Mont Saint Michel

For a lazy weekend in Normandy
In collaboration with Hachette
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A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, Mont Saint Michel is without a doubt the jewel in Normandy's crown. Between Cancale and Granville, there is something of a pious medieval ambiance on this rock which takes a daily battering from the sea winds, mist and high tides.


In brief

The village of Mont Saint Michel, sitting in the bay of the same name and regularly invaded by the highest tides in Europe, has always been a commercial venture. A community of Benedictine monks established itself on the rock in 966. Today, the 'Wonder of the West' remains one of the busiest tourist destinations.
 


A walk along the Grande Rue

Soak up the medieval atmosphere of the only street on Mont Saint Michel.

 

Mont cuisine at the famous Mère Poulard restaurant: omelettes, saltmeadow lamb and Breton lobster.

 

A walk along the Chemin des Remparts (further up the street) will reward you with some beautiful views over the bay.


The Route de l’abbaye

Before you enter the abbey confines, visit the Maritime Museum on the Grande Rue.

 

 It is without a doubt the most interesting museum on the Mont: learn about the phenomenon of the tides and the relentless amount of sand that invades the rock.


And don't miss a visit to the parish church which dates from the 15th and 16th centuries, built in homage to Saint Pierre, the patron saint of fishermen.

 


The abbey: the 'Merveille'

The 11th century Romanesque monastery, known as the 'Merveille', is built on three levels accommodating reception rooms, Salles des Hôtes (State rooms), the Salle des Chevaliers (scriptorium) cloisters and a refectory.


Enjoy a quiet moment on the top floor of the cloisters where the only distraction is the whistling of the wind. In the evening, visit the Mère Poulard hotel for a relaxing drink in the piano bar with its vast range of old Normandy calvados.

 

Tip: To enjoy its beauty and spiritual ambiance, try to visit early in the morning to avoid the flocks of tourists. More than 3 million tourists visit the Mont each year.