Visiting the lavender fields of Provence, France, has been a prominent lust on my travel bucket list for some time now. To catch the lavender, you have to time your trip just right – if you’re too soon you miss the bloom, and if you’re too late, they may have already harvested the beautiful flowers to dry. Luckily, not only did we catch the lavender, but we were also treated to speckles of red all along the landscape, as the poppies were still mildly in bloom as well. But before any of that, we had a slight road-trip ahead of us, up into the French Alps. ^ ^ I spy with my little eye. . . . ^ ^ We followed a driving route mapped in the Michelin Green Guide to the French Alps. In the book, the tour is called the Valensole Plateau. We wound into the mountains, and after more than an hour of navigating twisting roads and rocky slopes, we were treated to some stunning views.^ ^ This was our first glimpse of the lavendar fields, far, far off in the distance.^ ^ In the middle of the green mountains, we spotted a true-blue oasis. The driving route took us in a curve around the entire lake, and we vowed to come back for a swim later if we had time.We stopped in Riez for a little picnic, but didn’t stay long as the small town was all shuttered up for the lunch hour. If you’re traveling in France, try to avoid city-visits during the lunch hour (12.30-3ish) or Sunday – they will look like ghost towns! I recommend hitting Reiz in the early day, as they have a lovely morning market.
Our next city stop was Valensole, where we collected lavender gifts for family and friends. After a bit of city sunshine soaking, we were ready to see the lavender!v v A failed attempt at capturing our excited-lavender-faces.We drove by private lavender farms and sprawling lavender hills, but after a bit of scouting, we chose a lovely lavender field to wander. Bright and purple and swarming with bumble bees, this field was flat and nestled right in the foothills of the Alps. The fields are alive, buzzing with the sound of honey bees. And the scent is nothing I could describe in words. We strolled through the fields, snapping photos and taking in the view. Ohh, and practicing some yoga postures. v v ^ ^ Breathe deep, with Claritin®! Kidding, but doesn’t this look like some kind of allergy medication ad?! ^ ^ Don’t tell anyone, but we borrowed a few sprigs to take home ;) After roaming the fields, we headed back towards Cannes, once again passing by the crystal clear lake, sitting quietly in the heart of the plateau.We made an executive decision to dip our toes, so we started the steep decent down the mountain, towards the water.When we got there, only B was brave enough to put on his suit and go for a swim. The Alps are considerably colder than the French Riveria. Regardless, it was a great finale to our road trip, and I know it was B’s favorite part of the trip!