Visiting the Mont Saint-Michel in Winter

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Le Mont Saint-Michel” is one of those destinations that you can easily access from Paris and yet is still a total change of scenery and a great way to escape the city for a bit.
Also Saint-Michel has some pretty unique features that you wouldn’t find in any other place in France. Which makes it a great place for anyone who likes taking pictures of scenery nature, birds or even shoot a lookbook ! It’s also very interesting to see how’s the islet life was functionning.

  Mont Saint-Michel | DONE 

Which means I already ticked off one of the thing I had on my 2017 BUCKET LIST ^_^ -even though my visit happened in 2016- .

The Mont Saint-Michel and the bay that surround it are registered on the list the of UNESCO World Heritage Centre since 1979.

❝Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the ‘Wonder of the West’, a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.❞

Once you reach the site, you have to leave your car in one of the parking lot that will be showed to you.
The price is usually 11€70 if you stay for more than two hours otherwise it’s free or 6€30.

You cannot access anywhere after the bridge with your car due to protection ongoing onto this natural site to avoid more unecessery pollution.
But you still have 3 choices to access the islet :

  1.  A 45 min walk : You can enjoy a nice walk along the bay and enjoy the nature, birds and fresh air.
  2. Free Shuttle “Le Passeur” : if you don’t want to walk or it is to cold for a 45min walk like this happened to us, they are two motorised free shuttle that drop the visitors 350m away from the entrance in 12min.  They are constantly operating from 7h30 to 00h.
  3. Hippomobile” la Maringote” : The Hippomobile is an horse-drawn carriage which a more original way to reach the islet in 25min. Though they aren’t operating during the winter period they will be operating again on April. I couldn’t find the exact price but they’re not free.

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What to see ?

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Simple, EVERYTHING.

This is one of the big plus of this islet, it isn’t big at all. Therefore you can easily manage to visit the whole lot of it. Wandering among the tiny alley to make your way onto the top to visit the abbey which, you may have already read above is dedicated to the archangel St-Michel -hence the name obviously- .

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St Michel was a great poser.

And if you’re an European citizen under 25 years old, the entrance is free on presentation of an ID/Passport. One of the best thing to visit it in winter is that you don’t have to actually wait a crazy amount of time to get in. It’s WAY less crowded than in the summer. There’s still some visitors obvisouly, but it still feel very “free” to move around whitout bumping into others visitors every 2m.

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Overviewing the bay.

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As you can see above the alley are very narrow so as soon as there’s a bit of people it seems totally crowded.

You can find a lot of souvenirs shops (pretty expensive, yuck) and a few hotels, restaurants and Crêperie. Some of them are viewing directly on the bay which I think would be pretty nice if you’re not on a budget.

One of the cons of visiting the place in winter is that you can’t really enjoy walking along the bay bare foot with a guide. The water level can rise pretty quickly and some area are  composed of quicksand so it’s better to walk with a guide.

Have you ever been to Mt St-Michel ? If yes what did you thought about it ? Let me know in the comments ! ^-^

 

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Enjoy,
Lyne

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21 Comments

  1. Great that you got to cross Le Mont Saint-Michel off your bucket list! I’ve been there twice and loved it. Definitely helps to go during off-season (i.e. not summer) so that there are less crowds.

  2. Aaah it makes me so happy to hear that you can access it easily from Paris! It all looks so beautiful. Next time I’m in France I totally want to visit there.
    The horse and carriage must be so cool to ride on! ❤️

    1. You definitely should, it’s a nice experience :). There’s a lot of buses you can take for a cheap price (~15€) !

      1. Aaah I’m so glad! Hopefully I can get there some day when it’s as quiet as it was when you went ^_^ ❤️

  3. Ah man I didn’t even know this place existed, this is so cool. And young Europeans getting in for free is so European lol. It looks kind of creepy just built in the middle of nowhere like that but also so pretty!

  4. Great place to see in the middle of nowhere! even better on off season ( I don’t like crowds so much), I liked how you explained everything, I will keep all your suggestions in mind

  5. This seems like a much better day trip than visit to the crowded Versailles. I will let my friend know since he will be in Paris this month!

  6. While I have know about Mont Saint Michel from a “things I want to take photos of standpoint” I didnt realize you could actual go out there and there were things to do!

  7. Well done on crossing Mont Saint Michel off your bucketlist, it looks and sounds like I should add it to my bucketlist too. I love the idea of getting there on a Hippomobile, even the walk could be fun. Great blog post and awesome pictures.

  8. Wait a second….is this the one I keep seeing all over the internet that is off in the water kind of??? Ah, I have been dreaming of seeing this in real life. Is it just as amazing?? Europe has such rich culture and architecture but Mont St. Michael takes the cake for sure!!

    1. Mt St Michel sure is an awesome place. The way it was built and works since centuries is pretty cool 🙂

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