Mont Saint-Michel is an abbey located on the island of Mont Saint-Michel. I first heard about this UNESCO World Heritage site on Facebook. What was this Hogwarts-like building floating in the middle of water? When we decided to visit Normandy, adding Mont Saint-Michel to the itinerary was a no brainer. Here’s exactly how to visit Mont Saint-Michel.
Getting to Mont Saint-Michel
You have several options for getting to Mont Saint-Michel.
Rent a Car
Renting a car is the best option for visiting Mont Saint-Michel. It’s about a four hour drive from Paris. While doable as a very long day trip, I recommend adding Mont Saint-Michel as the last stop on a longer Normandy itinerary.
Take a Tour
If you are short on time and want to go the day trip route, I suggest booking a tour from Paris. It will be a long day, but better to visit this way than not at all. It’s also possible to book a tour departing from other cities in Normandy such as Bayeux.
Visiting Mont Saint-Michel
Here’s what you need to know about visiting Mont Saint-Michel.
Parking at Mont Saint-Michel
When approaching Mont Saint-Michel, you’ll be instructed to park in one of the parking lots about a mile and a half from the causeway leading to the island. We found it easy enough to walk to the causeway from the parking lot. Walking is preferable because you can snap tons of photos as you approach Mont Saint-Michel. There are also shuttle busses from the parking lot to about 500 yards from the mount. The buses operate daily from 7:30 am to midnight.
Walking to the Abbey
Once you cross the causeway, you’re still a ways from the abbey itself. Prepare to walk uphill through the main street. Here you’ll see small shops and food establishments. Eventually, you will reach a set of stairs that lead up to the abbey.
Mont Saint-Michel Tickets and Tours
You can book tickets to Mont Saint-Michel online here. There is an option for an audio guide which is recommended. You’ll follow a one-way route through the abbey with stops in the abbey’s various rooms and churches.
Tips for Mont Saint-Michel
Here are some tips for visiting Mont-Saint Michel:
- Arrive early: Mont Saint-Michel is one of France’s most popular attractions. I recommend arriving early to avoid crowds.
- Check the tides: When the tides are at their highest, the causeway is washed out and Mont Saint-Michel becomes an island. While you could get stuck on the island, don’t panic as this only happens for a few hours each year.
- Hike around Mont Saint-Michel Bay: When the tides are very low, Mont Saint-Michel appears to be surrounded completely by sand. During these times, you can book a tour to hike around the island in Mont Saint-Michel Bay.
Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most stunning attractions in France with a storied history. If you plan to visit Normandy, be sure to add Mont Saint-Michel to your itinerary. This was our last stop in France before flying to the United Arab Emirates, and it certainly was one of our favorites!