Tailormade tour Lavender and sunflower fields of Provence tour France

7 nights/8 days

Crillon-le-Brave • Joucas • Luberon • Moustiers Ste Marie

This 7-night lavender and sunflowers fly-drive touring holiday of Provence is a celebration of summer and all things of the south of France. You will experience the dramatic beauty of the landscape with its golden yellows and hues of blues, its vineyards, the perched villages, and the Gorges du Verdon. You can visit festivals, museums, distilleries and enjoy the flavours of life in Provence, whilst staying a three luxurious hotels.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £2,240 per person.

Luxury fly-drive tailormade touring holiday to the lavender and sunflower fields of Provence

This 7-night lavender and sunflowers fly-drive tour of Provence celebrates summer in Provence. Summer in Provence is a time when the region’s fields are bursting with colour and fragrance, as perfumed lavender and dazzling sunflowers are in full bloom. An iconic symbol of Provence, violet-coloured lavender fields are usually in flower from the end of June to mid-August, with the peak time being in early July. After the lavender harvest, watch as the plants are crushed into essential oils at distilleries, or visit one of the many lavender festivals. Meanwhile, the bright yellow sunflowers that line the roadsides on this tour, and famously inspired the likes of Van Gogh, also bloom in July and August, giving you the chance to view vast fields of these two eye-catching flowers side by side. You arrive in Marseille and collect your hire-car for the short drive to the village of Crillon-le-Brave, at the foot of Mont Ventoux and near the Gigondas wine-producing area. From here you can visit for a day the lavender fields of Sault. After two nights at Crillon-le-Brave there is a short but scenic drive to the Luberon where you spend three nights, giving you time for more lavender-related visits in the immediate area. There are lavender museums and distilleries to visit as well as lots of opportunities for photography. The drive to your final stay takes you over the Valensole plateau, renowned for its lavender, through Riez to Moustiers Sainte Marie at the start of the dramatic Gorges du Verdon. The two nights you have here allow for a full day’s exploration of the village, the gorge and the Lac de Sainte Croix. You return your hire-car to Nice for the return flight to London.

Highlights

Crillon-le-Brave • Joucas • Luberon • Visit Senanque • Visit Sault • Visit Valensole • Visit Gorges du Verdon • Moustiers Ste Marie

Day by day

Your fly-drive touring holiday of the lavender and sunflower fields of Provence starts when you arrive in Marseille, collect your hire-car and drive for about an hour and a half to the pretty village of Crillon-le-Brave, situated in gently undulating countryside of fields and orchards, with magnificent views of Mont Ventoux in the near distance. The village is very attractive with houses of golden stone, small squares and narrow streets. It is in the Cotes du Ventoux wine region. You stay here for two nights.

It is a drive of about 40 minutes from Crillon-le-Brave to the village of Sault, in the high Vaucluse. Sault is located at about 778 metres above sea level and sits on the border of a wooded plateau that blooms with lavender in season. Around the village the fields are a sea of purple and yellow where the wheat alternates with the lavender. There are lavender festivals, the main one being on 15 August, lavender distilleries and visits of the lavender fields. In the village itself is a Romanesque church and a museum with a collection of prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval items. Other villages in the region that are centres of lavender production are Bedouin, Morieux, Saint Trinit and Aurel.

Today is a glorious, gentle drive into some of the most beautiful countryside of Provence as you enter the Luberon, a gentle landscape of vineyards, orchards, rolling hills and home to the famous lavender and sunflowers, associated greatly with Provence. Your destination in this region is the village of Joucas where you spend three nights.

You have two days to explore this beautiful area of Provence. There are plenty of lavender-related visits including to the lavender museum at Coustellet, with its still and lavender cutting displays. Near Gordes is Senanque Abbey, famous for its picturesque lavender beds. Gordes itself is well-worth exploring as is the Village des Bories. At Lagarde d’Apt, about 40 minutes’ drive away, there are more fields and two distilleries. This is quite a remote ‘village’ but renowned for its lavender production. It’s worth combining a day here with the village of Roussillon, situated at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse, and renowned as one of the prettiest villages in the Luberon.

Your journey today takes you eastwards out of the Luberon towards Manosque and then through yet more lavender growing areas at Valensole to Riez (also known for its truffles and honey) and on to Moustiers Sainte Marie. This village where you stay for two nights is situated at the entrance to the Gorges du Verdon, the deepest gorge in France, with a lake and quite exceptional geographic location.

There are plenty of opportunities today to explore the area, perhaps on foot as there are numerous walks, or drive to the Lac de Sainte Croix, as well as driving through the dramatic Gorges du Verdon. The village is renowned for its earthenware tiles and there are several workshops and sales outlets for the tiles. There is also a pottery museum.

Today you return to Nice for your flight back to London.

