Contrary to the experiences of other reviewers here I must say my recent visit was most pleasurable. Yes, the entry charge is probably a bit expensive for what can be a relatively short walk through the old abbey and cloisters. But what an abbey and cloisters they are! Situated in a very tranquil and pleasant environment the history of the abbey envelops you as you first view the huge wine vats stored in the otherwise bare but impressively large Gothic church.
Moving out to the beautiful cloister you really get a sense of how magnificent Valmagne once was. Don’t miss the Chapter House and the Refectory with its original tiling and truly stunning fireplace. Back out in the cloister is possibly the highlight of the visit, the opportunity to sit down in the peace and quiet of the fountain pavilion just listening to the rippling of the water and the birdsong. I will concede that this may not always be possible as we were visiting on a beautiful autumnal day in the off season.
Exiting through the Abbaye shop we paused to buy some wine and beer. There was no pressure whatsoever to do so but we were very glad we did as the beer was particularly good (we haven’t tried the wine yet!).
Outside is a display vineyard with all the varieties of grapes laid out and explained, a very good idea which we found most informative. I can’t comment on the Auberge restaurant as we did not eat there on this visit. All in all, we had a very enjoyable visit to a very interesting Abbaye.
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