Mont Saint-Michel

World-Famous Small, Rocky Tidal Island

Mont Saint-Michel in France is a world-famous small, rocky tidal island. On top of it is a medieval town. From a distance, it looks like a fairytale. You can enjoy mudflat hiking, shopping, and taking photos. These are the most beautiful sights of Mont Saint-Michel. In this article I mention also a few excursions in the city, as well as in the surrounding area.

Mont Saint-Michel is an absolute must-visit. This is a granite island with a small town on top, which is often associated with Brittany, but is actually located in Normandy. And yes, it is also known for Disney movies. But it is just as beautiful in real life. Although it does get crowded in the summer. Luckily, you can avoid the worst of it.

The Abbey

The medieval abbey is the ultimate attraction. It towers above everything else. On top of the spire is a statue of Saint Michael, towering 170 meters above the bay. And all of this in France. 

In the summer (such as July and August), you can also visit the abbey after sunset. Take your time, because you won't be alone. But you will be rewarded with a unique view of the surroundings. It is worth it.

The abbey of Mont Saint-Michel in France.

Explore the Island and Its Surroundings

Be sure to explore the area around the island. This is where the most beautiful photos are taken. Especially in the early morning or at sunset. Or after the sun has gone down. 

Spring Tide

Spring Tide is actually the most remarkable moment to visit Mont Saint-Michel. Not only is the high tide higher than average, but the low tide is also lower than average. And so, the island is left dry. While during high tide, you can go kayaking and surfing in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel.

The Best Viewpoint

The best viewpoint can be found at the dam at the end of the hotels. You can take the famous photos of the city here. Especially in the early morning and at sunset, this is worth it. Bring your picnic and enjoy it.

Accommodations in Saint Mont-Michel

I have spent a night in the town, which is quite an experience. It is not cheap, but it gives you something very special in the evening and early morning. When all the tourists are gone, you can venture out. There are also places to stay in the vicinity of the town. Think of various small hotels and apartments that you can easily book online. Be sure to be on time, as this area is very popular.    

Local Sheep Shepherd

There is often a shepherd with his sheep to be seen. The animals like to walk on the grass around the island. Which creates some extra beautiful photos. Ask politely if you may take a photo of the man.

Schapen bij Mont Saint-Michel.

Mudflat Hiking

In the summer you can go mudflat hiking. You can do this on your own, but it can be dangerous because of quicksand. Always keep an eye on the tide and predictions. It is best to go with a guide. There are guided tours on the mudflats around Mont Saint-Michel every day.


Tombelaine is an uninhabited rocky island, which you can see from Mont Saint-Michel. You can easily walk to and from here at low tide. It is a short walk where you can see seals and various seabirds along the way. Lastly, you have a wonderful view of Mont Saint-Michel.

Avoid the High Season

It can get busy at Mont Saint-Michel. The best time is outside the busy months of June, July, and August. If you still have to go during the high season; then it's best to go early in the morning. That way you'll see the local population doing their shopping and enjoying a cup of coffee.

Avoid the Midday Hour

Around noon it is often very busy; too busy... In the afternoon it is (slightly) quieter, but not much. In the summer it is often very hot, which makes the experience less enjoyable.

Go at Night

If you have the time, it's best to stay at an accommodation in the vicinity. That is cheaper than in the hotels on the bay. Go to Mont Saint-Michel in the early morning and have breakfast there, for example. Leave the city to go for a walk in the surroundings or something like that. Come back in the evening, especially when the sun sets. Then you will see how the horizon changes colour, the lights of the houses and the abbey turn on. And everything becomes very atmospheric. An almost unreal sight.

How to Get to Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel is located in the southern part of the region of Normandy. The town is relatively easy to reach by train. The Le Train du Mont Saint Michel station is located three kilometres from the island. You can walk from the train station, but you can also take a shuttle bus. Or take a taxi (not cheap).

You can also easily combine a trip to Mont Saint-Michel and its surroundings with a visit to Brittany and Normandy.

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