The Sault plateau, cradle of lavender
The blue of the lavenders, the purple of the lavandins and the straw yellow of the fields of small spelt shape a colorful postcard landscape located between 650 meters and 1 400 meters of altitude at the foot of the mythical Mont Ventoux.
On foot, by bike, on a mountain bike or in trailer mode, the roads and paths of the lavender of the Sault plateau will give you a great view. Visits to farms and distilleries, experience the cultivation and harvesting of lavender in immersion and in symbiosis with the men and women who cultivate with passion the emblematic flower of Provence.
In the Pays de Sault, different varieties of lavender are cultivated: the fine one, also called true or population lavender, because each plant is different from its neighbor. This variety, which also grows wild, is specific to this plateau. It gives the fields tones of color that vary from white to intense blue.
The lavender aspic is little cultivated because of its very strong perfume. However, the crossing of this lavender with fine lavender gave birth to lavandin, widely cultivated on the Sault plateau and everywhere else in Provence. Because of the multiplication by cuttings of plants identical to each other, the fields of lavandin give this impression of “sea of lavender” as the fields of lavender known as “clonal” increasingly cultivated to resist diseases.
Do you want to breathe a big bowl of fragrant air? From the end of June, the botanical paths of lavender in Ferrassières or the path of lavender in Sault combine walking with education. On paths along the edge of fields in full bloom, information panels expand your knowledge of the botany, yield, cultivation or distillation of lavender and lavandin.
Whether on a mountain bike or a trail, the paths are marked out for you to get off the beaten track, to evolve in the heart of sublime and unknown landscapes, to feel the adrenalin rise and to surpass yourself as if you were alone in the world.
By bike, the marked out loop n°23 starting from Sault crosses the authentic villages of Aurel, Saint-Trinit and Saint-Christol. On the edge of the fields, you are in the heart of the wide open spaces of the Albion plateau, so dear to Jean Giono. The return journey by the road to Brouville where the last true lavender fields are still cultivated with the dominant silhouette of Mont Ventoux in the background.
In Sault and Ferrassières many farmers open the doors of their farms to share their work with visitors.
From the traditional distillery whose hearth is fed with dried lavender straw to the most recent one fed by a biomass boiler, the method of transformation of the plant into essential oil is identical. In July and August, experience this ancestral process live! The essential oil of Haute Provence has had a PDO since 1981. Only 19 farms are concerned in Provence, including 13 on the Plateau de Sault which represents more than 95% of the PDO lavender volumes in 2021.
The guided tours of the farms are a meeting with the men and women of the land. Know-how and traditions, often handed down from generation to generation for centuries, are conscientiously applied and proudly shared. And throughout the year, we recommend the direct sale of products from the farm, local is ideal!