender fields and the insects they attract

Lavender fields, like any piece of land, are a private property and farmers work hard to grow the beautiful flowers, so please be very respectful. Do not pick or trample the flowers!

Also be aware that us humans are not the only ones in love with the lavender fields: bees, butterflies, snails and all sorts of insects love them too. Which means you'll have to deal with many bees flying around you as soon as you get close to the lavender. Beehives are often placed near lavender fields because lavender honey is so delicious! But don't worry: they only sting in self-defense so they won't hurt you unless you swat at them or disturb their hive.

Now that you have all that info about the lavender fields, you should be able to truly enjoy one of the most amazing treasures of Provence, France. I hope this blooming guide was helpful and I wish you a wonderful stay!