The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

Lavender fields of Haute Provence

Seeing the lavender fields in Haute Provence was something I'd been dying to do for ages and I when I finally got the chance I wasn't disappointed.  That was a typically British understatement; I LOVED it! It was absolutely amazing.  The views, the smells, the colours, the bees, everything was just sublime. It was so great that I want to go back and stay over night to be able to photograph the fields in the early morning and evening light.  This time we were there during the middle of the day which is the worst light for photos though the scenery was so lovely that despite less than perfect light I think my photos give you some indication of just how gorgeous it was.

lavender fields with house Valensole Provence

The flowers are out for roughly a month from mid June to mid July but when I went due to a late spring there was still plenty of purple around.  Some fields had been harvested and others were being cut but the majority were still in full bloom and the bonus of it being a little later than the usual peak season was that there were also lots of sunflowers out too. The contrast of cut lavender, ripe wheat, sunflowers and blooming lavender - green, gold, yellow and mauve - was beautiful and in my mind even better than pure purple.  I hope you enjoy my photos, though I wish someone would invent a "scratch and sniff" application for the internet so you could smell them too!

lavender and wheat

lavender and mountains Haute Provence

lavender slope

lavender field with tree in Provence

lavender fields near Valensole in Provence

lavender field Provence

lavender fields in Haute Provence

lavender and sunflowers Valensole Provence

lavender and clouds

lavender and hills Valensole plateau Provence


lavender and wheat in Provence

field of lavender

purple field

farm in the lavender

lavender harvested and blooming

lavender and sky

All photos taken on or around the Valensole Plateau.  Have you been to Provence to see the lavender fields?  Or have you seen lavender being grown somewhere else? Do tell!


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visiting lavender fields in Provence

Suitcases and Sandcastles
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  • Guest
    Erin Gustafson @oregongirlaroundtheworld Wednesday, 26 April 2017

    OH! There is an amazing lavender farm on San Juan Island that we used to visit, so I am imagining the smell in my head. I adore the sunflower fields of France and with the heady smell of lavender, sounds like heaven! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  • Guest
    Wave to Mummy Wednesday, 12 April 2017

    Absolutely stunning! And I wish there was a scratch and sniff version of internet too ha ha! #farawayfiles

  • Guest
    Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays Wednesday, 12 April 2017

    Beautiful pictures, mine came out all 'bleached' (back in the days when you sent your films away to be developed!). Provence lavender is one of THE sights and smells of the world #farawayfiles

  • Guest
    Natalie Monday, 10 April 2017

    Your pictures are gorgeous! The colors are amazing

  • Guest
    julie whitmarsh Saturday, 08 April 2017

    Stunning & I'm determined to get up to the Valensole Plateau this summer - the lavender in the fields near us is growing at a rate of knots now, so hopefully it won't be long until they start to turn purple again! #FarawayFiles

  • Guest
    jo Thursday, 06 April 2017

    I need smell-o-vision on my laptop - I love the fragrance of lavender. Beautiful photos, the sunflowers and lavender make such a lovely combination. I have seen lavender growing at Snowshill in the UK but haven't visited the fields of Provence. I love Provence so this is lovely to read. #FarawayFiles

  • Guest
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) Thursday, 06 April 2017

    Ooh, this is just lovely, Phoebe. I can almost smell them! Your photos are beautiful regardless of the time of day. Fabulous share for #FarawayFiles

  • Guest
    Katy Thursday, 06 April 2017

    Just beautiful. I would so love to see this one day. I went on a roadtrip with my aunt around France in late July 2008. We missed the lavendar but saw the poppies! #farawayfiles

  • Guest
    Lolo Thursday, 06 April 2017

    I've ALWAYS wanted to find a lavender field or a sunflower flied to frolic through! I love sunflowers and even have one as a tattoo! I hope to see these fields whenever I make it to France again! #FarawayFiles

  • Guest
    FrenchVillage Jacqui Sunday, 07 August 2016

    So, so lovely! We saw the first blush early June last year, but never yet managed to see full bloom - one day!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 11 August 2016

    You need to do a trip in your mini in early July Jacqui, then you'll see full bloom!

