France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   What to See & Do at Mont St-Michel
The Abbey, of course! But there's lots more to experience on this tiny and densely packed island.




Although most people only spend a few hours at Mont St-Michel, there is lots to see and do, despite its small size.

When you think about what to see at Mont St-Michel, you immediately picture the Abbey and the island. (And in fact, Mont St-Michel is visible from miles away, so keep an eye out. You'll see it as you drive from Avranches, and even from as far away as Cancale in Brittany.)

Mont St-Michel will yield many of its charms and its secrets when you explore and photograph, but only if you are prepared. It is full of steep, narrow streets and lots of stairs, both inside the Abbey and outside. You'll need comfortable walking shoes and good knees. Anyone with mobility issues will be challenged here.

Here are the high points of a trip to Mont St-Michel:

Abbey of Mont St-Michel

Of course you will want to visit the Abbey. You can go on your own or with a guide to see the various buildings and gardens. More...

Overnight on the Island

Because of the crowds that are a constant at Mont St-Michel, it's sometimes hard to remember that it is a sacred pilgrimage site. To truly appreciate the magic of Mont St-Michel, stay overnight on the island in one of the hotels inside the walls. You'll get to appreciate the quiet, the changing light, the movement of the water, and the sense of calm that extends back centuries. You'll be able to roam the streets and truly see the island. More...

La Grande Rue

The main street is lined with restaurants, hotels, and lots of souvenir shops. More...

Église Saint-Pierre

The small Parish Church of St-Pierre dates from the 15th and 16th centuries and offers daily masses. More...

Best Museums

Four small museums in Mont St-Michel, plus the Scriptorial d'Avranches, provide information about the history and ecology of the area. More...


No doubt among the most photographed places on earth, Mont St-Michel will be easier to shoot if you plan ahead. More...


Walking on the island means climbing lots of steps, but it also means ever-changing views. In addition, tides permitting you can walk around the island and wander through the nearby salt marshes. Or you can position yourself to watch the rising waters. More...

The Dam

Part of a large-scale project to restore Mont St-Michel's maritime character, this new dam controls the flow of water between the Bay of Mont-St-Michel and the Couesnon River to control silt build up. It also offers great views of Mont-St-Michel. More...

Religious Services

Catholic masses are held on most days at the Abbey and at the Church of St-Pierre. More...

In the Area

You can also visit the nearby towns of Avranches, where the Scriptorial has manuscripts from Mont St-Michel, and Pontorson, a small town with a few hotels and restaurants and a train station. More...

About Mont St-Michel

Abbey of Mont St-Michel

Église St-Pierre

Grande Rue

The Dam at Mont St-Michel

Overnight at Mont St-Michel

About Normandy




Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel: three girls, so many secrets...


View of the back of Mont-St-Michel, France

Above, view of Mont St-Michel
from the north side, at low tide.
That's all sand around it, not water!

Below, bell tower of the Abbey, with golden statue of
Saint Michael (St-Michel) on top.


Bell Tower, Abbey of Mont-St-Michel, France

Stairs at Mont-St-Michel, France

Above, be prepared to climb
lots of stairs at Mont St-Michel!

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