Lavender – the Color of Provence

By December 30, 2013November 24th, 2021No Comments

Walking Tours in Provence are like a stroll in Paradise.


What comes to mind when you think of France – of the idyllic realm of Provence that symbolizes all things French? Unbelievably, out-of-this-world great food?  Five-star meals put together with fresh ingredients purchased only recently from a local market?  Yes. Or a smooth, to die for full-of-flavor French red wine you wish you could savor at every meal?  That, too. Or pastoral scenes brilliantly captured on canvas by Van Gogh, who painted 150 of his most famous works near St. Remy in Provence?  Of course! But possibly, without your knowledge, it might be color that softly and unobtrusively sinks into your soul and colors your perceptions of your days spent in Provence. If you visit via walking tours in Provence, a beautiful area in Southern France known worldwide for its charm, it’s ancient villages, rolling hills, vineyards, olive orchards and bread only the Gods could have made, you’ll start to notice that Provence is a land colored in all the shades of life fully lived.

Lavender and sunflowers grace fields and gardens in Provence, a bit like walking in heaven. Van Gogh captured it so well.

In Provence itself, the blues and yellows Van Gogh made famous, reign supreme.  In the fields, you’ll find a palette of pastels with the brilliant sunshine yellow of sunflowers and mustard adding great compliment to the fragrant rich and colorful swatches of lavender. For me, it’s the rich, yet subtle purples and violets of lavender that evoke some of my most wonderful memories of days spent roaming the back roads of Provence. High up on the sun-drenched plateaus and hills near Mt. Ventoux and the numerous small villages around the ancient Roman town of Vaison la Romaine, lavender grows in abundance.  For centuries, long before lavender was cultivated for its essential oils, this highly prized flower grew wild on these plateaus, even then bringing beauty and grace to an area often torn by political intrigue. The word lavender is thought to be derived from the Latin word, “lavare,” meaning to wash, or cleanse. Lavender’s antiseptic and healing properties were well known to the Romans, who used this precious plant medicinally. The rolling hills of Northern Provence are highly regarded for producing some of the highest quality lavender in the world.

Walking tours in Provence are a feast for the senses:

– the rolling countryside, field after field of slowly dancing stalks of lavender – the air redolent with the sweet scent of lavender – It is a very special experience to witness and smell the “smoldering” of lavender flowers, a part of the essential oil distillation process held in small villages throughout the region. The fragrances and essential oils made from lavender flowers is one thing.  A quite altogether different delight is lavender honey!  This pure white and very creamy honey is prized by gourmets all over the world not only for its texture, but also for its delicate flavor, scent, and medicinal qualities. The bees wax from this area is highly regarded and is formed into candles that give a beautiful and clean scent when burned. The medicinal qualities of essential lavender oil are numerous. It is said to help cure infectious diseases, indigestion, anemia, and insomnia. Lotions made with lavender oil are very effective against rheumatism, inflammation, and rashes. Lavender has very strong antiseptic qualities and can be used against infections for cuts and burns. Aroma therapy with essential lavender oil is known to change human brain chemistry and aid in relaxation. The production, beauty, and fragrance of Lavender are just some of the many beautiful and unique qualities that Provence has to offer. You can experience it all by joining us on a very special walking tour of Provence this September 23-October 3, 2013. Call for more information!

970-498-0500 Au Revoir! Kathy Lewis – Professional Chef and Walking The World Guide info@walkingtheworld.comwww.walkingtheworld.com 970-498-0500