Mont St Michel: Our top tips to help make your visit even more enjoyable

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015

le Mont St Michel

Mont St Michel: the most visited site in France outside Paris, and the place nearly all our guests want to visit. So here are some tips on how to plan your visit.

  1. Go early or late. The large coach groups tend to arrive at 9.30 and leave by 4.00. So if you arrive at the car park at 8.45 (leave here at 8.30) you will be ahead of the pack during your visit. If you arrive at the car park at 2.30, you will be passing the main crowds leaving as you are heading to the abbey.
  2. While everyone is different, we do think you need to allow at least 2 hours for your visit, if only to allow time to get to and from the car park to the abbey and to climb the stairs at the Mont. Some guests allow much longer, giving them time to visit all the museums as well.
  3. There’s a lot of walking and a lot of it is up and down.
  4. There is a shuttle bus from car park to the Mont St Michel, 2km away. If you fancy the walk, it’s probably more spectacular to walk to the Mont, looking at the abbey and the bay behind. Then get the bus back.
  5. For guidance on parking, and accessing the Mont St Michel have a look at the Bienvenue au Mont-Saint-Michel website.
  6. The bay of Mont St Michel has perhaps the fastest moving tide in Europe. Subject to the weather, you can see a tidal bore across the bay during some of the highest tides. You can find out when the highest tides are here. The dates on this table are those where the tide rises high enough to surround the Mont. From time to time the tide will be high enough to cover the walk way onto the island.
  7. At the Caserne, which is next to the parking, there is a dam. The dam is opened approximately 6 hours after the high tide each day, with the purpose of flushing the silt in the bay to reduce build-up. For timings see the Projet Mont Saint Michel.
  8. In July and August in the past the abbey has stayed open until 11pm, with music playing in the evening. Parking is free after 7.30pm and there are a lot fewer visitors at this time. The date evening opening starts is a bit of a mystery, but it seems to tie in with the French school holidays.
  9. There are 2 other sites within 5 minutes of Mont St Michel.
  10. The Moulin de Moidrey is a restored and working windmill. A tour only takes a few minutes and home-ground flour is available to buy.
  11. An Ossuary of German soldiers from WWII is at Huisnes-sur-mer.