The Abbey of Valsaintes and its Garden of a Thousand Provençale Perfumes

The Abbey of Valsaintes perches at 600 meters of altitude in Simiane-le-Rotonde, between Carpentras and Digne-les-Bains. Inhabited by monks until the French Revolution, today the place has become a not-to-be-missed tourist destination in Provence, notably because of its garden rich with a vast rose garden and a 300-hundred-year-old oak tree.
By Angélique Jurquet

On a summer’s day, it’s so pleasant to wander in the alleys of the Abbey of Valsaintes garden, a site that peaks at 600 meters of altitude, located in the municipality of Simiane-la-Rotonde, between Carpentras and Digne-les-Bains. A place charged with history since it has been occupied since Paleolithic times… The religious monument itself was built in the 12th century and inhabited by monks up until the French Revolution.

But the Abbey of Valsaintes owes its reputation especially to its patch of green, labeled a “Remarkable Garden” since 2011 by the Ministry of Culture. Aside from its rose garden that comprises more than 500 different varieties of this fragrant but prickly flower, you can discover its incredible 300-year-old Downy Oak tree, which has received the label “Remarkable Tree.”

You go from one delight to the next throughout a visit to this garden, maintained in a 100% natural way (it also holds the label “1% for the planet” since last year), and which, in addition to its plant life, offers an exploration of the animal world: children will especially enjoy the Ladybird or Butterfly House, the bird’s nesting box or the hedgehog shelter. And in order to keep from getting lost, know that a complementary 32-page guide is given to each visitor.

Savory, thyme, fennel, rosemary… On top of its rich collection of herbs, this garden with its 100% made in Provence odors includes a large field of lavender. And even more exceptional is the recent Mediterranean rock garden, which is never watered, with its 300 species of plants thriving in an arid environment and located at the foot of the Dragon-rock. Great effort was required for the rock’s creation, a project that was supported by L’Occitane in the context of its local philanthropic activities for the preservation of nature.

Discover
Association A.T.H.R.E.

Abbaye de Valsaintes
Boulinette

04150 SIMIANE LA ROTONDE
T 04 92 75 94 19

www.valsaintes.org 

The Valsaintes Abbey gardens
The Valsaintes Abbey gardens
Rose in Provence
Photography José Nicolas
The Valsaintes Abbey garden
The Valsaintes Abbey garden
Roses in Provence
Photography José Nicolas

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