All arrangements passed off promptly and smoothly. The hotels were perfect - and your advice at booking was efficient and helpful. Thank you.
Mr B, July 2016

Holiday price guide Prices from £2,240 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code FRFD09

Luxury fly-drive tailormade touring holiday to the lavender and sunflower fields of Provence

Your fly-drive touring holiday of the lavender and sunflower fields of Provence starts when you arrive in Marseille, collect your hire-car and drive for about an hour and a half to the pretty village of Crillon-le-Brave, situated in gently undulating countryside of fields and orchards, with magnificent views of Mont Ventoux in the near distance. The village is very attractive with houses of golden stone, small squares and narrow streets. It is in the Cotes du Ventoux wine region. You stay here for two nights.

It is a drive of about 40 minutes from Crillon-le-Brave to the village of Sault, in the high Vaucluse. Sault is located at about 778 metres above sea level and sits on the border of a wooded plateau that blooms with lavender in season. Around the village the fields are a sea of purple and yellow where the wheat alternates with the lavender. There are lavender festivals, the main one being on 15 August, lavender distilleries and visits of the lavender fields. In the village itself is a Romanesque church and a museum with a collection of prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval items. Other villages in the region that are centres of lavender production are Bedouin, Morieux, Saint Trinit and Aurel.

Today is a glorious, gentle drive into some of the most beautiful countryside of Provence as you enter the Luberon, a gentle landscape of vineyards, orchards, rolling hills and home to the famous lavender and sunflowers, associated greatly with Provence. Your destination in this region is the village of Joucas where you spend three nights.

You have two days to explore this beautiful area of Provence. There are plenty of lavender-related visits including to the lavender museum at Coustellet, with its still and lavender cutting displays. Near Gordes is Senanque Abbey, famous for its picturesque lavender beds. Gordes itself is well-worth exploring as is the Village des Bories. At Lagarde d’Apt, about 40 minutes’ drive away, there are more fields and two distilleries. This is quite a remote ‘village’ but renowned for its lavender production. It’s worth combining a day here with the village of Roussillon, situated at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse, and renowned as one of the prettiest villages in the Luberon.

Your journey today takes you eastwards out of the Luberon towards Manosque and then through yet more lavender growing areas at Valensole to Riez (also known for its truffles and honey) and on to Moustiers Sainte Marie. This village where you stay for two nights is situated at the entrance to the Gorges du Verdon, the deepest gorge in France, with a lake and quite exceptional geographic location.

There are plenty of opportunities today to explore the area, perhaps on foot as there are numerous walks, or drive to the Lac de Sainte Croix, as well as driving through the dramatic Gorges du Verdon. The village is renowned for its earthenware tiles and there are several workshops and sales outlets for the tiles. There is also a pottery museum.

Today you return to Nice for your flight back to London.

Holiday price guide Prices from £2,240 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code FRFD09

Our prices include ● Scheduled flights with British Airways London to Marseille, Nice to London
● Hire of a group B car for the duration of your holiday
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hôtel Crillon le Brave, Crillon-le-Brave
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Classic Room at Le Mas des Herbes Blanches, Joucas
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Superior room at the Bastide de Moustiers, Moustiers Sainte Marie
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel

Additional information Driving times for this fly-drive touring holiday
Marseille to Crillon-le-Brave 1 hr 25 minutes
Crillon-le-Brave to Joucas 50 minutes
Joucas to Moustiers Sainte Marie 2 hrs
Moustiers Sainte Marie to Nice 2 hrs 10 minutes

Luxury fly-drive tailormade touring holiday to the lavender and sunflower fields of Provence

About Provence

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Provence, the land which is the ancient province of the Romans, offers a rich tapestry of landscapes, culture and traditions. From the sunflower fields of Van Gogh`s Arles, to the sandy marshes of the Camargue, from the Cezanne like landscapes of Aix inland to the olive groves and lavender beds that surround the perched hill top villages, and finally to the dramatic coastline of the azure Mediterranean where the sandy beaches, craggy corniches and fishing villages have been transformed into a sophisticated holiday playground you experience a multitude of contrasting and complementary senses and images. The perfumes of lavender, thyme, rosemary, citrus, pine and olive mingle in the air and the light is bright and clear. Add to all these sensations a wonderful climate, good food and local wine and unlimited sporting and sightseeing activities and you can understand why Provence is not just an ideal holiday destination but a romantic way of life. Provence still has miles of open road across country, tiny, sleepy villages, dramatic hills and craggy peaks, beautiful, sense enriching panoramas and aromas all waiting for you to explore and enjoy.

Highlights of Provence

Cultural highlights include santons, Souleiado Provençal fabrics, herbs and lavender, wine and olive oil, melons and pastis, boules and berets.

Provence Climate

Average air temperatures in Centigrade: January: 12.2, February: 11.9, March: 14.2, April: 18.5, May: 20.8, June: 26.6, July: 28.1, August: 28.4, September: 25.2, October: 22.1, November: 16.8, December: 14.1. Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France.

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