Mont Saint Michel, an islet linked by a bridge to the mainland, is an essential French destination. With a rich history and the iconic Abbey, it attracts millions of annual visitors for day trips due to its unique charm. Over 300 km from Paris, it makes for a wonderful day trip destination. Read on to learn more about visiting Mont Saint Michel.
Note: Please note that Mont Saint Michel Abbey remains closed on 1 Jan, 1 May, and 25 Dec. The village of Mont Saint Michel is a commune that can be visited without the need for reservations, tickets, or specific time limitations.
Mont Saint Michel is best explored on weekdays due to fewer crowds, offering a more tranquil experience. Weekends witness a surge in visitors, attracting both locals and tourists, resulting in overcrowding and potentially hampering the overall visit. Opting for a weekday visit ensures a more relaxed and enjoyable exploration.
Mont Saint Michel is best experienced between May and September due to the idyllic weather and numerous events. The mild, beautiful climate enhances the visit, making it the peak season. During this time, various events add to the charm, making it an ideal period to explore the historical marvel amidst perfect weather conditions.
The best time to visit Mont Saint Michel is in the early morning when there are fewer people, allowing you to enjoy the attraction without crowds. After noon, it gets more crowded, making it harder to fully appreciate the highlights. Another option is to go around lunchtime to avoid the rush and make the most of your visit.
Mont Saint Michel is a commune in France, which is 360 kilometers away from Paris. It consists of a tidal island and mainland both connected through a causeway. Visitors can use a shuttle bus to commute between the two. They can also cross the Mont Saint-Michel bay during the low tide.
The connection between the island and the mainland has changed throughout the years. Initially, pilgrims visiting the Mont Saint Michel abbey could only cross the bay at low tide, before the first raised bridge was constructed in 1879. In 2014, a new bridge was built connecting the two. A part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the islet is situated between Normandy and Brittany, but is considered a part of the former.
Take a TGV (Train A Grand Vitesse) from Gare Montparnasse in Paris to Rennes. Once at Rennes, you can take a Keolis bus to Mont St. Michel. The buses operate 4 times a day.
At Rennes, you can also change trains and head to the Pontorson-Mont St-Michel train station. Once you're at the station, you can either walk across Pont Passerelle (the causeway) or take the shuttle.
You can drive down to Mont Saint Michel by car. There is a dedicated parking lot on the mainland, from where you need to walk 800m to Place des Navettes. At Place des Navettes, you can board the shuttle to the mainland or walk across the causeway.
This is hands down the best way to visit Mont Saint Michel. A guided tour takes care of your transportation, and is especially convenient if you are visiting all the way from Paris. You will have round-trip transfers in a private air-conditioned bus, ensuring that you don't have to worry about transportation. You will also be accompanied by an expert guide will give you insight into the island.
Mont Saint Michel has a dedicated passenger shuttle that connects the island to the mainland. This free shuttle will drop you about 350 m away from the main island and operates between 7:30 AM - 8 PM. The shuttle is accessible with ramps on each entrance and dedicated wheelchair areas. It is only open to guide dogs and other assistance animals.
You can drive down there or take the train to the island. You can also visit in and see Mont Saint Michel from Paris as part of a guided tour where transportation is included.
The timings between May 19 to August 31 are 9 AM to 7 PM, and between September 1 to April 30 are 9:30 AM to 6 PM.
Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey is closed on 1 Jan, 1 May, and 25 Dec.
The best time to visit Mont Saint Michel is between May and September.
While some parts of the island, along with the shuttle, are wheelchair-accessible, the rest of the island features steep steps and cobblestones streets, which are not wheelchair-friendly.
While you cannot drive up to the island you can park in the mainland. A dedicated parking space is present about 1.5 miles away from the island.
Yes, storage is available near the car park area, near the Tourist Information Center.
Take a TGV from Paris's Gare Montparnasse to Rennes, then catch a Keolis bus that operates four times daily to Mont St. Michel.
Drive to Mont Saint Michel and park at the dedicated lot on the mainland. Walk 800m to Place des Navettes to catch a shuttle or walk across the causeway.
While Du Guesclin offers local specialities and a beautiful view, La Sirène is a hidden crêperie, and La Mère Poulard is renowned for its open-fire omelette. Le Tripod is great for local dishes.
Absolutely! It's a stunning UNESCO site with unique architecture, history, and a breathtaking coastal setting, making it definitely worth a visit.