Le Mont Saint-Michel
I shouldn’t tell you this so it doesn’t become overcrowded, but the Mont Saint-Michel is – besides a very impressive construction, – the most perfect place to go in case of a Zombie Apocalypse. While that doesn’t happen, this great fort built up in a rock mountain deserves your visit.
A little bit of history
That great structure looks a lot like a castle, but in fact it is a monastery created around the 8th century as a tribute to the archangel Michel, which give the name to the mount. But was not always a religious and a sacred mountain, before it became a monastery it was the house for a small community that wanted to benefit from the natural protection of the strategic located mount. The first man known in the small island was an Irish hermit.
Also because of it’s fortification and isolation, the king Louis XI transformed it into a prison and this habit of using it that way went along for a while until a fraternity transformed the mount back to a small community having a population variating from a bit more than 40 until a bit more than a 1000. Nowadays 50 people still live there and around 3,5 million people visit it yearly, making the Mont-Saint Michel the most visited place in the Normandy and Brittany.
The best way to get to the Mont Saint-Michel is by car. It’s super easy to find and the you can see it from a great distance, because of it’s location in a very plan area with low vegetation. But we highly recommend you to check if the access to it is possible by car, because by the times of the high tide can be a pretty hard. The mount is 600 meters away from the land and it’s connected to it by a bridge. You can access it via car, but the parking area in front of the mount is for 15 minutes parking time only.
You will also find the official parking place a bit before arriving to the mount. They have free transfer service from the parking place to the entrance of the abbey. To enter the Mont is for free, but if you want to visit the complete structure and the museums you must pay. The prices can vary by the time of the year, but it’s around 7 euros.
Visiting the fort is an amazing experience that takes you back in time. Also, making the visit to the abbey gives you a better understanding about the different times that the mount lived and the view from the top is pretty impressive. We went there by the time of low tides and the sea looked like a painting when you see it from the top. It’s really beautiful.
The low part of the Mount Saint-Michel is the market area. You will find a lot of restaurants, local stores and souvenirs. Of course that is in this area that you will have to deal with all the tourists coming and going. Also, you must remember that the place is not structured to be served as touristic place and its population was always pretty low, making the streets very narrow and not so comfortable to face when it’s too full. But if you decide for the entire tour, don’t worry about the amount of people, the rest of the visitation is pretty relaxed and very impressive.
If you want to add Le Mont Saint-Michel in your trip to France, we totally encourage you to do it!
Date of our visit to Le Mont Saint-Michel: 21 – 22.06.2017