Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sault, Beautiful Land of Lavender

On Monday, August 15, the mountain village of Sault will welcome visitors for a grand Lavender Festival, an annual event held in the village on the same date each year.

Activities will include a lavender cutting competition, a parade of villagers dressed in traditional Provençal costumes, a horse show and a Provençal concert. Of course there will be lots of lavender and lavender products for sale.

At noon, a Repas Champêtre - country meal will be served up on tables shaded by Oak trees featuring foods made from local products. This year's 3-course menu includes salads and vegetables, roast pork, goat cheese and fruit tarts, all for 20 Euros.

We can't be there for the lavender festival but a few weeks ago we went to visit Sault and see the lavender fields that surround the village. If you can't go, these pictures will give you a sense of the village and the beautiful area around Sault.

Sault is an old fortified village that sits on a ridge overlooking a large valley dotted with lavender fields about one hour from Sablet. The name Sault comes from "Saltus" referring to the forests that covered the area.

Probably no other scent says Provence better than the pungent aroma of lavender or scene than fields of lavender growing in mounded rows under a brilliant blue summer sky.

Three species of lavender grow in Provence: true lavender (lavande) is found high up in dry, rocky soil. Aspic which grows lower down is similar to lavande except it has broader leaves and its branches hold a number of stems. And less refined, lavandin is a hybrid of lavande and aspic.

Lavande is most highly regarded by perfume makers for its sweet essential oils, though aspic and especially lavandin are more productive and therefore more common - ending up in laundry and household products.

As you can see, lavender flowers are on spikes that rise up above the foliage. Lavender flowers may be blue, violet or lilac.

One of the many fields of lavender near Sault.

There are lavender fields everywhere you look.

The lavender fields are absolutely beautiful.

The lavender harvest takes place during July and August.

One of the lavender farms in the area.

More lavender.

You can't believe how many fields of lavender there are around Sault.

Wife Shirley and niece Leslie pose for the mandatory photograph surrounded by lavender.

A view of the lavender fields that dot the valley from the road up to Sault.

Another view of the valley with Mont Ventoux in the background.

Sault village center; there has been a weekly market held in Sault on Wednesdays since 1515.

View over the valley from the terrace of the cafe where we ate lunch.

Terrace of the cafe where we ate lunch in Sault.

A pretty house in Sault.

Church of Notre Dame de la Tour in Sault.

Alfresco dining in a pretty Sault square.

A pretty street in Sault.

Bronze statue of Miss Liberty on the Sault fountain.

Sault street corner.

A Sault house with brightly colored shutters and store front.

A pretty Sault window with lace curtains and red geraniums on the window sill.

I am sure that Sault will be bustling with people enjoying all the festivities at the Sault lavender festival. The surrounding area, while still beautiful will look different without all the lavender in the fields as most of the lavender will have already been harvested.

I am certain that we will visit Sault whenever we are in Provence during Lavender season as the lavender fields are incredibly beautiful and well worth a visit.

Bonne journée mes amis et à très bientôt.


  1. Beautiful photos - especially the one of the wooden cart.

    All the best


  2. Gorgeous photos. I can almost smell the lavender from here!

  3. Stunning photos. I only have one lavender plant, but the smell is just fantastic and the insect life it attracts is unbelievable. Take care Diane

  4. Thanks for that lovely fragrant tour of Sault!Just what I need on a rainy Monday morning here in Ireland!

  5. Love these photos as well! We just missed the festival, but hoping to go next year, what a view!

  6. Keith - Thanks for checking in and for the nice feedback. That's Wife Shirley's favorite picture too.

    Camille - The smells of the lavender are very strong when you get near Sault.

    Diane - Thanks! You can't see from the pictures but the lavender was just full of bees.

    Talesfromagarden - Happy to help make your day better; thanks for checking in.

    Tuula - Thanks so much. The scenery is just gorgeous with the lavender. I am not sure it will be as pretty during the festival as I understand almost all of the lavender is cut before the festival begins.

  7. The photos are gorgeous! I will have to make a note to go next year to see this!

  8. great information on lavender festival in Sault, what a blogggg, I really like it

  9. Letos v červnu jsem navštívila Sault,kochala se krásami a vůní levandulových polí.Posílám mnoho pozdravů z czech republik...Lavender