An enthralling journey through tides and history
Of all the treasures dotted along the Vélomaritime, the Mont-Saint-Michel is definitely a place you can’t afford to miss, with its heritage spanning a thousand years and its breathtaking landscapes. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Mont-Saint-Michel is also known as the “Wonder of the West". The ancient citadel of Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey towers majestically on top of a huge granite outcrop sculpted by millions of years of erosion, evoking a journey through the ages.
ℹ️ To get the most out of your visit to the Mont-Saint-Michel, it’s better to come here outside of peak times – early in the morning or at the end of the day – especially on very busy days.
Things to see and do at the Mont-Saint-Michel 🌟:
- Head off to explore the abbey and learn about monastic life over the centuries. You’ll discover everything about the abbey’s daily life, spirituality, and hospitality towards visiting pilgrims. Every corner of the abbey draws us into the fascinating history of the Mont-Saint-Michel, from the mysterious recesses in the refectory to the peaceful tranquillity of the cloister and the spiritual atmosphere of the chapels and crypts. The abbey’s remarkable Gothic architecture is dizzyingly beautiful and the panoramic views from the western terrace – the only belvedere of its kind – will leave you speechless as you contemplate the magnificent bay. It’s an experience you will never forget!
- Top tips:
- Entry is free of charge for anyone under 26 from the European Union.
- In summer, you’ll enjoy the mount more if you visit at the end of the day. The abbey is open until midnight, offering visitors a Mont-Saint-Michel by night experience.
- Enjoy one of the abbey’s night-time events: in summer, a light and sound show transforms the abbey, offering a unique encounter in a magical atmosphere.
- Watch the tide flow in. There’s nothing like watching the sea rise around the Mont-Saint-Michel during spring tides (a tidal coefficient of over 110) – it’s one of the most memorable experiences ever. Make sure you check the tide times and don’t miss this spectacular show during which nature turns the mount into an island again for just a few hours.
- Wander along the passageways and ramparts, and lose yourself in the narrow, picturesque streets of the Mont-Saint-Michel. Be bold and explore beyond the main street!
- Cross the bay with a guide for an unforgettable experience! Discover the mount from a completely different vantage point. This walk across the bay takes you in the footsteps of pilgrims who have trodden the sands to reach the Mont-Saint-Michel for thousands of years. Hiring a guide who’s qualified to cross the bay is an absolute must as the crossing can be dangerous.
Places to stop and admire the Mont-Saint-Michel along the Vélomaritime cycle route:
West of the Mont-Saint-Michel:
- The road called Chemin de la Corniche in Cancale offers a stunning view over the port and the magnificent Mont-Saint-Michel Bay. On a clear day, you can spot the impressive silhouette of the mount in the distance.
- Just after Cherrueix, stop on the dyke at Saint Anne’s chapel, in Saint-Broladre. The sweeping view over Mont-Saint-Michel Bay is simply amazing.
East of the Mont-Saint-Michel:
- Stop at Pointe de la Roche Torin in Courtils. From here you can enjoy a unique view of the Mont-Saint-Michel and Tombelaine rock, through the grasslands and salt marshes.
- Don’t miss the Mont-de-Huisnes German war cemetery at Huisnes-sur-Mer. The view from here is easy to access and it also provides an opportunity to gather your thoughts at the memorial. It’s the only German war cemetery on French soil. German victims of the Second World War were laid to rest here.
- Contemplate the mount and the meandering beds from the hamlet of La Rive, near Pontorson. The view of the Mont-Saint-Michel from here is one of the most famous views of all. Water has sculpted meanders in the fields nearby, creating a fascinating landscape. When it rains, the meanders fill up, adding to the magical atmosphere of the place.
Parcours à la carte
ℹ️ Practical information
Locating the Mont-Saint-Michel on the map
Only three and a half hours from Paris, the Mont-Saint-Michel is in the old province of Avranchin, east of the mouth of the river Couesnon, between Granville and Cancale, in the department of Manche, in Normandy.
Getting to the Mont-Saint-Michel by bike and finding a parking space
You’re allowed to cycle across the causeway and bridge, as well as along the paths leading from the official car park further away.
There are 70 bike parking spaces available at the foot of the mount (except during spring tides), in the forecourt of the Fanils fortress (left-hand entrance - see the facilities).⚠️ Important! There is no security guard and no baggage deposit service.
Alternatively, you can leave your bike in one of the three parking areas further afield, all equipped with bike racks:
- the P9 bike parking area,
- alongside the greenway, near the dam,
- at Place du Barrage, on the side of the road leading to the mount.
Once your bicycle is parked you can make your way to the Mont-Saint-Michel on foot or by shuttle bus (free for walkers and cyclists).
How much time is needed to visit the Mont-Saint-Michel?
You need at least half a day to visit the Abbey and wander through the narrow streets.
Staying in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay
There are plenty of places to choose from here – hotels, campsites, B&Bs, and so on. Pick somewhere that suits you best! Find cycle friendly accommodation in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay.