I was first inspired to visit the Abbey of Val Dieu by this article on CheeseWeb, an expat blog based in Belgium. The abbey is about one hour away from the Tri-Border area, and entrance into the grounds, gardens, and church is free. We visited on a Saturday so we could join the weekly tour of the abbey for 5 euro which takes place at 1330. The tour was in French, but we did get to see parts of the abbey that are closed off otherwise. It is possible to organize a group tour in English with prior coordination.
I’m sure the main draw for some people will be the brewery that is located here. It is possible to set up a group tour of the brewery, which can include beer tastings as well. There are two restaurants located here. The first, Casse-Croûte, is a cafeteria style restaurant, which has a few big meal items, lots of snacks and, of course, beer. Across the street is Moulin de Val Dieu, which is the usual bistro/restaurant and also has delicious beer. We took CheeseWeb’s recommendation and went to Moulin for lunch and ordered the same dishes, which were exceptional. I only wish my stomach was bigger, so I could have finished the meal. FYI, there is a small playground next to the terrace of Moulin and the water wheel for the mill still turns.
All in all, a visit to the Abbey of Val Dieu is a worthwhile way to spend a few hours in Belgium. Good food, good beer, and a bit of culture, all in a beautiful setting.
Val-Dieu 227, Aubel, Belgium
Open Everyday 0900-1800
Sunday, Monday and holidays: 1130-1800
Open Everyday except Tuesday: 0930-1830