  • Guest
    Vanessa Friday, 05 August 2016

    Fabulous photos, as ever. I've never seen the Provence lavender fields, but you might like Deborah Lawrenson's The Lantern and The Sea Garden, set in Provence and full of the perfume of the place. We actually have lavender farms over here in SW France (although not so many as in Provence), which produce lavender essence for various purposes. There used to be a lot more of them here, apparently.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 11 August 2016

    Thanks for your compliment and book recommendation Vanessa, I'm always happy to have books set in the area recommended to me.

  • Guest
    Ting at My Travel Monkey Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    Beautiful, there's nothing more lovely than spending time in a lavender field. You're right, the colours, smells - it's amazing and we're so lucky to have one near our home. Although it's not as large and exotic as Haute Provence. Lovely photos. #MondayEscapes

  • Guest
    Kimberly Monday, 25 May 2015

    Stunning! I had just missed lavender season when I had visited Provence. :( But, there was still plenty of lavender products around at all the markets to experience the lovely smell.

  • Guest
    clare @ emmys mummy Friday, 27 June 2014

    Those photos are stunning.
    So very beautiful

  • Guest
    Hannah - Budding Smiles Thursday, 19 June 2014

    Wow, amazing, if have to visit one day!xx

  • Guest
    Kirsty Hijacked By Twins Thursday, 19 June 2014

    What a stunning field! I adore everything about lavender, beautiful x

  • Guest
    Carly Markham Wednesday, 18 June 2014

    I have to say I always enjoy looking at the photos on your blog. I would love to see some
    Of the sights you have. The lavender here looks beautiful and I can only imagine how amazing it must have smelt!

  • Guest
    Californian Mum in London Wednesday, 18 June 2014

    Gorgeous. I love that there are sunflowers there too. There is a lavender field in Surrey that we went to last year and we plan to go back this summer.Just so lovely and smells amazing.

  • Guest
    Hannah Mums' Days Wednesday, 18 June 2014

    I wouldn't worry about the scratch and sniff, I genuinely feel like I can smell it from your photos! Were you all sleepy afterwards?! xxx

  • Guest
    Boo Roo and Tigger Too Wednesday, 18 June 2014

    You photos are stunning, they would make great canvas' and placed in hotel bedrooms... amazing

  • Guest
    Mummy of two Wednesday, 18 June 2014

    Oh wow amazing photos. This looks like an incredible place to visit.

  • Guest
    Ness Monday, 09 June 2014

    Such beautiful scenes - you don't get shies like that in England! My Mum has some oil paintings of lavender fields and your photos remind me so much of them.

  • Guest
    Debra Saturday, 07 June 2014

    These photos are stunning, love the yellow sunflowers against the lavender.

  • Guest
    Katie Thursday, 05 June 2014

    Wow! That is stunning. I love how sunflowers all face the sun in unison. Beautiful beautiful beautiful!

  • Guest
    http://The Reading Residence Thursday, 05 June 2014

    So beautiful. I've not been but I really want to now!

  • Guest
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault Thursday, 05 June 2014

    Yay - I guessed this was your post from How Does Your garden Grow!! We have a lavender farm just down the road from us right up here in Normandy and I went once when they were distilling the oil - however in that volume I actually found the smell quite repulsive.

  • Guest
    Gemma Thursday, 05 June 2014

    Having seen your beautiful photos, I really want to visit a lavender field now! Bet the smell is fantastic :)

  • Guest
    Iona@Redpeffer Thursday, 05 June 2014

    Great photo story-do love Provence. The smells from the lavender must be amazing.

  • Guest
    Mammasaurus Thursday, 05 June 2014

    Oh my it's like we are in sync ! I write that I crave lavender on the day you post some!

