There are occations in life when the world stops spinning. When all planets line up – and the surrounding life ceases to exist. All there is, is you, the sun and some hundred thousand honey bees and yet another million bluish-purple lavender flowers, slowly moving in the summer wind, yet in perfect corduroy-fabric-shaped lines.
A lavender field in the beginning of July in Provence is a bucket list experience. Just standing there fulfills all senses: scent, views, taste, touch and hearing. If there is any sixth sense connected to total, focussed joy, it sure got to me there.
Has the lavender-blossom-fiever gotten to you too? Before coming to Provence, just follow a few tips on your way to the lavender coloured nirvana, topped up with the best rosé wines in the world.
First, les routes de lavande, the best and most beautiful lavender fields, are to be found in Provence, on the Plateu de Valensole http://www.tourisme-alpes-haute-provence.com and on the highlands surrounding the Luberon valley: la pointe des Monts de Vaucluse. http://www.luberoncoeurdeprovence.com I would definitely go for both areas, more about that later.
Species and flower-wise, there are more than 50 variations of lavender, where the true, wild lavender, la lavande fine, that spreads naturally with seeds, grows +1000 meters on the highlands of the Vaucluse mountains. The lavande fine is smaller, somewhat chubbier, and the flowers have an even more intense lavender-blueish colour. Going up in the mountains surrounding the Luberon valley, you will see wild lavender everywhere. For the most beautiful fields, tap Chateau du Bois on your GPS or Google maps. http://www.museedelalavande.com
Apart from visiting the fields, one absolutely has to buy lavender products. My top recommendation is the delicious and healthy lavender honey and all products for the body, http://www.lechateaudubois.com or online http://www.organiclyx.com
Then top up with some lavender bags to keep in the wardrobe as well as on your pillow. My favourites are the ones in linen that have cute broderies. They are to be found in the quaint Provence village Lourmarin. Those bags are made by the Lenglet family. If you are lucky, you will meet beautiful Laura Lenglet in the shop. http://www.aufildulin.com
Now one gets thirsty after all this lavender mania. And if we continue on the colour scheme, rose – as in rosé wines – goes very well with purple. It also happens that the best rosé wines are produced here in Provence. There are producers everywhere, why not start with reward winning Domaine la Garelle http://www.lagarelle.fr and then continue the rosé wine route to equally excellent http://www.fontvert.com Just to mention a few of the hundreds…
Finally, get some rest closing your lavender coloured window shutters at http://www.petitpalaisdaglae-gordes.com or at http://www.guilles.com, both with excellent reataurants. After leaving le plateau de Valensole, you have probably already had one or two nights at the Bed&Breakfast home of Francoise and Frédéric Arzano at La Maison des Collines. Provence’s best breakfast is guaranteed. http://www.lamaisondescollines.com
All general information on Provence is to be found at http://www.tourismepaca.fr On the stunning Plateau de Valensole, look for http://www.tourisme-alpes-haute-provence.com and finally, all about the Luberon valley and Vaucluse is to be found at http://www.luberoncoeurdeprovence.com