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The scent of lavender fills the air

The most beautiful hiking tours in the south of France
Lavender field in France, lavender flowers in the foreground, purple-coloured field

Experience the magic of lavender fields, savor the delightful fragrance of this Mediterranean plant, and immerse yourself in landscapes reminiscent of a storybook – all awaiting you on our enchanting hiking tours in the picturesque Southern France. Our journey follows the lavender trail, where we've gathered insights into the fragrant lilac flowers, unearthed opportunities to experience them up close, and delved into the myriad capabilities of lavender. After this insightful exploration, we proudly showcase the most exquisite hiking tours within the lavender world, featuring delightful hiking routes that will lead you through the beauty of Southern France.

Lavender field in France, lavender flowers in the foreground, purple-coloured field

On the lavender trail

Who isn't familiar with those little pouches filled with dried lavender blossoms tucked into the wardrobe, designed not only to infuse a delightful fragrance but also to ward off unwanted wardrobe inhabitants? Nevertheless, the lavender plant offers much wider applications, serving both household purposes and our personal well-being. With origins tracing back to Persia and the Canary Islands, lavender has been a fixture in Provence, France, since ancient times, emerging as an unmistakable symbol of the Mediterranean regions in the South and Provence. Since 1981, the oil extracted from lavender blossoms has held a regulated designation of origin (AOC, Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée).

Bee sitting on a lavender flower

Lavender is a true all-rounder

Lavender not only captivates with its wonderful fragrance, creating picturesque landscapes in Southern France, but it's also a versatile all-rounder in everyday use. The scent of lavender prevents moths from taking residence in the wardrobe, acts as an insect repellent, and is utilized in perfume production as well as in medicine, thanks to the plant's numerous positive and healing properties. The calming effect of lavender is often employed in aromatherapy, and the flowers of lavender are considered particularly soothing for digestion. In the kitchen, lavender is used as a spice and is a component of the popular herb blend "Herbes de Provence." The scent of lavender can also provide relief against parasites or fleas for animals.

Dried lavender flowers in large bags, lavender flowers are filled by hand into small scented sachets

Purple blossoms abound when hiking in Southern France

Typically, the optimal period to witness the complete beauty of lavender is during the summer, from June through the end of July or early August. Nevertheless, the picturesque lavender blooming season can fluctuate depending on location and climate. The yearly shifts in weather, diverse temperatures, and precipitation further impact the onset of flowering, leading to variations in start times. For assurance, it is recommended to check with local tourism offices for the precise dates of the lavender harvest.

Field of lavender in bloom, purple landscape

An overview of lavender varieties

There are approximately 40 different lavender varieties, all belonging to the Lavandula genus. In Provence, true lavender and lavandin are prevalent. True lavender, harvested only every two to four years, produces oil considered particularly valuable. We will now introduce you to five lavender varieties, ranging from woody-herbaceous to floral-scented.

True Lavender

Lavandula officinalis

True Lavender grows to about 30 to 60 cm in height, is winter-hardy, and blooms from June to September. Its scent is described as floral and fragrant with an herbal undertone.

Close-up of a lavender flower

Spike Lavender

Lavandula latifolia

Spike Lavender, also known as Broadleaf Lavender, reaches heights of up to 100 cm, is winter hardy down to -5 °C, blooms from June to September, and boasts a robust, somewhat herbaceous fragrance.

Dried lavender


Lavandula intermedia

Lavandin, also known as Provence Lavender or Cleaning Lavender, reaches heights of up to 100 cm, is winter-hardy, blooms from July to September, and carries a woody-herbaceous fragrance.

Dried lavender flowers in large bags, lavender flowers are filled by hand into small scented sachets

French Lavender

Lavandula stoechas

French Lavender, also known as Spanish Lavender or Butterfly Lavender, reaches heights of up to 100 cm, blooms from March to June, and possesses a very robust fragrance.

Woman standing in front of a blooming lavender field with a bunch of lavender in her hand

Silver-leaved Lavender

Lavandula chaytorae

Silver-leaved Lavender has more varieties and features an exceptionally intense and sweet fragrance, is a hybrid of true and woolly lavender, grows up to 80 cm in height, is winter-hardy, and blooms during the summer months of July and August.

Bee sitting on a lavender flower

Experience lavender up close: fabulous hiking tours in the south of France

In Provence, the allure of lavender unfolds through various avenues. Abundant lavender museums, designated routes, and scenic paths offer opportunities to fully immerse yourself in the enchanting world of lavender. A particularly immersive encounter with the fragrant landscapes awaits you as you explore on foot, setting your own hiking pace to traverse the beautiful terrain step by step and intimately connect with the lavender fields. Our hiking tour Picturesque Provence guides you from Isle-sur-la-Sorgue through vibrant lavender fields to the impressive Abbaye Sénanque with its lavender gardens. The journey continues to Bonnieux and Buoux before winding back through Mediterranean vegetation to the tour's starting point.

On the hiking holiday Côte d’Azur, you will experience the beautiful contrast between mountains and sea while tracing the footsteps of lavender. On the very first day of your hiking tour, you'll explore the renowned perfume capital, Grasse, a true highlight for perfume enthusiasts. Abundant nature and the fragrance of lavender await you on our hiking tour Nature paradise of Vercors, as well as on the hiking tour Mercantour, both leading far away from the crowds and featuring impressive daily stages. Whichever hiking tour in Southern France you choose, the scent of lavender will accompany you on many of the routes.

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