The Lavender Route in South of France
The Lavender Route is one of the best parfumed routes in the world! Discover the beautiful purple fields and hilltop castle villages in the 215 km between Montélimar and Avignon. Put on a French ‘chanson’ and put your windows down, so you can smell the lavender, blooming from June to August. There’s no other way to explore this region better!
- Name route: The Lavender Route
- Total length: 215 km
- Suggested duration: 3-5 days
- Best season: end of June through the beginning of August, when the lavender is in bloom
- Highlights: the lavender fields and hilltop villages and castles.
- Best by: car or bike
MONTÉLIMAR – GRIGNAN (54 KM)
Start your route in the city Montélimar, a place located between the Ardèche and Drôme regions. The typical hilltop city built around a castle is a perfect starting place for your route. Spend your day sipping regional wine (not when driving) and visiting the Palace of Sweets and Nougat – you won’t regret this delicious tasting! On your way to Grignan, make a small detour to visit the town Poët-Laval, a typical French village with narrow streets and blond stones. While driving to Grignan, you will see the city appear. The imposing medieval castle dominates the old village of Grignan, set on a rocky hilltop.
GRIGNAN – VAISON-LA-ROMAINE (40 KM)
As your visit to Grignan cannot be complete without a visit to Grignan’s castle, you must at least visit the great Renaissance façade, the courtyard of the Well, and the panorama view on Mount Ventoux. Continuing your route towards Vaison-La-Romaine, make a small stop at Rochecourbière to visit the caves, and at the Provençal village Nyons, nicknamed ‘Le Petit Nice’, famous for its olives and lavender distillery on the banks of the river.
VAISON-LA-ROMAINE – GORDES (82 KM)
The Gallo-Roman vestige of Vaison-La-Romaine has a little different scenery than the previous cities along the route. A visit to this town wouldn’t be complete without a visit to ruins of Puymin, stretching over 15 hectares, the old cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, the cloister and the Roman Bridge. On your route towards Gordes, visit the caves and rivers of the Gorges du Toulourenc on the foot of Mount Ventoux. This remarkable natural wonder is a perfect stop on your route – to have a hike through the river or sunbath on the banks. Continuing your route, you’ll get why you’re here for: a purple scenting ocean of lavender on Plateau d’Albion. Are you spending more nights in this region? Don’t forget to visit one of the most beautiful villages of the France, Montbrun-les-Bains with its medieval castle.
GORDES – AVIGNON (39 KM)
The village of Gordes is known for its ‘calades’, a Provençal word for cobble stoned streets. Yet again, a visit to this village wouldn’t be complete without visiting the castle and the cellars of Palais Saint-Firmin. Leaving the city of Gordes, you can visit the Borie village not far from there, across Luberon. The village is known for its century inhabitants living the medieval lifestyle, with sheepfolds, bread ovens, and century old houses. The 25 km long wall is even made a historical monument since it’s built in 1721 as ‘pierre sèche’ – stones without cement. Continuing your way to Avignon, make a stop at the Museum of Lavender in Coustellet, or the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, surrounded by lavender fields and the last immersion of the blue gold of the Provence. The city of Avignon, that will appear when you drive over the bridge of the Rhône River, is also known as the city of the Pope. The city was the seat if the Catholic popes from 1309 to 1377 and remained under papal rule until the city became part of France in 1791. The Palace of the Pope is, therefore, one of the most popular highlights.