Aromatic bunches of lavender, rosemary, and thyme welcome visitors to the L’Occitane factory in the heart of Provence. Tours of the factory floor and laboratory show how those Mediterranean plants are transformed into organic products that have won a global audience. An on-site boutique features the whole line, plus hits from the past.
Free, hour-long tours of the L’Occitane Factory visit the laboratory, workshops, and packing line. The tours are held in French and English, with the chance to sample some of the company’s signature products, which include scented creams, soaps, and perfumes. Since the factory is located amid the lavender hills of Provence, it’s an included stop on many tours of the area.
Things to know before you go
- Free tours must be booked in advance by phone or email.
- Do your shopping at the factory. Products sold here are discounted 10% from regular prices.
- This is a great stop for gardeners, since the factory’s manicured Mediterranean garden is a highlight of visiting.
- The L’Occitane Factory is wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
The factory is located on Avenue Saint Maurice in Manosque off highway A51, 35 minutes from Aix-en-Provence. Most visitors arrive with a tour or by car, and free parking is available on-site. The town is also on two train lines, Lyon–Perrache and Marseille–Grenoble–Saint Charles. Disembark at the Manosque–Gréoux-les-Bains station, which is 2.7 miles (4.3 kilometers) from the factory.
When to get there
Provence’s famed lavender fields, which surround the L’Occitane Factory, bloom from late June through the beginning of August, with peak bloom in mid July. Tours are offered seven days a week from April through October, and Monday to Saturday from November through March. While the tour takes an hour, it’s worth setting aside extra time to browse the on-site boutique and garden.
Where to See Lavender in Provence
Lavender is everywhere in Provence, from farms to family-owned shops. In addition to the L’Occitane Factory, favorite stops during lavender season include the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque, a historic monastery whose residents create lotions from flowers grown on-site. In the picturesque village of Sault, find locally distilled lavender essential oils at the old-fashioned Distillerie Vallon.
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