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destinations / France

Lavender fields in Provence and hot air balloon

road trip in Provence

On the road of lavender in Provence

On Instagram, photos in the heart of lavender fields in Provence are multiplying… We understand why! We loved taking pictures on the plateau of Valensole. Here we go, we take you with us in the beautiful landscapes of Provence with, in particular, a hot air balloon flight in Forcalquier!

Where to see lavender in Provence ?

To see lavender in Provence, you have several possibilities. There are a large number of fields, scattered over 4 departments: Alpes de Haute-Provence, Vaucluse, Drôme and Hautes-Alpes. The flowering of the lavender starts at different dates depending on the area. There is not much point in going outside of the flowering periods.

Expect to see a lot of tourists. Do not worry about your pictures, the fields are as far as the eye can see. It is therefore easy to go a little further to be alone!


 On the following map, we list the largest lavender fields:

lavender map

What is the flowering period for lavender in Provence ?

In short, lavender blooms from the end of June to the beginning of August, when it is harvested. The best is to go during the month of July: they will be in full bloom! If in doubt, do not hesitate to call the local tourist offices for information on the condition of the lavender.

Do bees sting ?

Bees are my number 1 phobia (Aurélie) with just about everything that flies and is likely to sting.   Therefore, I had to show incredible self-control to walk in the middle of lavender fields. For the time being, there was no reason to panic, as the bees were too busy foraging to worry about us.

In principle, you will not get stung if you stay calm and do not bother them.

How to photograph lavender fields ?

  • Lavender fields are beautiful at any time of the day. Each hour has its charm. If you have the opportunity to shoot at sunrise or sunset, the light will be magnificent. That said, for the lavender to have a nice purple color, prefer full daylight.
  • For drone photography, there are two issues. First, if you go too high, the purple colors of the lavender will fade to green (see illustration below). Second, we found that bees were not fans of the drone so it would get attacked.
  • The angle of your shots is important. Take your photos positioned perfectly parallel to the lavender aisles. If you take them at an angle, the perspective will be less pretty. The beauty of these fields is their immensity.
  • Dress in white, preferably. You will contrast perfectly with the purple color of the lavender! Girls, it is time to get out your best dresses and hats.

photography lavender

lavender fields south of france

lavender fields south of france


Hot Air Balloon Flight in Provence – Video

As part of a partnership with Smartbox, we chose the experience of a hot air balloon flight from Forcalquier. Apparently, it is around this small village that the air is the purest in France. In summer, you can admire a nice view on the lavender fields. We already know that with our drone, the world is even more beautiful seen from above.

balloon flight Provence

 

Baptism in a hot air balloon

Wake up at 5am to join the France Montgolfière team in the heart of the village of Forcalquier. We leave by car towards the field of takeoff. We attend the inflation of the balloon, with a breakfast served by the team. This stage of installation lasts approximately half an hour.

The balloon flight in Forcalquier

It is time for the take-off. For those who do not like strong sensations, no worries on this side. The takeoff is very soft, so there is really no sensation. The flight lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the wind.

We did not imagine that the piloting of a hot air balloon would be so technical! The pilot often turns on the gas (the famous flame) in order not to lose altitude. The landing is not done at the same place as the takeoff since the balloon follows the wind direction.

Summary of the experience

It was really nice to see the Provencal lands from the sky! An unusual experience that we recommend to those who like soft activities and who are not afraid of heights. The aperitif that we were served after the flight was an opportunity to discover local products. We appreciated a lot!

Only one regret: the overcast sky which deprived us of a pretty sunrise.

Discover the video of our stay in Provence :

This article was written as part of a partnership with Smartbox, which does not change our opinions and feelings.

Discover our complete article on Provence!

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