|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.|
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.)
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.
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 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.