|Transport for Mont St-Michel, France|
|You can reach Mont St-Michel by train, bus or car, but you can no longer drive over the causeway and park at the base of the island.|
Since 2012, you can no longer drive right to the foot of Mont St-Michel. The causeway is closed to private vehicles, including cars and bicycles.
All visitors must now cross the causeway to the island-mountain only on foot, by shuttle bus, or by horse-drawn maringote, but check the tides before you arrive to see if you can get to the island at all. More...
On Mont St-Michel itself you should plan your walking, as you will have to negotiate hundreds of stairs. (No elevators/lifts or escalators here.)
Paris—Mont St-Michel in a Day
You can actually visit Mont St-Michel on a day-trip from Paris. It's a long day, but certainly not unbearable:
—Spend up to six hours exploring Mont St-Michel (more time than most guided tour groups get!)
If you don't want to bother with making all the arrangements, various tour companies offer day-trip excursiosn from Paris to Mont St-Michel and return by motorcoach. You depart Paris at 07:15 am and return at 21:15 (9:15 pm).
The closest train station to Mont St-Michel, served by TER regional trains, is Pontorson, 9 km (5.6 miles) due south of Mont St-Michel (map). Three TER trains per day connect Caen, Pontorson and Dol-de-Bretagne.
Local buses or taxis can take you from the Pontorson station to Mont St-Michel.
The bus stop is near the parking area and the Tourist Information Centre (Centre d'Informations Touristiques) in the mainland village of Mont St-Michel, close to the junction of highways D976 and D275. From the bus stop you can take a free shuttle (25 minutes) to Mont St-Michel, or walk (30 to 45 minutes).
Car & Parking
The E401/N176 highway takes you to Pontorson, from which you can turn northward to reach Mont St-Michel. You must park on the mainland, and you may choose to stay in a hotel on the mainland, south of the island, as well. Here's information on parking.
If you decide to stay in a hotel on the island of Mont St-Michel itself, contact your island hotel about access and baggage.
To & From the Island
From the mainland, you can reach the island by walking (free, 30 to 45 minutes), shuttle bus (navette, free, 5 to 8 minutes), or by horse-drawn carriage (maringote, fee payable, 15 minutes).
If the weather is good and the tide low, the 30- to 45-minute walk is a pleasant one. As for the view...well, here it is:
Shuttle Buses (Navettes)
The specially-designed shuttle buses are equipped to carry wheelchairs, though when you arrive at the island, the many stairs limit wheelchair access to some of the island's sights including the abbey, the churches, museums and ramparts.
For a traditional ride, buy a ticket for a maringote, a horse-drawn wagon. Maringotes are of various sizes and types, some open on the sides, others enclosed, each pulled by a pair of horses behind which you clip-clop over the causeway to and from the island.
On the Island
There are no motor vehicles on the island of Mont St-Michel (except a few small, special government utility vehicles for sanitation, construction, etc.). Indeed, the medieval paths that have become the island's streets are barely wide enough for the crowds of pedestrians on any summer weekend.
So you will walk—and climb stairs. There are very limited provisions for the handicapped and anyone with mobility challenges. Stone stairways are everywhere, and there is no way to reach the abbey except by climbing hundreds of steps.