The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Autumn 2022

Discover Aix, the ‘Little Paris’ of Provence, the historic region of Beaune, a land of wine and castles. Beautiful Bordeaux and Normandy. The stork villages of Alsace and the pickled-in-the-past, post-card pretty perched town of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert. Breath-taking Lavender fields in Provence, castles in the air in Dordogne. Exquisite Villefranche-sur-Mer and Nice. Discover what’s new, the best tours, recipes, a language lesson, practical guides and much, much more…

Nestled in a picturesque

Nestled in a picturesque corner of the South of France that borders Italy and the Mediterranean sea, Provence is a truly delightful place that attracts visitors with its warm sunny climate, great gastronomy and scenic lavender fields. The lavender fields have become an icon of the area and are now a tourist attraction in their own right, drawing visitors from all corners of the globe. Every June and July, the region is ablaze with fragrant lavender fields where swathes of purple carpet the fields as far as the eye can see. The captivating beauty of the lavender fields makes Provence a photographer’s paradise and a popular region to visit during the summer. In this rural, idyllic region of diverse landscapes and stunning hilltop villages, the lavender fields take centre stage. Lavender has been an important crop for the people of Provence for centuries where much of the lavender is distilled for essential oil and fragrant water. The plants are also dried and added to scented objects such as soap, perfume, honey, tea, ice cream, scented packages and natural cosmetics. There are many wonderful locations to visit in Provence, this guide highlights the best places to see and capture the most impressive sights and the most spectacular lavender fields. The road from Valensole to Manosque provides some of the best photo viewing spots as many rows of lavender come into view. There are some wonderful scenes to shoot and the lavender farms of Lavandes Anglevin and Terraroma are great to visit too. Another great spot for capturing the blossoming lavender is along the road heading north-east from Valensole where an old stone building can be found. The structure looks great surrounded by the flowing lavender and mountains. Follow the road all the way to Puimoisson where during summer you will find even more lavender fields. The flowers in full bloom can be a magical spectacle and are incredible to witness, especially as the sun casts its rays on the scene and the play of light transforms the sea of purple. The Luberon Besides Valensole, you will find a variety of other attractive lavender fields in Provence. The Luberon Massif named after a mountain range that runs east-west between Cavaillon and Manosque is a Provencal patchwork of miles of fragrant lavender fields, hilltop villages, vineyards and ancient abbeys. The spectacular natural park covers some 600 square kilometres where the best lavender fields can be viewed from Avignon towards Gordes. Near Gordes the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque offers an iconic lavender scene. Built in the 12th century, the Abbey is a sublime example of the region’s architecture set in a stunning woodland valley. The graceful Cistercian Abbey makes a magnificent backdrop to the lines of lavender grown and harvested by the resident monks. Aim to arrive morning or late in the day to avoid the crowds of tourists and combine your visit with a wonderful trip inside the abbey’s cloistered interior whilst marvelling at the incredible lavender that surround its grounds. Gordes itself makes for a fantastic scene as the spectacular hilltop village juts out of the white-rock face of the Vaucluse plateau. The medieval village is another of Provence’s quintessential sights that rears up high on the slopes with a labyrinth of winding roads and cobblestone paths at its core. Pays de Sault Directly north of the Luberon natural park, the Pays de Sault is a great place to see lavender without the crowds and heat of Valensole. Attractive villages and beehive shaped bories (traditional dry-stone structures) blend perfectly with the lavender fields. Nearby the area around Apt and the valley at the foot of Mount Ventoux offer colourful shades of purple. Verdon Gorge ©Kylie Russel Valensole Other sights The Plateau of Valensole Verdon Gorge Situated in the heart of Provence, the plateau of Valensole has picture-postcard views of lavender fields at every turn, providing some of the most beautiful landscapes in Haute Provence. It is simply the stuff of dreams and an area that has captured the imagination of artists and photographers for years. Situated at an altitude of 500 metres in the south of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence between the Luberon and the gorgeous Gorge du Verdon, Valensole is dedicated to the cultivation of lavender. Rich in luxuriant lavender fields, their sight and smell is truly enchanting and worth exploring. Abbaye Notre Dame de Senanque © Tatiana Košťanová Mont Ventoux © Michel Bergier Beyond the lavender fields, other highlights of the region include the gorgeous gorges and canyons. Few sights match the impressive Gorges du Verdon, also known as the Grand Canyon of Europe with its jaw dropping beauty. Situated in the Verdon natural park, it is a haven for adventure seekers with its incredible views of the plunging gorge to the Verdon river snaking 600 metres below. Hikers, bikers and rock climbers seek out the best trails and craggy mountain peaks to summit whilst thrill seekers find solace canoeing on the water as birds of prey including vultures circle overhead. 36 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 37

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