The abbey was founded around 410 AD when Saint Honorat formed a community of Cistercian monks on one of the Lérins Islands. The monks continue to live and worship on the island, cultivating the vineyards to produce wine and liqueur.
The present-day monastery buildings date from around 1073, although monastic life has been interrupted several times since its 5th-century founding. Since 1859, when the Bishop of Fréjus bought the island, the monastery has remained active.
The monks cultivate their own vegetables and get most of their electricity from the numerous solar panels. As well as tours throughout the year, the monastery hosts the annual grape harvest festival in early September, as well as the Festival of Silence which coincides with the Cannes Film Festival.