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Things to do in Mont-St-Michel

Things to do in  Mont-St-Michel

Welcome to Mont-St-Michel

One of France’s most-visited—and enchanting—destinations is the UNESCO-listed Mont-St-Michel, a small island crowned by an abbey of ancient origins that rises like a mirage off the mist-shrouded Normandy coast. A major Christian pilgrimage site during the medieval period, visiting the landmark is now one of the top things to do in Mont-St-Michel, and millions of visitors a year come to revel in the glorious bay views from the ramparts, tour the abbey, browse the bijou shops and museums, and eat the famed omelet served at La Mère Poulard. A chaser of calvados is optional, but recommended.

Top activities in Mont-St-Michel

Relive the landing of June 6, 1944

Relive the landing of June 6, 1944

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Private Mont Saint-Michel Family Walking Tour

Private Mont Saint-Michel Family Walking Tour

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All about Mont-St-Michel

When to visit

Normandy is one of the coldest regions in France, so those who are looking for warm weather and sunshine on their trip to Mont-St-Michel should visit in summer when temperatures average at 71°F (22°C). The summer high season is also the busiest time of year to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site, however. To bypass the biggest crowds, aim for the autumn shoulder season—and visit the sites in the early morning.

Getting around

Mont-St-Michel is located on an island accessible by causeway, though occasional super-high tides leave it cut off from the mainland. Most of the time, it’s possible to walk, take a free shuttle, or pay for a horse-drawn carriage to the landmark’s base (cars must park on the mainland). The nearest train station is the regional Pontorson, though it’s possible to travel by mainline train to Rennes and transfer to the Keolis-Emeraude bus. Guided tours from Paris are also an option.

Traveler tips

If you have the time, it’s better to stay overnight at Mont-St-Michel rather than trying to see as much as possible on a day trip. You’ll have access to the landmark once most of the crowds have departed, can enjoy the island’s beauty by night (including the lit-up Abbey), and can (carefully) explore the surrounding plains at low tide. Visit in spring, or around the new moon or full moon, to see its tidal bore in action.

People Also Ask

Is Mont-Saint-Michel worth visiting?

Yes. The island monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s most iconic landmarks and most visited attractions, with up to 3 million annual visitors. Located on the Normandy coast, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site is often combined with a tour of the D-Day beaches.

How much time do you need at Mont-Saint-Michel?

You’ll want to spend at least three hours at Mont-Saint-Michel, which will give you time to visit the monastery, explore the island’s medieval village, and admire the views. Plan a half-day tour and enjoy lunch on the island, or extend your visit to include a walk across Mont-Saint-Michel Bay.

How long is the walk to Mont-Saint-Michel?

Walking across the quicksands of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay is a popular experience for visitors, following the ancient path of the pilgrims. Standard walks around the bay take 1.5–2 hours, but you can also enjoy a 3-hour walk to the islet of Tombelaine or a 6-hour round-trip walk from Bec d’Andaine.

Is Mont-Saint-Michel worth a day trip from Paris?

Yes. Mont-Saint-Michel is a popular choice for a day trip from Paris, often combined with a visit to other Normandy attractions such as the D-Day beaches or the Bayeux Tapestry. Mont-Saint-Michel is about 4 hours from Paris by road or 3 hours by high-speed train.

What time of day is best to visit Mont-Saint-Michel?

To avoid the crowds, plan an early morning visit before the coaches and day-trippers arrive or early afternoon when most tours break for lunch. Alternatively, time your visit to watch the sunrise or admire the evening illuminations. Guided walks in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay only take place at low tide.

How much does it cost to enter Mont-Saint-Michel?

There is no admission fee to visit the island and village of Mont-Saint-Michel, and free shuttles are provided between the parking area and the island (about a 45-minute walk otherwise). Tickets to visit Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey are €11 or free for children under 18, and parking fees also apply.


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