France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Mont St-Michel, Normandy, France
Definitely a must-see in Normandy, Mont St-Michel is unique and impressive. It's a very popular destination, so plan your visit carefully in advance. You can even visit on a day-trip from Paris.



Mont St-Michel has a mystique about it that has fascinated pilgrims and travelers for over 1000 years. It attracts over 3 million visitors each year from around the world (all of them with cameras, so here are tips on photography).

If possible, plan your visit for a weekday in spring or autumn.

The narrow Grande Rue or Main Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Tour buses and cars pour into the mainland parking lots, and during the day the mountain's narrow streets are packed, especially in summer and on weekends.

With careful planning you can visit Mont St-Michel from Paris in a single day. More...

Mont St-Michel (also written Mont Saint-Michel and other variations) is in the midst of a large project to restore its maritime character. This important work is attracting world-wide attention to this unique monument. Note that you can no longer drive across the causeway to the island. Parking is now at a new parking lot 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) south, on the mainland. More...

About the Island

Mont St-Michel is located on the Bay of Mont St-Michel, site of the most dramatic tidal ranges in Europe. A dam on the River Couesnon helps control the flow of water.

The surrounding marais or salt marshes are famous for feeding local lamb, the meat of which takes on a salty tang to become agneau de pré salé, a delicacy. More...

The Bay of Mont St-Michel is also known for its delicious mussels.

Early morning fog, Mont-St-Michel, France
Early morning fog surrounds Mont St-Michel.

Abbey of Mont St-Michel

The Abbey has been an important religious and defensive site for centuries. History has it that the first small church was built on the mount in the early 700s, "at the request of" the archangel Michael. In 966 Benedictine monks settled there, building a pre-Romanesque church later in that century.

Between the 11th and 15th centuries, the church was expanded, with Gothic influences and fortifications to protect it.

During medieval times it was a major pilgrimage site, along with Rome and Santiago de Compostela.

During the French Revolution it even served as a prison, and after that time it underwent extensive renovations.

In the 1960s a monastic community once again came to Mont St-Michel. For the past decade it has been supported by members of the Monastic and Lay Communities of Jerusalem. More...

Around Mont St-Michel

Although the Abbey and the location itself are the main attractions, there is plenty to see and do at Mont St-Michel. Nearby towns of Pontorson and Avranches also offer accommodations, restaurants, and other attractions.

Mont St-Michel was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

The Offices du Tourisme, can provide detailed information and maps of the region. More...

Hotels at Mont St-Michel

Mont St-Michel Restaurants

What to See & Do

Photos at Mont St-Michel

Abbey of Mont St-Michel

Tides at Mont St-Michel

Transport to Mont St-Michel

Tourist Information



About Normandy


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Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

A new (2012) causeway leads
to Mont St-Michel, Normandy.


Maringote horse-drawn wagon, Mont St-Michel, Normandy, France
Ride to Mont St-Michel in a maringote...

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