I have a romantic/silly dream about standing in the middle of a lavender field in the Provence-Alpes-Côte D'Azur region in France. When should I go? Where should I go? Is the village Banon a good choice? Thank you!
Banon is a good choice in terms of location--I think it's in if not at least very close to the Valensole region which is the area known for being the lavender hot-spot of France--but as far as a town goes, unless you really just want to relax it might be a little boring.
Although it means you'd have to do some driving I, personally, would probably stay in Aix-en-Provence. It's an amazing, beautiful, lively city with a lot going for it, and pretty much right in line with the freeway that would take you into lavender territory.
Edward--I just found the name and site of the place I stayed in in Aix last time. The woman who runs it is named is Monique Faillard and she runs a painting school out of her house--she also rents little apartments (within her giant home) and the place is nothing less than magical. This is a true Provençal home--not one of those horrible faux-French McChateaux that are all over the place. I'd stay there again in heartbeat--Monique and her family invited us to join their family parties in the courtyard (which they seemed to have practically every night--one night she made us dress up in Egyptian costumes) and really made everything so special. Here's the site if you want it--I'm not sure why she doesn't advertise the apartments on here--just ask her and I'm sure she'll give you the rates:
If you're not into that and just really want to be right in the thick of it, I would say either Riez or even Apt would be on my short list. I don't think either is as exciting as Aix by a long shot, but they're lovely.
There's also a little town called Digne-les-Bains that has a bit lavender festival each year. It's a very sweet event but I don't know that I would necessarily stay in the town just for that.
Also, make sure you visit a town in the area called Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. It's known for it's pottery and while I really don't care for the pottery, I LOVE this town. So, so pretty.
The lavender is in season from about July to late August and I would suggest that you and anyone you go with make sure you're not allergic to lavender before you go--it is strong there and let's just say I learned that lesson the hard way the first time!
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