Visit Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont Saint Michel
Spend the day exploring Mont-Saint-Michel. The iconic abbey sits on an island in the middle of a huge bay, where Europe's biggest tides create a natural moat. Mont-Saint-Michel has roots from 708 CE, when the Archangel St. Michel ordered Aubert, the bishop of Avranches, to build a sanctuary on this location.

In the 10th century, the monastery was replaced by a Benedictine abbey that welcomed pilgrims who came to worship the archangel. Construction on the building continued until the French Revolution in 1791 when the sanctuary became a prison. It wasn't until 1864 that Mont-Saint-Michel was added to the French List of Historical Monuments and restored for visitors. 

Head across the causeway to the town on foot, or catch a ride with a horse-drawn wagon for a scenic approach. If the tide is out, walk across the sand with a trained guide to the base of the fortifications like the pilgrims used to (the quicksands make it dangerous to cross alone). Your guide will walk you through the main building, pointing out the history of various rooms and halls. Mont-Saint-Michel is remarkably well-preserved, with huge fireplaces still showing signs of soot from centuries of use. 

After exploring the church and the surrounding gardens, head downhill to the town, where you'll find souvenir shops, cafes, and art galleries. 

Discover more unique experiences in Normandy.

Itineraries with Visit Mont-Saint-Michel

Paris, Normandy & the Loire Valley - 10 Days

This epic 10-day French adventure kicks off in Paris for three days of culture and cuisine in the 'City of Lights'. Then, drive yourself to the Normandy coast to visit Mont Saint Michel and other historical sites—spanning 900 years—between Bayeux and Omaha Beach. Next is the Loire Valley where you'll explore charming towns and gorgeous castles before returning to Paris (by train) for one more night on the town.

Normandy Coast Excursion - 5 Days

Ideal for history buffs, this Northern France itinerary spans an impressive timeline from the Norman invasion of England in 1066 to the D-Day landings of 1944. With the help of local guides, you'll experience the island monastery of Mont Saint Michel, pay respects at transfixing WWII memorials and museums, and enjoy free time in the evenings to explore the charming city of Bayeux—your home base for the trip.

Western France Road Trip: Paris, Normandy, Loire Valley, & Bordeaux - 16 Days

Spend sixteen days exploring everything western France has to offer, from the metropolitan culture of Paris to the peaceful countryside of Bordeaux. See art at the Louvre, take a day trip to the gilded halls of Versailles, and vacation like the French on the Normandy seaside. Visit Mont-Saint-Michel—the abbey on an island—before continuing south to the land of resplendent châteaus and free-flowing wine.

Mont-Saint-Michel Countryside Cycling Tour - 6 Days

Imagine cycling across expanses of farmland as you spot something floating in the distance—a spire reaching toward the sky, extending above tiers of weathered stone resting on a rocky island. The towering island of Mont-Saint-Michel, its ancient abbey, and its serene bay are the major highlight of this six-day cycling tour, but the rest of the region has plenty to recommend it. You'll start and end in the walled port city of Saint-Malo, making your way through the countryside of Brittany and Normandy to destinations including the fishing port of Cancale and the village of Dinan.

Luxury Getaway to Western France: Normandy & Brittany - 5 Days

Get away from it all on this luxurious 5-day trip to Normandy and Brittany. Fly in to Paris, then head to Bayeux on the coast. Check out the tapestry, tour Mont-Saint-Michel, and explore World War II history. At night, relax over fresh seafood dinners paired with chilled white wine at your neighborhood brasserie.