The Valensole Plateau
A mild winter and a dry and hot summer (with more than 300 days of sunshine per year!), the commune of Valensole is the ideal place to enjoy a nearby sunny mountain and lakes with emerald green surroundings and many water sports. The landscapes, the smells, the colours, and a rich heritage make Valensole and its plateau a real holiday destination from March to October. The diversity of the landscapes also allows the practice of many sports all year round! Its 800 km2 plateau is mainly devoted to the cultivation of lavender and cereals. It has different aspects depending on the season: the snow-covered peaks of the Alps and the almond trees in bloom in March give way in July to multiple blues of lavender alternating with the gold of wheat. In November, the ochre of the ploughed land contrasts with the purity of the winter blue sky.
A little history
In the 19th century, many families were already growing almond trees on the Valensole Plateau. The Valensole Plateau was entirely planted with almond trees and several varieties could be found in the same field. The exploitation of almonds was rather difficult because the picking was done by hand until the 50s when new techniques appeared on the National Almond Day in 1955. Imagine for a moment that the hills of honey, olives and almonds appear on the plateau, on the edge like watchers, the black almond trees, the expanses of lavender, lavandin, and this inland sea of durum wheat. That’s the Valensole plateau!
The Valensole plateau is today one of the most important places for lavender cultivation. The Romans perfumed their baths and their lavender clothes and put sachets of lavender in their cupboards while making vows of love. Established in France by the Phocéens, it found its land of predilection in Provence thanks to the climate supporting its productivity. The crop has now developed well and in the 1920s we saw the appearance of lavandin whose yield is higher and its production of essence up to ten times higher than that of traditional lavender. And before we forget, let’s note the 300 days of sunshine a year… it’s tempting don’t you think?
Air activities and leisure
The Valensole region has many assets: air quality, infrequent rainfall thanks to 300 days of sunshine per year. Moreover, the diversity of the landscapes attracts more and more amateurs of aerial activities. In balloons, microlights, gliders, parachutes and others, the view of the sky from our environment is worth a look! Air quality is very important!