Guiding through purple fields ..

260px-Fontaine_de_la_Rotonde_-_Aix-en-Provence

While the sun is still rising in the sky, I pick up my clients at the Aix-en-Provence Tourism Information Center near the beautiful Rotonde fountain and the journey can begin on board of our minivan.

Provence rural landscape

We’re heading north on the highway where fields, lakes and sunflowers bid us welcome in the high Provence region. We’re exiting the highway in Manosque where we turn east towards the Valensole Plateau. We drive alongside fields of apple trees abundantly getting watered before finally approaching the plateau.

Our eyes were just adjusting to the bright light from the deep blue sky of Provence when we got hit by the seemingly endless purple ocean of the lavender fields finally appearing. I park the minivan on the side of the road and my clients: 2 Americans and 3 Chinese find a perfect photo opportunity as the perspective of the field seems infinite and is only confronted by the far away Alps in the north.

lavande-angelvin

Just next to us is the Angelvin distillery where we stop to listen to some explanations about the harvesting process as well as the distillery mechanism of lavender.

moustiers sainte marie

We then continue our journey further east in the middle of countless lavender, wheat and almond fields and orchards before reaching the picturesque village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, city of faïence, where waterfalls, narrow streets of cobblestone and cozy restaurants awaits us. The shade that we find in this village is most welcome as the warm Provencal sun is approaching its zenith.

Once lunch is over and we believe our eyes are accustomed to the beauty of the place, we continue our day in the Verdon regional park to the mouths of the Verdon river where the water exits the deepest canyon in Europe and flows into the lake of Sainte Croix. We stop on a bridge with the canyon on our left and the lake with its unbelievable blue color on our right for an unmissable photo stop! Swimmers, kayakers and hikers fill the rest of the landscape.gorges-du-verdon-moustiers-sainte-marie1

We continue the afternoon up on the plateau on the north bank of the lake in the middle of more lavender and wheat fields where yellow and purple confront in an unlikely mix, until we reach the village of Sainte-Croix du Verdon for an amazing point of view on the blue water of the lake.

It’s now time to come back to Aix-en-Provence while the setting sun is telling us that the day is over and that he is finally done to spread its warm light on Provence for today.

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Matt

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