Blog – Lavender Fields Forever

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Blog – Lavender Fields Forever

June is, without a doubt, one of the loveliest months of the year. Things have finally started to warm up and we’re able to shed our winter layers without fear that there may be another cold snap around the corner. Should you truly want to experience June in all its splendour, you’d be wise to make your way to Provence as not only does the month mark the start of summer but the beginning of lavender season as well. There is nothing quite like a field full of lavender: the unbelievable smell, the vivid colours, the fields that appear to have been painted into the landscape… it’s truly what dreams are made of. In celebration of lavender season, here are some of the best places to experience this magical flowering plant.

Abbaye de Sénanque
Founded in 1148 under the watch of the bishop of Cavaillon, this abbey has been home to a great number of groups including the Cisetrian monks of the Immaculate Conception. In 1903, the community departed for the Order’s headquarters where it remained until 1988 when a small group returned. Monks continue to occupy the space, where they grow and harvest lavender as well as raise honey bees. Because it is an operating abbey, there are daily services which are open to the public. Beginning in June, they begin the process of extracting essential oil from their fields of lavender which are incorporated into a myriad of products available in the onsite boutique. Tours are available on a regular basis and it is important to note that a dress code is in effect.

Musée de la Lavande
Situated on the picturesque Route de Gordes, the Musée de la Lavande (Lavender Museum) is the perfect place to stop for a truly relaxing experience. Knowledgeable guides are happy to tell you about the fascinating history of lavender, its properties, how it has been tended in the past, and where the crops are headed in the future. Should you fancy a more independent experience, audio-guides are available for you to borrow so that you can peruse the exhibits at your own pace. In addition to being a museum, the Musée de la Lavande features an operating lavender farm and distillery. Should you be tempted to take home a souvenir or two, the museum’s shop offer a wide selection of homemade goods guaranteed to appeal to all tastes.

Les Lavandes du G.A.E.C. Champelle
This organic lavender farm serves as a producer, supplier, and retailer of carefully cultivated crops grown without chemical pesticides or artificial fertilizers. The result is a pure, healthy plant that you can feel safe about consuming and applying to your skin. While the fields aren’t open to self-guided tours, the farm is happy to organize visits for private groups. The retail shop is open to the public and features a wide selection of products ranging from dried lavender sachets to edible goods.

Les Agnels Distillery
The family owned Agnels distillery is open year round and is the place to take part in the ultimate lavender experience. Tours are led through the distillation area where visitors are given the chance to get up close and personal with the process that results in the extraction of essential oils from the plant. There are several workshops offered, including one devoted entirely to the olfactory experience and another based exclusively on taste. Naturally, there is a store that sells the fruits of the distillery’s labour which, after seeing the time and effort that goes into making each product, will be hard to resist.

Self-Guided Driving Tours
Organized activities not your thing? Why not venture out on your own to truly experience the splendour that is Provence’s lavender fields. Maps are widely available and feature itineraries of all lengths, guaranteeing that just about everyone will find something to suit them. Whether you’re interested in a laid back afternoon on the open road or intend to spend a few days doing some serious lavender viewing, there’s an option to suit your needs. The fact that the landscape is so breathtakingly beautiful is just an added bonus

 

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