To the west of the Verdon Natural Park, Valensole is perched on a plateau of lavender, wheat and almond trees, and is fortunate to be sunny more than 300 days a year. That’s already a very good reason to come and visit it! During the summer, you can walk on the plateau and enjoy the scents of lavender and thyme that scent the air. Valensole is indeed one of the largest and most important places in France in terms of lavender cultivation. The “Valley of the Sun” offers the famous refreshing air of the Verdon, pure and fragrant. It is nice to stroll around and discover the local scents and flavors. Indeed, classified as a “remarkable site of taste”, the village of Valensole is famous for its honey, of course, but also for its almonds, wheat, and truffles.
The landscapes around Valensole are superb, especially in summer thanks to the deep colors of lavender, and in spring when almond trees bloom. Valensole is also a paradise for the outdoors: walks, hikes or bike rides, without forgetting of course the practice of water sports and climbing in the gorges of the Verdon.
A visit to the lavender fields is a must
First of all, the Valensole plateau is the largest lavender producer in France. The colors are very bright, the blue of the flowers contrasting with the ochre of the earth. It’s literally a feast for the eyes. And the smells are typically Provençal: with this sweet scent that perfumes the air, mixing thyme with lavender, you can also take plenty of it in your nostrils! It is a magical and unforgettable experience, appreciated by all those who wish to discover Provence.
Visiting the lavender fields is ideal during the summer. Flowering takes place between mid-June and mid-July. You can walk around and discover the area on your own. Else go in an organized way thanks to the many guides who know the region and its most secret places. Feel free to ask for information on this site or from the tourist office to discover these guided tours, by the day or half-day.
Fill up on beauty and sweet scents, then go to a restaurant or shop and fill your taste buds with them too! Honey, lavender, almonds, truffles… so many delicious products not to be missed!
Discover the village of Valensole
After wandering in the blue of lavender, or to take a short break between two walks, the village of Valensole invites you to discover its historic centre, its shops and restaurants. The medieval village was built on a hill and its streets spiral up to the church of Saint-Blaise. Old-fashioned character and charm will surprise you as you stroll through the alleys and squares.
The Saint-Blaise church dates from the 11th century and combines a superb Provençal Romanesque facade and a Gothic choir. Walking through the village, you will find old 17th century houses under the ramparts, as well as fountains and very pretty chapels.
The famous Lavender Festival takes place in July. This is one of the best times to plan your visit to Valensole and Le Verdon. In addition, the santon fair also takes place in June and July… The village is particularly lively during this period.
For a little natural beauty, two magnificent gardens are listed: Le Clos de Villeneuve, located in a Provençal bastide, and the gardens of Château du Grand Jardin where an unforgettable visit awaits you.
Finally, in order to complete a beautiful summer afternoon, Valensole is a privileged place to discover an essential oil distillery.
Valensole’s culinary specialties
Wheat, lavender, truffles, honey, wine, almonds, goat’s and sheep’s cheese, olive oil… countless gustatory pleasures await you in Valensole. For example, you can go to a truffle field, visit local farms. Why not meet a lavender producer or even visit an essential oil distillery? To discover the entire Valensole region at a glance, and bring back authentic souvenirs, don’t miss a visit to La Fontaine à Vin. It is a charming shop where you will find all the artisanal products of Valensole: scents, flavors, and of course a beautiful selection of wines from the surroundings.
Moreover, Valensole has some very good restaurants, simple or refined. Just take the time to discover the local specialties! One of the best restaurants is Celina’s Garden. You will enjoy traditional but daring cuisine, and prepare original dishes and desserts using local products.
Where to stay in Valensole?
Open all year round, Hostellerie Les Lavandes de la Fuste is the only hotel in Valensole. It is a former 17th century post house located in a magnificent setting, in the middle of lavender fields. Quality takes precedence over quantity, in fact, only ten rooms are available. Rest in a relaxing atmosphere in the heart of Provence. A stay in the land of lavender is just unforgettable.
Apart from the hotel, more than twenty guest rooms await you in Valensole, some of them in superb bastides. The Château du Grand Jardin is a magnificent place. You can sleep at the castle while enjoying its famous gardens.
For families, or for those who wish to stay for a while in Valensole, the village also has about forty seasonal or weekly rentals.
Domaine du Petit Arlane is the only campsite in Valensole, and it is a naturist!
For those who travel by camper van, good news! A reception area awaits you at the Hameau Saint-Grégoire, in the heart of a lavender farm.