France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Cars & Parking, Mont St-Michel
For decades cars could drive right to the base of Mont St-Michel, but in 2012 the causeway was closed to all but shuttle buses, Maringotes and pedestrians.

 
   

 

The causeway to Mont St-Michel is closed to private vehicles. Visitor parking for all cars and bicycles is located on the mainland 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) south of Mont St-Michel island.

Signs for Navettes

As you approach Mont St-Michel, look for signs bearing the word Navettes (shuttles) and the 'P' parking symbol. Follow these signs, not the signs reading simply Mont St-Michel. (The Mont St-Michel signs will direct you to a barrier on rue de la Caserne through which only authorized vehicles may pass.)

Shuttle Buses

You reach the island of Mont St-Michel by traveling from the mainland parking lots across the new causeway by shuttle bus (free, 5 to 8 minutes), by horse-drawn maringote wagon (15 minutes, for a fee), or by walking (free, 30 to 45 minutes).

The specially-designed shuttle buses are equipped to carry wheelchairs, though the many stairs on the island limit wheelchair access the island's sights including the abbey, the churches, museums and ramparts.

Parking Fees & Payment

When you enter an official parking lot, you take a time-stmped ticket. The first 30 minutes of parking anytime, and all parking between the hours of 19:00 (7 pm) and 02:00 (2 am), are free of charge. Fees are levied from 02:00 (2 am) to 19:00 (7 pm) for 31 minutes to 2 hours, or for more than 2 hours to 24 hours. Payment is by euro coins and/or notes, or by chip credit or debit card, at machines located at the Tourist Information Center and on the paths back to the parking lots.

Maringotes

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 team of two horses behind which you clip-clop over the causeway to the island.

The Restoration

The new visitor access system is part of the project to restore the maritime character of Mont St-Michel.

Over the years silt has built up in the river and the bay, extending the land into the bay and threatening to make the island part of the mainland. If this were to happey, Mont St-Michel's maritime character would be lost.

The new elevated causeway and the new dam on the Couesnon River, with its controlled filling and release of tidal sea and river water, are designed to reduce silting, protect the maritime environment, and return the sea at Mont St-Michel to its customary tides.

If you are staying overnight at Mont St-Michel, check with your hotel for directions to the special parking lot for island hotel guests, and for island access arrangements.


Transport to Mont St-Michel

Mont St-Michel Hotels

Mont St-Michel Restaurants

What to See & Do

The Dam at Mont St-Michel

Restoration Project

About Mont St-Michel

About Normandy

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Cars in parking lot, Mont-St-Michel, France

Above, the days of cars and parking right
next to Mont St-Michel are over!

Below, Shuttle buses and pedestrians share the road on the new approach to Mont St-Michel.

    Approach to Mont St-Michel    
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