A Weekend in Provence

A few years ago I learned about these amazing lavender fields in the south of France close to Marseille. Ever since then, it has become one of my dreams to go there and see the never-ending lavender for myself. A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend surprised me with a train ticket and told me to “pack an outfit that I would want to wear if I had a beautiful background.” I instantly knew exactly where we were going!

As soon as he finished work, we hopped on a train to Marseille, spent the night in a cute Airbnb and ventured to the lavender fields the next day. We ended up renting a car at the Marseille airport. The drive was beautiful as we were surrounded by rolling green hills, and took about an hour. We were visiting towards the end of July, so we knew it was going to be difficult to find uncut lavender fields, but we were hopeful. Pro-tip: try to go between the middle of June through the beginning of July if you want to have the best chance to see lavender and sunflower fields. Typically the flowers are harvested at the beginning of summer.

I originally wanted to go to Valensole, the most well-known farm, but they had already cut their flowers. They advised us to call the tourist office in the town of Bonnieux, who told us two other places to check: the road that connects  Goult and Bonnieux, and the road between Goult and Sault called “route de la lavande” (there was hope!) We decided to try the road between Goult and Bonnieux since route de la lavande was another hour away. Once we made it to Goult, we found the D145 road which then connected to the D36. Along the D36 we spotted two fields, but they were not quite the never-ending lavender fields of my dream. We sensed we were getting close so we continued driving and finally, halfway along the D36, we saw in the distance rows and rows of flowering lavender. We pulled over and the minute I opened the door the smell of lavender surrounded me. You can bet that I was 100% freaking out, as everything was more amazing then I imagined. To top it all off we bought two large bunches of fresh lavender and a bottle of lavender essential oil for only 5€!

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After spending about an hour in the lavender field, we asked a local if they knew of any sunflower fields nearby. He told us there was one about five minutes away. Lavender and sunflower fields in the same day–yes! He instructed us to drive back towards Goult and to follow the bike path on the right hand side, then turn right and continue until we saw the field. We did exactly as he instructed and sure enough we found the sunflowers. Due to their maturity the flowers were drooping from the weight of their blooms. Regardless the massive yellow blooms were breathtaking.

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The second day we planned to go to the Calanques National Park, but unfortunately the whole area was closed to the public because of a fire. Instead we stayed in Marseille and explored the Old Port neighborhood. Despite the uncertainty and constant changes to our original plan, I returned to Paris with my heart happy and my bags smelling like lavender!

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