We consider Mont Sant Michel to be one of the most spectacular things we have seen, certainly in France, but also across the whole of Europe. But what is this magnificent island? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
What Is Mont Saint Michel?
Mont Saint Michel is a self-enclosed actually fortified island, one of the ethereal landmasses that are scattered through the bay of the Seine. It’s located in Normandy, France and is one of the most famous landmarks in France.
Mont Saint Michel was founded by monks during the 8th century AD making it one of the earliest Christian sites in Western Europe. The site was originally an island with about two acres of land, but today has grown to over 14 acres due to erosion from storms and sea currents.
The monastery still sits on top of the earthy mound (which was created by a volcanic eruption) with its church standing tall at 123 meters high. The abbey has been restored many times over due to destruction from avalanches and fire. In 1874 it became classified as a French historical monument and today it attracts over 2 million tourists every year
Where Is Mont Saint Michel Located?
The Mont Saint Michel is located on the northwest coast of France. It is a commune in Normandy, and has been occupied since at least as far back as the Iron Age. The Mont was used by monks as a monastery and became an island when it was connected to the mainland by man-made canals. It is now called “the most famous landmark in France after the Eiffel Tower.”
How To Get to Mont Saint Michel?
The easiest way to get to Mont Saint Michel is by car. There are several parking options available near the village, including a large paid parking lot and a smaller free parking lot. You can also take a bus from Paris or Rennes, which will drop you off at the entrance to the village. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a train from Paris to the nearby town of Pontorson and then walk the last 2 kilometers to the village.
What to See at Mont Saint Michel?
The main attraction in Mont Saint Michel is, of course, the beautiful abbey that sits atop the rocky outcrop. The abbey is open to visitors and you can explore the many rooms and corridors, as well as climb to the top of the towers for stunning views over the village and surrounding countryside.
There are also a number of other interesting things to see in the village, including the medieval ramparts, the cobbled streets lined with traditional houses, and the many shops and restaurants.
When to Visit Mont Saint Michel?
The best time to visit Mont Saint Michel is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and dry. However, it is also worth visiting during the low season, when there are fewer crowds and you can really appreciate the tranquillity of this beautiful village. Sunrise is also a very beautiful time to visit as the lighting and colours from the sunrise look so stunning.
If you’d like to know more about van life in France, we have a whole bunch of other blog posts that you can check out here – France – Three As A Bird – Van Life Travels
Is There Accessible Parking Available When Visiting Mont Saint Michel?
There is accessible parking available for visitors with disabilities. The parking lot is located just outside of the village, and there is a shuttle bus that runs between the parking lot and the village.
Do You Have to walk to Reach Mont Saint Michel?
No, you don’t have to walk to reach Mont Saint Michel. There is a shuttle bus that runs between the parking lot and the village. However, if you are able-bodied, it is worth walking around the village, as it is quite small and easy to navigate.
But pets are not allowed to ride the shuttle so you will have to walk with your pet but in busy times the shuttle does get very busy and you may have to queue.
It does take roughly an hour to walk from the main car park to Mont Saint Michel.
Can you go inside Mont-Saint-Michel?
You can go inside Mont-Saint-Michel; however, it is not allowed to take pictures or enter certain parts such as the crypts or towers without special permission from a tour guide who provides more information about this historic site which has been standing for so many years now!
Does anyone live on Mont St Michel?
Yes, there are approximately 50 residents who live on the island year-round, including the monks and nuns that reside in the Abbey.
How much does it cost to get into Mont St Michel?
There is no charge to enter the village of Mont Saint Michel. However, there is a charge to enter the monastery – 11 euros.
How deep is the water around Mont Saint Michel?
The water around Mont Saint Michel is about 2-4 metres deep. It can be very shallow in some areas which allows people to walk on the beach. However, the water can also be deep and go up to 10 metres deep which make it difficult for boats and ships to dock around it.
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit the Mont Saint Michel?
The best time to visit the Mont Saint Michel is during the summer months. The weather is warm and there are many tourists. However, if you are looking for a more quiet experience, you may want to visit during the shoulder season (spring or autumn). Keep in mind that the village does get very crowded during peak tourist season.
We visited in march and this was a fantastic time to visit, the crowds were very low and the views were amazing, we would still recommend getting there early, we arrived at sunrise and this made for some amazing views.
Is It Considered Safe to Swim in Mont Saint Michel?
Mont Saint Michel is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France. It is a tidal island and the ocean currents can be strong and unpredictable. Ocean currents increase when high tide floods the Bay of Mont Saint Michel, creating an unsafe environment for swimmers etc.
The Mont Saint Michel is a beautiful and unique place to visit. It is steeped in history and has something for everyone. Whether you are looking to explore the village, take in the views, or just relax, the Mont Saint Michel is the perfect destination.
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I have always wanted to travel and luckily I always got to travel to some amazing countries while I was growing up with my family and this really encouraged me to continue this and get out into the world on my own when I was older.
My goal growing up was really to see as much of the world as I could, but then I started going to work and really concentrating on my career and travel took a back seat. I still tried to get away a few times a year but I always knew there was an end goal which was to travel as much as possible.
So I got my head down and worked as hard as I could as an e-commerce manager. I have always been techy, I love computers and websites, so that’s where it gave me the idea to start this blog and also have my own web design agency. If you want to check it out or need any help then please take a look rrwebdesign.co.uk (shameless plug there)
But after covid, we both knew this was now the right time to take the leap and go and see the world after being trapped inside our house and working from home for a couple of years. We realised more than ever that you only get one life and you really need to make the most of it and do what you love!
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