Luckily, lavender season is almost upon us, which will quickly be followed by a bountiful harvest. This means there’s a precious window of opportunity when you could be strolling through one of these lavender farms, letting your hands gently glide over the dainty blooms, stirring up that sweet, familiar sent into the air around you.
With all of lavender’s healing benefits such as managing migraines, soothing anxiety, and improving brain function (plus countless more), you definitely can’t miss out on an opportunity to restock your medicine cabinet with lavender oils straight from the source. So here are five lavender farm destinations in five different countries to travel to for inspiring the lavender-loving adventurer within.
Le Plateau de Valensole in Provence, France
When you close your eyes and think of a lavender farm, it’s probably at the foot of a hillside village, in the shadow of the Alps, with a stone country home at field’s edge. This would be Provence, a mainstay on any travel lover’s list of must-see lavender fields.
While it’s easy to find yourself amongst rolling fields lined with rows of fragrant purple blooms in Provence, the Le Plateau de Valensole is a great starting point. A seemingly endless patchwork quilt of sun-drenched lavender fields surround the towns and farms that dot the plateau, such as Valensole, a quiet, medieval village that serves as the the plateau’s namesake.
Travel to Valensole during the peak growing season of mid-June to early August and stop in one of the many family-owned and -operated distilleries. There you’ll find lavender essential oils, sachets, and soaps, or delicious lavender-flavored treats such as lavender honey, a Valensole hallmark.
Spain is planting a firm step on the international lavender stage, thanks to the small farming community of Brihuega. Travel here to the dry and rocky Alcarria region that 1,000 ha (2,471 ac) of lavender bloom every July, painting the fields of Brihuega in various purple hues.
In Brihuega you can visit lavender oil distilleries, take guided tours, or view the sights from a hot air balloon. Every July, at growing season’s peak, Brihuega hosts a lavender festival, the highlight being two evenings of concerts… smack dab in the middle of the fields!
Chairs are lined up between the rows of lavender while guests listen to music as the setting sun casts the fields in a fiery purple glow. Double check your wardrobe before leaving though because concert guests are asked to wear all white.
Purple Haze Lavender Farm, Sequim, Washington
Roughly pronounced “skwim,” the name itself suggests that Sequim is a world apart from the romantic, popular lavender fields of France and Spain. But nestled on the northern end of the Olympic Peninsula and in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, this town, nicknamed “The Lavender Capital of North America,” is in the perfect microclimate for growing lavender.
Travel to Purple Haze Lavender Farm for the quintessential farm-life experience. Open from early June to early September, you can hang out with adorable farm animals as you wander amongst the fragrant blooms, gathering your own bundles to carry the scent home with you.
Sample their lavender ice cream, visit their gift shop, spread out a blanket for a picnic, or book a stay in their guest house to view the hustle and bustle of the farm first hand. Picture yourself typing the knot amid a field of velvet purple? You’re in luck because Purple Haze also hosts weddings!
Hitchin Lavender at Caldwell Farm, Ickleford, England
If the familiar images of lavender scenes from Provence don’t really strike a chord, what about fields of lavender unraveling across the English countryside? Believed to have originally been brought over by the ancient Romans, lavender farms in the UK are now almost as prevalent as bees in a field during harvest time. True, the UK climate is a little cooler than lavender prefers, but luckily, most farms grow varieties more suited to the colder winters.
A little over an hour from London, Hitchin Lavender hosts a scenic backdrop of almost 8 ha (20 ac) of lavender fields, perfect for photography, weddings, or simply filling a basket with your own freshly-picked blossoms. Hitchin also grows sunflowers and other wildflowers for guests to self-pick, offers a choice of lunches and homemade cakes for a day on the farm, and skincare products.
Does yoga, mediation, or writing among the flowers inspire you? Awesome, because Hitchin offers workshops on those topics as well as ceramics, crochet, and printmaking, etc. Be sure to visit during flowering season, which generally falls from mid June to the end of August.
Flower Land Kamifurano on Hokkaido, Japan
Hokkaido Island is where city life successfully combines with the natural world. It’s a beautiful island with mountains, coastline, vibrant cities, and soothing rural landscapes. In the center of Hokkaido is a collection of lavender farms set against the breathtaking Tokachi Mountains and close to Daisetsuzan National Park.
A seasonal train takes travel lovers between the towns of Furano and Biei, providing access to the lavender farms in between. The colorful fields of Flower Land Kamifurano are worth a stop. Aside from lavender, Flower Land also grows poppies, lilies, sunflowers, etc. that burst onto nature’s stage until September, sneaking past lavender’s peak time of early August.
Flower Land offers flower-related crafts, restaurants, fresh produce, and tractor-pulled cart rides through the fields. Also worth noting? There’s a cheese factory and winery nearby too!
There are so many lavender farms to choose from, all offering an opportunity to get out of the city, breathe deep the cleansing flora aromas, and give thanks to Mother Nature. Let these travel destinations simply serve as inspiration and starting points for creating your own lavender-fueled vacation.
Most of the blooming seasons for the lavender farms listed are from early June until late August. As unpredictable weather influences blooming, be sure to confirm dates on your destinations’ websites.
Check out our Travel Ideas section for more ideas and destinations that will inspire your next vacation!