Have you ever seen a photo of an idealistic purple lavender fields with a small cosy hut next to it – this is Provence.
One of the places commonly listed as a spot to see before you die.
Provence is a place of beauty, charm, lavender fields and purple ice-cream, small castles, good wine and gourmet food.
My main purpose of coming here was to actually see those Lavender fields. I imagined how I would get lost in them for a while breathing in their heady aroma.
We started our journey in Marseille. We had to drive 101 km to reach our first destination Plateau de Valensole, our first Lavender field that supposed to be one of the most impressive ones. To see Lavender in bloom it is crucial to come during the blooming season which is from the middle of June to the beginning of August, but the best time for seeing them for sure is July. The field appeared to be as beautiful as we imagined straight lines of Lavender until the horizon. We walked along them from one side of the field to another trying to avoid bee bites. However the purple colour of the lavender did not look that bright at the sun light, so it was clear we were coming back the following morning to see the sunrise.
We had our first house through the AirB&B in Roussillon, a cute little town that offered some interesting options. We did a village walk, went for a hike in an canyon of Le Sentier des Ocres and Compagnie des Ocres picturing Chausee des Geants, the giant orange cliffs.
The sunrise at the Lavender field was a real treat. We were not the only ones who had this idea, so at some point we men with big professional cameras shooting those “a place to go before you die” type of photos. Just next to the lavender field was a sunflower fields so your eye would run over purple, then yellow, then red of sunset colours and ended up in the blue of the skies.
Our next destination was Gordes, another typical village of Provence with little shops that sold lavender soup and lavender ice-cream. The reason we choice it was its closeness to another Lavender place called Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, just 9 km away. It was not really a field, but sort of Abbey’s garden. It was not possible to go beyond the fence, but it looked great.
From Gordes we also went to two other lovely towns. One was Fontaine-de-Vaucluse with the beautiful spring hole, Sorgues river of amazing green colour and caves.
In the other one, Les Baux de Provence, we visited an installation called Carrieres de Lumieres with its museum of light “Cathedrale des Images”, presenting a few light shows, that were really nice and worth seeing as an experience.
We also visited a local fortress Château des Baux with the ruins and the presentation of ancient catapults.
Out trip ended in Marseille, where my favourite sites were Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde with a view on the city. The old Port, Cathedrale de Major, Basilique de Sacre Ceour and the local beaches were other places that we were recommended to visit. One could also take a boat to a small island next to centre of Marseille to visit Caste of If, described by Alexandre Dumas in his book The Count of Monte Cristo.
I could recommend Provence for a romantic getaway or a get together place for a company of friends.