It is like a show where bouquets of lavender dance to the rhythm of the wind as far as the eye can see, giving the appearance of a mauve ocean. It is in Provence between the valleys of Durance and Asse to the south-west of Dignes les Bains that you will find this magnificent place. The plateau of Valensole is a territory in Haute Provence of more than 800 km2 where the cultivation of lavender and cereals are greatly appreciated by holidaymakers and locals who come to stroll, enjoy the landscape and take advantage of the sweetly scented air that perfumes the area during the flowering season.
Forum Reii, such was the name of the town that still crosses the Plateau de Valensole, Riez. It was located at the crossroads of two Roman roads, which made it the economic capital of this region. If today the plateau is known for its immense field of lavender farms and cereal crops, in the 19th century, it was the almond and truffle oaks that were the stars of this place. Namely that the almond tree remains the king tree of the region. This is why the plateau of Valensole has another name "the granary of the region".
From the great sportsman to the amateur, through the lone wolf, to people in groups and families, there is something for everyone. Many circuits are proposed to you in the Gorges du Verdon passing the plateaus of Valensole as : The circuit of 22 kilometers of 2 hours duration, passing fields of lavender, sunflower and olive trees. You will discover paths filled with the richness of aromatic plants of the region and you will leave home with a pretty bouquet of country lavender.
You will find many other bike circuits (electric bike rental available) and mountain bikes on the Vélo Loisir Provence website, enough to cover every summit, hill or trail in this natural park.
The roads make it possible to visit the site by car. A 60 km tour will give you the possibility to reach the viewpoints on the vast expanses of beautiful scenery to photograph. The road allows you to go around all the small villages of the Gorges du Verdon, passing through the village of Valensole, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Digne-Les-Bains, Riez, Simiane la Rotonde or Montagnac-Montpezat. You will also pass through fields of sunflowers and almond trees so you can visit the distilleries.
The lavender route: visit the distilleries of Valensole and taste the regional products.
The planting of lavender, the blue gold of the region, brings a lot of richness to the region, this aromatic plant has multiple possibilities of declinations. The distillation of true lavender and aspic gives an essential oil and an incredible perfume as well as other transformations with medicinal virtues perfect for aromatherapy for example. It is thus possible to visit the distilleries as well as the perfumeries of the region. An idea of fun and enriching activity that will delight young and old alike.
On the food side, scents and flavours are a must for the most gourmet. You will find lavender honey to be tasted without moderation, one of the specialities of the region as well as oils and tapenades from olive trees. The products of the region also allow the creation of jams with surprising flavours such as those with almonds, or those with lavender flowers. Finally, truffles are one of the other great specialties of the region.
Imagine being able to admire one of the most beautiful landscapes in France by flying over it in a hot air balloon or paragliding. These activities are open all year round. Whether you fly over the almond trees in bloom in March or over the blue lavender fields in July, whatever the scenery is, it remains magnificent.
Going to see the Valensole plateau is also an opportunity to discover the rest of the region by taking advantage of the other activities on offer!
The region offers many water sports activities, such as rafting, canyoning, kayaking or canoeing at Lake Sainte Croix. You won't know which hike to choose or which circuit to cycle on a sunny day. Will you have the motivation to climb to the top of Mont-Ventoux?
The Gorges du Verdon are full of historic villages with a thousand stories and flavours. All of them will have a wide choice of markets selling fresh produce from the region or specialised markets such as the Aups market where you will only find truffle sellers.
We will have the pleasure to welcome you at the Restanque campsite. Our campsite is located in the heart of the Verdon, which allows you to reach all around the villages of the Gorges du Verdon region of the Valensole plateau (only 20 minutes by car). At the Restanques campsite, we offer you different solutions available in holiday rentals to accommodate you according to your expectations and desires :
Campsite pitches equipped for camper vans, caravans and tents.
Eco-lodges composed of two bedrooms, a kitchen area and a semi-covered terrace, perfect for enjoying the sun and the song of the cicadas in summer! As well as a premium cottage with a private spa.
Two authentic gîtes are also available for rent on the heights of the campsite.