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Eurfirst Trip to Mont St. Michel

Last edited February 26, 2006

Mont St Michel is a magical place where the spirit of ancient monks perched on their rocky precipice blends with the natural drama of the highest ocean tides in France racing toward the salt marshes that lie between the mainland and the abbey.

You will want to enjoy it in daylight and again as sunsets, to watch the tide surge toward the marsh grass faster than most rivers flow, and to carefully wander the sands in the Baie du Mont Saint Michel. As you see it from as many perspectives as you can safely reach, you'll understand why this is one of the most popular tourist spots in France.

Those who visit the site now will have a chance to see the abbey as it was originally....perched atop a rock in the bay. When we visited in 2001, a parking lot sprawled beneath the southern side of the rock. Over time the parking lot and the causeway to it had collected silt and created a pensula with the rock as its tip. Efforts have been underway since 2003 to restore the area to its earlier condition and slowly the rivers and tide are reclaiming the area once covered in asphalt.

We drove to Mont St. Michel from the beaches of Normandy. The ride was a pleasant drive down country roads. At the highway crests just before you reach the city of Avranches and at that moment, Mont St. Michel becomes a distance spectre in your sight. Stop in Avranches for tourist information for tide information so you can be certain you are at the abbey during at least one incoming tide. Then continue westward along well-signed roads toward the abbey.

Where to Stay

There are many reasonably priced motels and campgrounds only a few kilometers from Mont St. Michel and even places to stay on the rock that are not very expensive.. The advantage of this location is that it makes it easy to see the abbey in many different conditions.

Mont St. Michel beyond a Field of Lavendar
Mont St. Michel beyond a Field of Lavendar

Mont St. Michel at Sunset
Mont St. Michel at Sunset"

Mont St. Michel during  the day
Mont St. Michel during the day

Mont St. Michel at Night
Mont St. Michel at Night