    This looks awesome - the sunflowers are lovely too, a double whammy of greatness. I can only imagine how good it smelt. Just dreamy - thanks very much for sharing x

  • Guest
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) Thursday, 05 June 2014

    Those are pretty fields! I wonder if you feel sleepy when you walk between the rows! They look so nice it is my dream to visit one of those =) #hdygg

  • Guest
    Charmaine Thursday, 05 June 2014

    wow, how beautiful! that is something I would love to see!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 05 June 2014

    It is truly spectacular Charmaine, my photos don't really do it justice.

  • Guest
    Claudia Thursday, 05 June 2014

    oh, this is so beautiful and such a dream of mine. one day. hopefully....

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 05 June 2014

    It's a dream worth making come true Claudia, I hope you get here one day. :)

  • Guest
    Sue Glashower Monday, 16 September 2013

    What a beautiful place to visit. I love lavender and wish I could smell it through the computer!

  • Guest
    Delia @ Blog Formatting Sunday, 15 September 2013

    I've been hearing and seeing so many of this type of photos online and on TV, Phoebe! They are awesome. Great to know they are real, LOL!

  • Guest
    Thomas Tuesday, 30 July 2013

    Great photographs Phoebe. We're these fields by the roadside or were you on a farm?

  • Guest
    Phoebe Wednesday, 31 July 2013

    The fields were all around, wherever you looked, in every direction by the roadside.

  • Guest Friday, 26 July 2013

    That last comment was from moi! Gigi. Was very happy to share these gorgeous shots :)

  • Guest
    Phoebe Friday, 26 July 2013

    :) thanks!

  • Gigi
    Gigi Friday, 26 July 2013

    These photos are fabulous , Phoebe :) . To visit these fields is absolutely on my bucket list. You have given me a Birds eye view, now I just need to scratch the.........return button ?? ;) When I am lucky enough to head to France, I tend to choose cooler months, as I live in a warm climate. This means I am never there when lavender is in bloom...In fact will be in the Avignon area in 6 weeks, too late for a purple haze .. but one far is it to this area from your lovely appartment?

  • Guest
    Phoebe Friday, 26 July 2013

    Hi Gigi
    Thanks for your comment. These fields are about 2.5 hours from my apartment. It makes a good ful day out, but you're right in 6 weeks it'll be too late

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 25 July 2013

    The scratch and sniff would be such a great invention! Thanks for commenting Missy. :D

  • Guest
    Missy Bell Thursday, 25 July 2013

    I think the pictures came out beautifully. I also would have enjoyed a scratch and sniff option.

    I loved the mix of the yellow and purples together.

    Thank you for posting.

    Missy Bell

  • Dot
    Dot Wednesday, 24 July 2013

    Beautiful! I particularly like the one of the lavender and sunflowers together. This is something I would like to do also, (being an aromatherapist I am rather fond of lavender)

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 25 July 2013

    As an aromatherapist you'd absolutely love this place Dot. The smells were just gorgeous, almost overwhelming at times. :)

  • Guest
    Penny McDaniel Wednesday, 24 July 2013

    Dropping in from UBC! I absolutely love lavender. It has many therapeutic uses and it tastes good in teas. Great photos!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 25 July 2013

    Around here where I live lavender is used a lot in patisserie (cake making) but I haven't tried it in tea, that's a new one for me. It's certainly a very useful plant as well as looking and smelling lovely.

  • Guest
    Kajal Kapur Wednesday, 24 July 2013

    These are some lovely pictures and the flowers looks beautiful...I bet I'd vote for a sniff and smell app for the internet.... I have been in love(more like fascinated) with sunflowers since childhood!

    Thanks for this post!

    Dropping by from UBC

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 25 July 2013

    I'm glad you enjoyed the photos Kajal. The sunflowers were a completely unexpected bonus.

  • Guest
    stephanie l Wednesday, 24 July 2013

    Breathtaking photos! I love the rows of lavender :)

  • Guest
    Phoebe Wednesday, 24 July 2013

    Thanks Stephanie :)

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