A dream of ours after admiring so many calendars of Provence each year was to go to Abbeye Notre Dame De Senanque to see the lavender. Actually our whole trip had been planned around visiting the lavender in Provence in summer in July. So in the late afternoon we finally made our way by car to one of our long term dream destinations not far from Gordes. The drive in was on a narrow hill top road with beautiful scenic views with no room for driver’s error. The thin narrow road made Rob very quiet as he contemplated his 2cm drop off. We had read that some travellers had recently been disappointed when visiting the lavender fields at the Abbey due to them being, dry from the heat, full of weeds and a little unkempt.
As we drove into the first field we also felt a little disappointed as the heat had taken a lot of life out of the lavender. The lavender fields were fenced off from visitors and the field did have a number of long weeds. We were thinking were all the calendar photos photo-shopped???
We had also thought that Provence would have a lot of lavender fields but we had been surprised at the amount of sunflower fields we continued to see, but no lavender. We have learnt most of the lavender grows up in the high altitudes where we were not staying.
We got back in our car feeling a little disappointed for the very first time on our year away. There would be no getting close to the lavender not like walking through the daffodils, tulips and hyacinth fields in the Netherlands. On comparison Rob and I had seen much better lavender fields in Australia. All the souvenirs of Provence focus on lavender products!!!
Some cars drove off but we decided to keep going further down the road to see if we could get closer to the Abbey.
After parking we were delighted to find two rows of well kept lavender that we could walk through.
Then we spotted the Abbey and wow what a romantic scene. Row after row of well maintained mauve coloured lavender swayed in the afternoon warm breeze. It was breathtaking with the facade of the honey coloured stone Abbey as its backdrop.
Founded in 1148, the Abbey is still a working Abbey today. The monks make a living from growing lavender, making honey, sales in the Abbey shop and having visitors stay as guests. There is a strict code of silence which added to the serene surroundings.
After visiting the Abbey we headed to explore the jaw dropping medieval village of Gordes which was perched beautifully on a hillside.
It is a stunning gorgeous hilltop French town full of cobbled street, stone walls, cafes, medieval buildings and unique shops to wander through. There were many beautiful scenic viewpoints from which to admire the peaceful valleys below.