In 708AD, The Bishop of Avianches heard the voice o the Archangel Michael telling him to "Build here, build high".
The current abbey is built on the remains of a Romanesque and Corolingian Church.
The island of Mont Saint Michel is connected by a 2 mile causeway to the mainland which was originally built in 1878. There are plans for a new bridge to be built in the near future.
This area of Normandy has the highest and most dangerous tides in Europe. They go 8 miles in and out and change at the rate of 2 feet per second.
The mudflats around the island are visible and spotted with sheep during low tide.
You can walk on them but beware of quicksand, fast tide movements and fog.
Warning: Once you arrive on the island there are many steep steps and sharp inclines. This may be physically difficult for some people.
Grande Rue, the main street is very touristy....lined with shops and tons of people.
The Abbey Church is interesting....and quite a hike up the hill. The augioguide or guided tour will give you a overview of the sights and history of this Monastery.
When to visit Mt. St Michel
It is very crowded during the day in summer. I would either go early in the day or late in the afternoon.
Spring and Fall would be a great time of year to visit Mount Saint Michel.
The lights after dark are beautiful.
Consider arriving late in the afternoon and staying overnight. Then you can explore with no crowds and enjoy the morning light which is best for photographing Mt. St. Michel.
Mont St Michel HotelsBe sure and walk the ramparts in the evening or watch the sunset from the tower. If you decide to stay on the island, here are some favorite choices:
- Hotel des Terrasses Poulard - expensive hotel with good sized rooms, lots of stairs
- Hotel La Vieille Auberge- highest location on the Mont St Michel, there are 4 rooms with large terraces, good value
Bed and Breakfast - Chambre d'Hote
- La Jacotiere - Tel. 33 (0) 2 33 60 22 94, near mainland end of causeway (Ardervon), lovely stone farmhouse, 6 rooms, great views of Mt Saint Michel, good value
- Les Vieilles Digues - 1 1/2 miles to Mont Saint Michel, lovely stone home in the country, nice rooms and beautiful garden, cheap rates
Mont St Michel RestaurantsTry puffy omelets, mussels, lamb and seafood which are specialties here. Note....the restaurants here are high priced and none have consistantly great reviews.
Chez Mado have beautiful views from the upstairs terrace. Hotel la Vielle Auberge Restaurant is open for lunch. For a romantic weekend break, pick up a sandwich or salad to go and have a picnic in the small park below the abbey.
Enjoy this very interesting and beautiful area of France.
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