In Belgium, every city has its own local beer. Florenville can be very proud since it hosts the world famous abbey beer of Orval. Furthermore, they also produce a delicious cheese from local milk. Two ‘Gaumaise’ regional products to taste during your visit to our region. You can also visit the abbey. In addition to an expo on the brewing process, monastic life and a museum with various works of art, you can also visit the ruins of the former abbey and the gardens. Finish your visit in the nearby brasserie or buy your own beer and/or cheese to enjoy your day at (our) home.
Walk through the surrounding gardens and ruins
Your visit consists of two parts: an indoor part in the various buildings and a walk through the gardens and ruins. In the Guest House you will discover the history of the monastery and the life of the monastic community today. Animated scale models show the evolution of the abbey over the centuries. In addition, you will learn about the beer brewing process and get a glimpse of the life of the monks through time. Then it’s time to get some fresh air in the surrounding gardens and ruins. Various signs and qr codes provide some more explanation. In the herb garden and the Apothecary Museum you get explanations about the various medicinal plants and historical objects. The gardens are definitely worth a visit. Keep in mind that some parts are difficult to access with a wheelchair or stroller.
90 years of brewing Orval beer
Orval has been around for over 90 years. Since 1931, the beer has been brewed at the Notre-Dame d’Orval Abbey. Back then, it was primarily a way to raise money to finance the works for the reconstruction of Orval. Another part of the proceeds goes to charities. Every year, 22 million bottles leave the brewery, 85% of which are destined for the Belgian market. The other bottles travel to Germany, France, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. The Orval cheese is even older. The monks started making their cheese in 1928. The milk for this cheese comes from the surrounding farms. The cheese is therefore a genuine Gaumais regional product. Tip: put it on a plate with some celery salt, mustard and (Gaumaise) charcuterie. Delicious as an end to a long day.
the legend of Orval
Orval is brewed with water from the Mathilde spring. According to legend, that spring received its name from the widow Mathilde of Tuscany. Mathilde accidentally dropped her wedding ring into the spring. She prayed to Mary to get it back. Not much later a trout swam up with the golden wedding ring in its mouth. She exclaimed: “This is truly a golden valley!” (val d’Or). In gratitude, she founded a monastery at this “blessed place”. Did you also notice the fish with a ring in its mouth on the label of the bottles of Orval beer?
Plan your visit
Abbaye d’Orval, Orval, n°1, 6823 Villers-devant-Orval
Want to do more?
Combine your visit to the brewery with a hike in the surrounding woods. Do you have really good walking legs? Then go on foot to the brewery. It is a hike of about 11 km.
Distance from Lacuisine
11 km – 10 min by car or 2,5 hours walking