Sault, France: Exploring the Enchanting Village of Lavender
Hot off the press from Sault, France
Imagine a tiny French village set atop a high ridge, flanked by sweeping fields of lavender and golden wheat. Sault, France sits in the southeastern region of the country, and is an important part of Provence’s lavender industry. Summer in Sault comes alive with the purple fragrant sea of blooms. The flowering fields emanate a feeling of tranquility and enchantment.
Summer solstice marks the emergence of the purple lavender buds in Sault. This isolated, historic town is known as Provence’s capital of Lavender. The city’s high elevation provides ideal conditions for the lavender bushes. It’s a must-see spot on your lavender itinerary throughout the south of France. However, if you want to avoid the masses of tourists, consider visiting in late June or early July. Although this isn’t prime blooming time, you will still see an abundance of violet and blue hues without the crowds.
“Lavender is the soul of Provence” Jean Giono
Fete de La Lavande
Each August, Sault, France hosts the Fete de La Lavande. The late-summer festival celebrates the deep connection the village has to the aromatic plant. During the festival, you will find villagers dressed in traditional Provencal garb, parades of bicycles, and mounted horses roaming the streets. Make sure you have cash on hand! Many local producers market their goods at the festival. You’ll find an abundance of lavender-infused products including, lavender honey, macarons, nougat and cosmetics! All of which make great gifts for your friends and family at home. The festival ends with a communal feast, which visitors are encouraged to join. You’ll see first hand how proud the villagers are of their fine city!
Distillerie Vallon des Lavandes
For many natives in Sault, France life revolves around lavender. Thus, to truly experience the village you must visit the Distillerie Vallon Des Lavandes. Built in 1947, the distillery uses old-fashioned methodology to extract the precious essence from the flower blooms. The family-owned distillery offers free tours and hand-made products utilizing the lavender oil. With it’s quaint appearance, you can’t help falling in love with the authenticity of the place. There is not anything touristy about the distillery, and you’ll feel right at home perusing through the lavender oils and lotions.
Explore by Bike
This region of Provence is a popular destination for cyclists. In fact, not far from Sault at Mont Ventou lies a popular Tour de France cycling challenge. Between Gorges de la Nesque and Mont Ventou a number of scenic cycling routes entice cyclists of all ages. The paths are laid out in varying degrees of difficulty, so all bikers will have viable options. But I recommend getting off the beaten path! The valley beneath Sault is a maze of weaving country roads that meander through the lavender fields. Don’t worry, the village is visible for miles, so you will not get lost!
Église Notre Dame de la Tour
If you’re like me, no trip is complete without exploring the historical sites of a new city. Sault, France is home to Église Notre Dame de la Tour, a church dating back to the 12th century. Next door you can explore the Chapel of the Penitents Blancs. The structures claim a rich history, and were once the backbone of Sault’s community.
Accommodations and Dining
Given the location of the city, and its small size, vacation homes are a great choice for accommodations. I stayed at a lovely Inspirato villa called Chateau Lavande. Can you imagine waking up in a French country chateau surrounded by lavender blooms? Dawn and dusk are a lovely treat. The palette of colors looks like it is lifted from a watercolor canvas.
Likewise, the dining options are dominated by local restaurants and cafes. Of course, lavender-infused choices are sprinkled throughout the local menus. If you see lavender ice cream, I highly recommend you indulge! Take your ice cream one step further and enjoy a lavender ice creme crepe at La Moisson. Additionally, Le Petite Jardin is a beautiful spot for an evening meal. Keep in mind, restaurants may close early during the week, so plan accordingly.
This enchanting village of lavender will tickle all your senses.
If you’re a flower enthusiast, Sault, France is a must-see summer destination. This enchanting village of lavender will tickle all your senses. The floral fusion of purples and blues makes an impressive visual experience. You’ll return to your vacation photos over and over again relishing the associated memories.