The hard facts
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a municipality on a rocky island with roughly 40 residents. It’s surrounded by a wall and connected to the mainland by a bridge. It’s famous for its abbey (Mont-Saint-Michel), but seriously: The actual amazing thing here is how this little village sits enthroned on this rock and its reflection in the water – depending on the tides.
To our regrets, we couldn’t take awesome-water-reflection-pics here, because the tide didn’t rise high enough as long as we were there. It was beautiful anyway. At low tide, you can walk around the rock in the mud flats.
Even in low season, the small alleys were filled with people from all over the world. It was better in the side alleys. The whole village seems unreal and looks like the location of a Disney movie. We didn’t walk up all the way to the abbey as we just didn’t feel like to do so. We were happy with the town below.
A little side note: I can hereby tell you I’m not the brightest bulb in the box. For those, who also sometimes need longer to understand: The shortcut MSM means (guess what) Mont-Saint-Michel. We saw this shortcut a few times and for quite a while it was a little bit confusing for me.
How to get there
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most visited sites in France. You can take the train from Paris to make a day trip here. It’s just a 3.5 hours ride.
Travellers who don’t check into one of the hotels near the bridge (and come by car) have to park in one of the signposted parking lots. Shuttle service brings you to the island and back.
Parking fees: 6.70€ for less than two hours; 11€ for the whole day; free parking after 7 p.m. Shuttle service is until midnight.
Viewpoint at the windmill
This is for the photo nerds. We tried to find some great photo spots.
But it wasn’t that easy. If you try to reach certain spots by car, ask locals. We were driving along with the car but had to find out we won’t get far like that.
The tidal flats are a nature reserve and the other areas are used agriculturally. Well, bad luck in this case. We had to stick to places with views of MSM in the distance.
South of the MSM, there is a little picture perfect windmill from where you can perfectly view MSM and the surrounding landscape.
It doesn’t matter from where you see MSM (you see, now that I know the shortcut, I use it very often), from a distance it always looks like a fata morgana. Not until you walk along the alleys and look down to its surrounding is where you realise this is not a pipe dream.
Staying at Au bon Accueil
We just stayed one night in the area and the Au bon Accueil was perfect for this. Really small, but clean rooms. Everything was easy and it’s just a 15 minutes ride.
The owner Jane told us about a cheap and good British Pub close to the B&B (yes, I know, British Pub in France; we can do better than that). It’s called Oyster Catcher. It’s rustic, the burgers are good and the owner is the hit!