Mont-Saint-Michel is a tiny island community covering an area of about 240 hectares. However, it is very rich in history and one of the most beautiful places in #France. The picturesque shepherds' region, dotted with apple orchards, forests and cow pastures, as well as historic castles and picturesque towns, is one of the most visited places in France and is number one on the list of destinations in #Normandy. Mont Saint-Michel welcomes around 2.5 million visitors a year.
The place is also known as the "Heavenly Jerusalem" and the "Pyramid of the Seas" and is home to an abbey that is on the #UNESCO list and was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. The Gothic abbey church was an important medieval pilgrimage site. #Pilgrims still make their way here today by crossing the bay of Saint-Michel on foot at low tide.
Here are a few things you should know before you visit Mont Saint-Michel to make your trip a smooth and unforgettable experience.
Places of interest
Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel
She's the reason everyone comes to Mont-Saint-Michel. From the courtyards to the large halls and the corridors themselves. The abbey is beautiful. Those who wish can take part in a guided tour and be impressed by the described insights into its history. Already since the 8th century there is a kind of monastic institution on the island, so there is a lot to learn. There is a small entrance fee for the abbey (10 EUR), but it is worth it to explore the historical monument.
Barrage sur le Couesnon
A dam may be an unusual suggestion for a place of interest, but it is a pretty impressive dam. It offers fantastic #views and its stairs are a great place to picnic.
La Grande Rue
The main street of Mont-Saint-Michel is a street full of small shops and charming cafés, between which one feels like in a #fairytale. The street is usually busy during the day, but in the evening or when it is quiet, it is breathtakingly beautiful, so try to visit it out of season.
You should pay attention to this: The road is steep and busy. Generally you should wear good and comfortable shoes. The pathway leading to the top of Saint-Michel is steep, narrow and cobblestoned. There are a good amount of stairs you need to climb, especially when venturing up to the Abbey.
The #chapel is quieter and more concealed, a real hidden gem. You will find a tiny stone building with paintings inside and a peaceful atmosphere. The view is best at high tide, but the surroundings can be a little uncertain. If you are travelling with children or elderly people, low tide is the safer choice.
Wining and dining
The famous dishes of Mont-Saint-Michel include omelettes and crêpes. The most famous establishment on the island, La Mère Poulard, has been in existence since 1888 and is located near the main entrance when you enter through the King's Gate. Its notorious fluffy omelettes are said to be the best in the world. But this is also noticeable by the price. If you want to experience this, you should be prepared to spend at least 28 EUR on a traditional omelette. You should also reserve a table in advance if you want to avoid long waiting times.
The Crêperie La Cloche is a popular place for crêpes. But you can also expect to pay a good price here. A good option is also to bring your own picnic to eat on the steps of the Barrage sur le Couesnon or another great viewpoint of Mont-Saint-Michel.
It is indeed possible to make a day trip to the Mont Saint-Michel from Paris. But it is a long and exhausting journey. Instead, plan at least one overnight stay in the area. Mont Saint-Michel is located on the border of the regions of Brittany and Normandy, both of which are worth exploring.
Rennes, the capital of Brittany, is about an hour away from Mont Saint-Michel by bus or car. Another option is Saint-Malo: the coastal town is around one hour away from Mont Saint-Michel and a great place to spend an evening by the sea.