A heady mix of colors and fragrances up in the lavender-clad hills not far from Marseille.

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The Luberon Valley

Just follow the sweet scent of lavender.

If you have a day to hire a car, one highly recommendable drive is the Luberon Valley, among vineyards, chateaux, and vast fields of lavender that will make you feel like you're in a French film yourself. Considered one of France's loveliest regions, and the backdrop for many a movie, the Luberon Regional Nature Park is known for its lavender fields filling the air with their fragrance, particularly at the start of summer. The town of Gordes, some 90 kilometres (60 miles) from Marseille, is one of the most tourist-oriented in the area, both because of its impressive views from high in the Vaucluse hills and its medieval architecture and cobblestone streets. With any luck your visit will coincide with one of the weekly artisan street markets where you can find not only some of the lovely local arts and crafts but examples of the many fragrant and tasty products made with lavender.

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