You don’t need to leave Ghent to imagine you’re in the South of France. Linger a while among the lavender and vines. The inner courtyard is a reconstruction based on historical examples, set on the terraced garden that a luxury-loving abbot had made for him in the 18th century.

Wander into this well-hidden abbey garden during your weekend getaway in Ghent. Students in Ghent revise during the summer months in this quiet spot where monks once prayed and goose quill pens could be heard scratching over parchment. The monks cultivated grapes on the slope down to the Scheldt behind the abbey, and there are still vines there today. It is an ideal sunny picnic spot in Ghent.