Lavender season in Provence lasts from late June to mid-August, and it's spectacular.

This French region of farmland and ancient villages dotting craggy hills provides the nearly intoxicating scent and sight of lavender in bloom. 

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The journey fills the senses in other ways, too, from the smell of bakers' yeasty warm baguettes and the taste of fresh honey that's sold at roadside stands to the sound of cicadas humming in the warm air through your open car windows. Among the many must-see spots in the area:

The Small Villages

Two of the most famous are Gordes, whose stone houses sit atop a rocky outcropping, and Roussillon, which glows in earthy, reddish colors.

Gordes in Provence

Gordes is a well-known community in Provence.

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Carrières de Lumières

You'll be awed by this unique multimedia art museum in Les Baux de Provence, housed in a former bauxite quarry.

Carrières de Lumières

The Carrières de Lumières hosts beautiful multimedia art.

Courtesy of Carriére de Leumiére

Calanques National Park

At the outskirts of Marseille, join a kayak or boat tour to view and hike this stunning area, where towering white cliffs abut impossibly turquoise waters.

Calanques National Park

Be sure to check out Calanques National Park for an abundance of outdoor activities.

Olivier Parent/Alamy

Palace of the Popes

In Avignon, the 14th-century seat of Western Christianity, explore this enormous, Gothic symbol of the medieval papacy's power.

Palace of the Popes

The Palace of the Popes is a popular tourist attraction.

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Also of Interest

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