We started our travels through France with great ambitions of possibly making our way to Bordeaux and Paris, but alas, we fell in love with the beautiful Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes countryside and ended up spending almost an entire month in only these two regions. It's hard to imagine just how captivating the lavender fields and tranquil azure lakes can be.
We headed into France in search of lavender fields but never expected to be surrounded by rolling purple fields as well as the crystal-clear, blue lakes that we found around the Alpes-De-Haute-Provence region. The summer weather of July and August is just incredible and although the lake areas can get busy over weekends, particularly during the month of August, there are still many quieter spots around.
Our road trip meander took us past the spectacular Gorges Du Verdon and on to the stunning Lac de Saint Croix. By pure chance, we stumbled upon Camping Roux - a small family run campsite on a farm which produces lavender, honey and homemade rose wine. Initially, we were planning on only staying for two nights but we were so taken by the nearby lake and beautiful, serene surrounds that we ended up staying for a week!
It was on the way to this campsite that we started to realise that when driving around this Alpes-De-Haute-Provence region, there is absolutely no need to go in search of any particular lavender field in order to get those perfect Instagramable photos! We much preferred finding fields that we could have all to ourselves as we meandered through the country roads and farmlands. Cycling through the fields of lavender, we even came across some beekeepers who offered us a taste of their fresh lavender honey!
In the video below, we cycle along a rocky river bed to the small town of Reiz where there's a country market twice a week. Although we get lost along the way and end up cycling much further than expected, we make our way through the most INCREDIBLE lavender fields. In this part of France there's no need to go look for lavender or go to the over-visited tourist spots - just take your time and explore the countryside for the most fantastic views you can ever imagine.
In addition to the fields of purple, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions are scattered with idyllic azure freshwater lakes of France. We visited Lac de Serre-Ponçon where we had a prime waterside spot at Camping Eygoires. We were chased away from Lac de Chaudanne by the French Gendarmerie as one is not allowed to overnight here! The scenic drive through the Gorges du Verdon is a must-see and this will lead you to the stunning Lac Sainte-Croix. Our final lakeside stop was at Camping le bord du lac on the Lac de Paladru.