Can you imagine living on an island dating back from the Middle Ages and to be able to access it walking at low tide? That’s just the description of the Mont Saint Michel!
WHAT TO SEE?
The Mont Saint Michel is a tiny island located in the south part of Normandy. In the XV° century, the Couesnon river, which marks the frontier between Normandy and Brittany, suddenly had its stream changed, what resulted in the Mont Saint Michel being then in Normandy.
The bay of the Mont Saint Michel is surrounded by the English Channel. The occupation of the rock dates from the Celtics age. It’s only after the Roman empire and the arrival of Christianity that the island was dedicated to Saint Mickael (Michel in French), and a abbey was then built at the top of the mount.
Since it is on the cost of Normandy, the tides are very important in the region, and this results in the Mount being sometimes fully insulated at high tide, while you can usually reach it walking on low tide.
Since 2015 there is a bridge that links the island with the Normandy region. Previously, there was a 100 year-old causeway that linked them, but it caused many sediments in the area.
HOW TO EXPERIENCE IT?
The discovery of the Mont Saint Michel is a great experience that we recommend even if your time in France is limited. Many tours are leaving from Paris for a day-tour. If you don’t have much time, it may be a good solution, although the discovery will be quick and it might not allow you as much time on site as you might want to go at your own pace.
However, since the drive from Paris is pretty long and if you have enough time, we recommend to incorporate this visit in a longer tour of 2 to 3 days in the region, where you can discover the D-Day sites or the coastal impressionist villages for instance.
It is possible to sleep on the mount, either in the abbey (take some warm night cloth!) or in one of the few hotels. Since there are not a lot of rooms available though, reservation at least a few months in advance is highly recommended. You might prefer to book a hotel in a nearby town on the coast, like Saint Malo for instance.
There are also several restaurants on the island where to restore yourself. The traditional restaurant La Mère Poulard is notably famous for its “omelette”, but you might find it touristic according to your expectations…