France - Provence - Gordes -

Gordes : 4

LINKS to other pages in the Provence website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

Home Page
Introduction (Hotels etc.)
1 : Gréoux-les-Bains
2 : Cassis
3 : Aix-en-Provence
4 : Bonnieux
5 : Gordes
6 : Lavender Museum
7 : Gorges de Verdon
8 : France Parts 1 and 2
9 : Guest Book:

Gordes19a.jpg - 106107 Bytes
Just a few kilometres from Gordes, the Lavender Museum at Coustellet was created by the Lincelé family, cultivators and distillers of fine lavender for over five generations. Their farm of eighty hectares, "Le Château du Bois", is located at Lagarde d'Apt high in the Vaucluse mountains at an altitude of 1,100 metres.

The Lincelés are among the largest producers of fine lavender in the region. The lavender starts to flower in mid-June. At the end of July, the lavender is cut by a machine and then distilled. The museum features a host of magnificent alembic stills dating from the 16th century to the present day and provides information about lavender, including its history, growth and the products made from it. The museum also has a small cinema and shows a number of films about lavender.

Gordes40.jpg - 104892 Bytes

"Fine lavender grows on the arid mountains of Provence above an altitude of 800 metres. It is a small plant and only a single flower grows on each stem. It reproduces by seeding. It is also called "population lavender".

"From time immemorial fine lavender has been used for its medicinal properties, and became known as "the blue gold of the region" when it was sought out by famous perfume manufacturers for its delicate fragrance. From this time on, the name "fine lavender" has been used by producers.

One hundred and thirty kilograms of flowers are needed to obtain one litre of essential oil by the distilling process. In a good year, a plantation covering one hectare can produce up to twenty five litres of essential oil."

Gordes30.jpg - 83357 Bytes

A working field distillery is situated outside the museum  (left)

Gordes25.jpg - 74120 Bytes

Gordes26.jpg - 94505 Bytes

Distillation equipment from past times forms a major part of the museum's contents   (above, left and below)

Gordes24.jpg - 97594 Bytes
Gordes27.jpg - 93983 Bytes

There's also, of course, a shop for purchasing lavender-based products. Some of our tour members look somewhat sceptical of the healing properties attributed by the sales lady to some of the products!

Gordes22.jpg - 101527 Bytes

Gordes28.jpg - 97014 Bytes

The visit to the Gorges de Verdon starts on the next page.
Please click on the 'Next' button (lower right).

buttongo.jpg - 7212 Bytes
buttonnext.jpg - 5586 Bytes