Visiting the Provence France Lavender Fields is a BIG bucket list item for many. (Me me me!) The scenery makes it an especially beautiful stop for any Southern France family vacation itinerary and it just seems so... peaceful. So here's a few tips you MUST SEE before planning your Provence France lavender fields family vacation to make it a visit that the whole family can enjoy!
Provence France Lavender Fields Tip #1:
Wear a long dress or pants so the lavender doesn't scratch you and cut your legs.
Something I didn’t see during ANY of my meticulous (aka A-type, over the top pre-planning crazy) research was that the lavender plants are SCRATCHY and will cut your legs!
Like many people who visit the Provence France lavender fields, I picked my outfit in advance. And, because this was a bucket list activity for me, I also picked outfits for ALL my kids (and gently steered my husband’s outfit choice) as well. 🤪
Since it was early July, we did what any reasonable person would do when planning a summer vacation- wear shorts.
So it was a little bit of a bummer when we actually arrived to the Valensole lavender fields and started making our way through them- it felt like walking through weeds! 🤯
It was definitely an oversight- the lavender plants touching our legs didn’t even cross my mind once during all of my planning!
That’s why I wanted to make that my VERY FIRST tip- because there’s enough things to think about when planning a family vacation in France, so at least this is one thing less to catch you off guard when you get there. 😉
Basically, if you plan to wear pants, slacks or a long dress, you’ll be fine. Or, maybe put lotion on your legs before leaving and pray for the plants to be kind if you have your heart set on a cute outfit that leaves your legs bare.
Provence France Family Vacation Tip #2:
The lavender fields are best enjoyed as a day trip or farm experience.
The other tip I wanted to mention right off the bat is that the Provence france lavender fields can be seen in one day- making it a perfect day trip to include in any family vacation in France (or add to a fun European road trip).
While the lavender fields south of France are definitely some of the most beautiful in the world, there’s really not enough to do or see over multiple days, and your little ones will probably get bored if you decide to stretch it into a weekend (or more).
That being said, there are lots of other great things to do in the Provence region, especially if you like hiking, the beach, and/or lots of beautiful and quaint little towns.
In fact, our Southern France family vacation was one of the favorites for our entire family- even the littlest ones loved it! 😍
But if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering if you’re really going to get the full experience if you only do a one-day visit?!
I’ve got you covered below with a great link to the perfect lavender fields France map in tip #4. 😉 It’s easily enjoyed in one day, and we did it in one afternoon!
If you really do have your heart set on enjoying them for longer, you might be able to plan ahead and book a fun farm stay or ‘airbnb experience’ stay right by the Provence lavender fields and get more of a ‘behind the scenes’ visit.
Since we were already planning a multi-week European family vacation, it was easy to add a Provence visit to our itinerary as we passed through Southern France.
Lavender Fields France Family Vacation Tip #3:
Go early in the morning and get deep into the Provence France lavender fields for the best shots.
Here’s where tip #1 really starts to matter.
First of all, it is definitely important to get there as early in the morning as you possibly can. ☀️🐓☀️
I thought I would be super smart and schedule a late afternoon visit- I can get the late setting sun (hello, Golden Hour!) and won’t have to wake the kids up super early.
But that was a bad idea for a couple of reasons- most of all because it was INSANELY hot!
Luckily, we had water bottles in the car, because there weren’t really any cafes or anything near the fields to rely on.
Also, the lavender fields were quite busy in the afternoon!
Even though we weren’t able to visit in late June, when it's considered to be the ‘best time to see lavender fields in Provence,’ there were still a LOT of people taking photos and wandering around! 👀
This is one pic I got that had lots of people in it, but for the most part I tried to take pictures without people in the way (or crop them down),
Since you can see both the sunflower and the Terranova lavender fields side by side here, it was quite a popular spot.
Even though were actually cutting it pretty close to harvest by getting there July 10th (harvest is mid-July) it was still pretty crowded, in my opinion.
