Mont Saint Michel: 8 Tips to Know Before Visiting (in 2021)

One of the most visited places in France, Mont Saint-Michel welcomes about 2.5 million visitors a year.

Who could blame anyone for wanting to discover this iconic island, rich in more than a thousand years of history?

With so many visitors, it is important to plan your stay well.

Here are some things to know before you go to Mont Saint-Michel so that your trip goes well and is memorable.

Plan to spend the night in the area

Mont Saint Michel : 8 Astuces à Connaître Avant de Visiter
How best to prepare your visit to Mont Saint-Michel?

If it is possible to make a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel from Paris, it is a long and exhausting trip.

Instead, plan to spend at least one night in the area.

Mont Saint-Michel is located on the border of the regions of Brittany and Normandy, both of which deserve to be explored.

Consider moving to Rennes,the capital of brittany

Rennes is an hour and a half by train from Paris, and about an hour by bus (or car rental) from Mont Saint-Michel.

Another option is Saint-Malo ; this coastal town is also an hour away from Mont Saint-Michel and is a great place to spend an evening by the sea

Découvrez les marées

The tides of the English Channel are in perpetual motion, they rise and fall constantly around the island.

Both scenarios have their advantages.

At high tide, , Mont Saint-Michel appears surreal, as if hovering above the water and, in the favorable light, creates a mirror reflection.

The low tide is also interesting, as it surrounds the town with sand, allowing visitors to walk around its perimeter and observe it from a different point of view.

This can be dangerous, so if you are interested, book a tour with a professional guide who knows the particularities of the English Channel to ensure your safety.

Check with tourist office, which is just outside the main entrance doors.

It is actually a village with inhabitants

It is important to keep in mind that the Mont Saint-Michel is not an invented tourist destination and is home to 44 inhabitants, including monks and nuns who live in the abbey.

You may even have the chance to hear the haunting sound of their choir as you enter the abbey.

Be respectful of their home and do not take pictures of citizens, especially during religious ceremonies.

Plan to walk and climb stairs

Mont Saint Michel : 8 Astuces à Connaître Avant de Visiter
The climb to Mont Saint-Michel is considerable: the path leading to the summit is steep, narrow and paved.

There are also many stairs to climb, especially to climb to the abbey.

Be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes.

Consider your lunch options

Mont Saint-Michel is famous for its omelettes and pancakes.

Mother Poulard, located near the main entrance, is a remarkable place, as one enters through the King’s Gate.

The island’s best-known facility, La Mère Poulard, has been in existence since 1888 and its notoriously soft omelets are supposed to be the best in the world.

If you want to experience, be ready to spendat least 28 euros for a traditional omelette and reserve a table in advance to avoid the long wait.

For pancakes, one of the favorite places of visitors is the Crêperie La Cloche. Wherever you go, you risk paying a premium for eating in the village. A prepared picnic is a great option.

Walking along the ramparts

To enjoy the view of the coast, go up the Sash Door, located to the left of the main entrance door, for a walk along the walls of the abbey.

Don’t forget to head to the West Terrace, which offers a breathtaking view of the bay

There are a number of sites worth visiting

Mont Saint Michel : 8 Astuces à Connaître Avant de Visiter
The entrance to Mont Saint-Michel is free and you can spend the day exploring the village and its surroundings.

However, there are many things to see and do, including museums, churches and, of course, the spectacular abbey perched on top.

The entrance to the abbey is free (10 EUR) and it is worth exploring the historical monument.

On the Grande Rue that goes up to the Abbey, keep an eye on the parish church of Saint-Pierre, surrounded by a cemetery (where Mother Poulard herself, Anne Boutiaut, rests) and housing a silver statue dedicated to Saint-Michel.

There is also the Museum of the Sea, which offers an overview of the island’s environment and ecology.

Buy souvenirs off the island

Mother Poulard is also famous for her butter cookies that make an excellent (and tasty) souvenir.

They are sold throughout the village, but can be found in almost all grocery stores in France for a fraction of the price.

You can also read : Well Kept Secret: The Chausey Islands near Granville