Nestled in a stunning Mont Saint Michel bay shared by Normandy and Brittany, Mont Saint Michel and its bay are among the most picturesque sites in France. This mediaeval architectural marvel was constructed in the 8th century in a Romanesque style and was later rebuilt in a Gothic style in the 13th century. Mont-Saint-Michel was counted among the most important pilgrimage destinations in Christendom during the mediaeval era.
It also functioned as a military base during the Hundred Years War and a prison during the French Revolution. Later, the property was designated as a national landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, Mont-Saint-Michel is a major tourist site, attracting millions of people each year due to its aesthetic and religious significance.
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High tide evenings at the Mont Saint-Michel are a must-see! If you get to Mont Saint-Michel in time, you can see the mount turn into an island as the English Channel reclaims the harbour.
Mont Saint-Michel looks especially magnificent during Christmas when the streets are lined with radiant Christmas trees. On the festive occasion, almost seven kilometres of lightbulbs are strung along the island's and abbey's walls to commemorate the event.
The Christian Art Festival is held every summer on the square in front of the Jerusalem Cross. It is among the free events at Mont Saint-Michel that is open to the public and provides a chance to discover artists who are inspired by the mystical ambience of Mont Saint-Michel.
Jazz on the Bay is a spectacular music festival featuring concerts, masterclasses, film screenings, and workshops for people interested in learning about music.
The Mont Saint-Michel Bay Marathon is one of the most popular annual events in Mont Saint-Michel. The race comprises athletes from thirty different nationalities and traverses the English Channel coastline, allowing them to appreciate their natural surroundings while sprinting for first place.
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The tidal island is located approximately 1 km off the Normandy coast at the mouth of the Couesnon River, a few kilometres north of the Normandy/Brittany border in northwestern France.
Opening times of the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel:
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You can reach Mont Saint-Michel from Paris by taking a direct train to Rennes. At Rennes, you can board a direct shuttle coach bus to Mont Saint Michel. If you are travelling from other directions, Pontorson is the nearest train station from where a direct shuttle bus will transport you to the island in roughly 20 minutes. If you are travelling from Normandy, Mont Saint Michel can be reached from the towns of Bayeux and Caen.
Cars are the quickest way to go to Mont Saint-Michel. The island is only a few kilometres from the A84 Caen-Rennes highway. Either arrive in the early morning or late at night to escape the huge parking line. The well-known sanctuary is located on the English Channel in the department of Manche, 66 kilometres north of Rennes and 52 kilometres east of Saint-Malo. A day journey to Mont Saint Michel from Paris will take approximately four hours. When you arrive, you will be directed to the paid private parking lot.
Passeurs, a dedicated passenger shuttle, connects the island of Mont Saint Michel to the mainland. This free shuttle service operates from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and takes you approximately 350 metres away from the main island. The shuttle has ramps at each entrance and designated disabled spaces.
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Is Mont Saint Michel wheelchair accessible?
While some areas of Mont Saint-Michel, including the shuttle, are wheelchair accessible, the rest of the island has steep steps and cobblestone streets that are difficult to access on a wheelchair.
Is there storage at Mont Saint-Michel?
Yes, storage facilities are available at Mont Saint-Michel which are located near the car park.
What are the Mont Saint Michel Abbey timings?
The Mont Saint Michel Abbey opening hours are From May 19 to August 30, Mont Saint Michel remains open between 9 AM to 7 PM and From September 1 and April 30, its timings are from 9.30 AM to 6 PM.
When is Mont Saint Michel Abbey closed?
Mont Saint Michel is closed on January 1 (New Year), May 1 (Labour Day), and December 25 (Christmas).
What is the best time to visit Mont Saint Michel?
The best time to visit Mont Saint-Michel is between the months of May and September, as the weather is pleasant during these months.
What is Mont-Saint-Michel famous for?
Mont Saint-Michel is renowned for its marvellous architecture and rich cultural heritage. It is among the most picturesque locations in Europe and looks straight out of a fairytale. Various music and art events are also held here every year and attract a large number of tourists.
Is Mont St Michel worth visiting?
Mont Saint Michel in Normandy is definitely worth a visit due to its breathtaking beauty and religious and cultural history. Moreover, it hosts a variety of fascinating events that are a must-see!
Why was Mont St Michel built?
The construction of Mont Saint Michel began in 708 when the Bishop of Avranches, Saint-Aubert, chose to build a tomb in honour of Archangel St. Michael following a divine vision.