So if I had to do it again, I would definitely go earlier in the morning so I can take advantage of the slower crowds and avoid overheating.
Even if you're headed to see the lavender fields in France with kids in tow, this is one experience you'll want to wake up early for.
TRIP TIMING TIP: The peak lavender season Provence is considered to be late June up to the first week of July. Most fields get harvested by mid July when the plants are at their best.
For the second half of this family vacation tip, I suggest taking your time to actually GO deeper into the fields.
I saw a lot of people standing to take photos around the edges of the lavender fields, but only the ones with professional photographers actually seemed to be walking deeper into the fields to get the good shots.
It’s YOUR trip. You’re going to want to have beautiful memories of your France family holidays, so don’t be afraid to get in there and actually go for it! 🥳
There’s a reason the professionals were dragging their clients deeper into the fields- that’s where the prettiest shots are!
(Don’t forget my earlier tip about longer dresses or pants though, those plants will get ya!)
Provence Lavender Fields Family Vacation Tip #4:
Use an updated route through the Valensole fields for the best experience.
When doing my copious amounts of research (I’m crazy, remember?!)...
I found an AMAZING blog run called LeLongWeekend by a woman who actually lives in Provence and updates a route through the Valensole lavender fields in Provence every single year!
If you haven’t heard of Valensole yet, it’s a nice little area in Provence with LOTS of lavender fields and a cute little town area nearby where you can stop for lunch or an early dinner.
All in all, if you follow the route she suggests, you can see ALL the best Provence France lavender fields as one glorious day trip, and then move on to enjoy the rest of your France family vacation activities! 🎉
You can see her wonderfully put-together and informative blog with her clever map route of all the fields here!
Provence France Family Vacation Tip #5:
Don't over edit your lavender field photos and be careful when using filters.
You might have already noticed that most of my tips come from things we happened to find out first hand.
So as you can probably guess, I turned all our lavender field photos purple. 😅
After we got back from our wonderful Valensole France lavender fields experience, I was SO excited to edit our photos and get them put up on social media for our friends and family to see!
When I opened up my phone and started playing with the photo editing settings, I saw a 'cool' filter that REALLY made the purple in the lavender pop automatically!
So I edited all my photos pretty quickly, uploaded them to Facebook (groan) and surprise!
The clouds were all purple in my photos! It looked awful!! 😵💫
It looked better on my phone than it did on social media, I swear! LOL!!
Luckily, I was able to go back to the original photos and edit them manually (no filters, thank you!) and they looked great that way! Crisis averted!
I was able to save my beautiful lavender field photos and even though the purple didn't pop like it did before, the end result was still beautiful.
(Sidenote: for the photos of the lavender plants themselves, the quick filter looked amazing! But when the people and the clouds start to turn purple, it looked overdone and not as beautiful as it could be.)
And even though you've probably realized it by now, most of the lavender field photos you'll see online have been heavily edited to make that purple pop.
My visit to the Provence France lavender fields definitely made me want to take a professional photo editing course ASAP so I can make my photos look as beautiful as the ones I see online!
That being said, I've found some GREAT resources that I'd love to share in case they are helpful- there's a fantastic collection of the Top 50 Best FREE Lightroom Presets For 2022 if you're lucky enough to know how to use lightroom (which I will be learning ASAP!!), to help make your photos POP!
There's also several AWESOME photography courses made for specifically for mobile phones from Udemy, if you'd like to brush up on your photo taking skills as well.
My 13 year old daughter and I took a free course together a few weeks before our European road trip and had a lot of fun going around our town taking photos and bonding! (And for a free course, we were pretty impressed! Check out our photos from our visit to Monet's Gardens to see what I mean! 5 stars!!)
Provence France Lavender Fields Tip #6:
Don't skip the sunflower fields, they are prettier than the lavender!
Okay, so remember that awesome Valensole lavender fields france map blog I mentioned earlier? She also makes a note of a pretty sunflower field that you can see along the way!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but to be honest, we absolutely LOVED the sunflower field!! It was so beautiful, and since we had been in the fields for about two hours by the time we reached them, it was a really nice break from all of the many lavender fields South of France had to offer.
