A botany, brewing and history tour
2 mins OF DISCOVERY
The site is shrouded in a spiritual warmth and a soothing tranquillity. Orval abbey is one of the region's must-see features. During the holiday season, a guide can be found every hour under the big oak tree to take you on a journey through history amid the ancient stone. Nothing is left out, so you won't be disappointed. The tour begins with a short, well-mounted film explaining monastic life and the site's history. For two hours, the ancient Orval abbey reveals its secrets. It is a real gem, rooted and carefully arranged in its natural setting. Right down to the Mathilde fountain, the decor in ruins gives the site a relaxing, timeless charm.
The medicinal garden is an invitation to wander but is also of great interest. The plants are arranged in groups according to their medicinal virtues: digestive, respiratory, neurological, etc.. The ancient traditional pharmacy is still there, as it was in the 18th-century at the time of Antoine Perrin, the apothecary monk.
The abbey's ancient vaulted cellars now house various exhibitions recounting the life of devotion of the monks and the art of brewing. This very interesting art is also full of flavour! For many, the highlight of the tour is the finale in the form of a tasting session.
At the boutique you can purchase Orval's world-famous Trappist beer as well as some cheese of the same name. Be aware that, because of the rarity of this beer, you'll only be able to buy a small quantity. The monks do indeed like to keep their precious secret! A stone's throw away, you can stop at the Ange Gardien inn for an Orval Vert draught beer, which is served here and nowhere else! The menu of local dishes is also worth trying, featuring the theme (and taste) of Orval.