It was also fun for the kids to see, because sunflowers are so popular but they had never actually seen one up close!
So even though it wasn’t part of our original plan, when it comes to sunflower fields Provence France did not disappoint!
In fact, since we've gotten up close and personal with some of these beautiful sunflowers, our kids point out sunflower fields whenever we embark on our family world travel and see new places. So I'd say they were definitely memorable for our kiddos!
Provence France Family Vacation Tip #7:
You can park on the sides of the roads of the lavender fields- but be careful crossing the streets.
When driving to the Valensole France lavender fields, we initially expected to see parking lots and tourist attractions, like most other things that invite popular tourism. To be frank, we expected it to have been commercialized.
It was a wonderful surprise to see that the fields actually still look like farming fields for the most part!
With the exception of a few stores sprinkled around, you’re going to be driving on smaller roads with various farming fields on both sides.
When you get to the lavender fields that you want to explore and/or take photos of, you’re often going to be able to just pull right over to the side of the road and park.
Don’t worry- in most cases you will already see other cars parked there so you will know where to go. 😉
When you’re crossing the road(s) to get to the fields, be sure to pay close attention to the traffic from both directions.
The speed limit was usually 60-70kph, and we saw many cars that seemed to be going faster than that- so we were very careful crossing with our kids when there were no cars in sight.
Others weren’t quite so careful, and they were making me nervous for them! (I’m such a mom, when I get worried about total strangers crossing the road! Haha!)
One couple even got honked at because they weren’t paying attention at all when crossing! 🤯
You should also check out our 7 Tips for Driving in France as a Tourist post for a few great tips that help make driving in Southern France a bit less stressful and more enjoyable.
Provence France Lavender Fields Tip #8:
Little shops & stands on the sides of the road also make great photo ops.
There are multiple little shops spread out along the journey, and visiting them does make the trip a little more fun for the kids.
It’s also fun to see all the different lavender soaps and trinkets. 😍
There is one shop called Lavandes Angelvin that has an especially beautiful storefront outside, and they have a (very) small parking lot to the side that gave us a very nice little photo op!
There is a strict ‘customers only’ policy for using their parking, so be sure to park, go inside and buy something pretty, and then head back outside for your photos!
It’s also really good practice to support the local shops- we bought something from each store and it really wasn’t that expensive- there’s plenty of small items for those on a budget.
(Our youngest both got a stuffed lavender bear from one shop, and we got pretty soaps and embroidered towels from another.)
Not only will you get a great souvenir from your Provence France family vacation, but you’ll be contributing to the farmers' livelihoods as well. 🤩
Since we always keep our family travel on a budget, I simply added $15 for each person to spend in the shops to our travel budget. We didn't even spend that much, so it worked out great, and our lavender fields visit actually ended up being a pretty inexpensive day!
Also, I want to mention this cute little lavender honey stand that was along the side of the road.
We almost didn’t stop and we actually turned the car around to go back (because I really wanted a jar of honey).
I am SO glad that we made the effort to check it out!
They have some bundles of lavender placed in bins around their stand and I got some VERY pretty pictures right there on the spot! 🥰
Overall, I’d say some of my favorite photos were from the little places we stopped at along the way, rather than at the lavender fields themselves.
All of these photos above were taken at the different shops/stands (along the map route from tip#4) we visited!
Provence Lavender Fields Family Vacation Tip #9:
Bring a small drone to get beautiful overhead shots.
This tip is definitely not going to be practical for everyone, so I wanted to make it my very last tip.
Because seeing the lavender fields had been something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a child, I saved money well in advance to be able to invest in a small drone to get overhead shots and video.
Honestly, I could have just booked a professional photographer instead (and probably gotten better pictures), but I’ve also used my drone in Switzerland and a few other places so far and absolutely LOVE having the ability to capture our vacation memories in a new way! 😍