Le Mont-Saint-Michel

Here you’ll find travel reports about Le Mont-Saint-Michel. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

60 travelers at this place:

  • Day135

    St Michael's Mount

    October 19, 2017 in France ⋅

    This morning we walked about 6kms from Penzance to St Michael's Mount, a small tidal island in Mount's Bay. The island is linked to the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water. It started out as a reasonable-looking day and progressively deteriorated into a windy rainy one. By the time we walked back across the causeway anything not covered by our raincoats was drenched! We dragged our dripping bodies into a warm dry restaurant and filled our stomachs - always a good solution. It was a great walk a fun as well!Read more

  • Day7


    September 24, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Heute war ein wunderbarer Tag. Mir war zwar dauernd unterschiedlich warm, aber ansonsten lief alles ohne Komplikationen.
    Mein Tag hat wieder gegen sieben angefangen. Gegen zwanzig nach acht hab ich das Haus verlassen und bin dieses Mal alleine zur Schule gelaufen. Da hab ich dann mit den deutschen Schülern auf den Bus gewartet, der uns zum Mont-Saint-Michel genommen hat. Auf der Fahrt hab ich mich ein bisschen weiter informiert über den Berg. Ich weiß jetzt dementsprechend, dass ein Bischoff einer nahegelegenen Stadt im Jahr 708 eine Erscheinung vom Erzengel Michael hatte, in der er angehalten wurde ein Kloster auf dem Felsen im Ärmelkanal zu bauen. Das hat er dann auch irgendwann getan, aber erst ab dem 11. Jahrhundert hat der Berg richtig angefangen zu ‚wachsen‘.
    Das und andere Kleinigkeiten durfte ich den Schülern mitteilen, nachdem wir nach dem Schulbus einen anderen kleinen genommen hatten, der uns zum Fuß des Berges gebracht hat und nachdem wir die Stufen hochgestiegen sind zum Kloster. Vor der wirklichen Führung haben wir gepicknickt, aber dann waren wir die nächste Zeit in dem Kloster, der zugehörigen Kirche und anderen Räumlichkeiten. Ich fand wir haben uns alle gut benommen.
    Am Ende der Führung hatten alle ein bisschen Freizeit. Wir haben die für Crêpes und Kaukau genutzt in einem wunderschönen Café mit Aussicht aufs Meer.
    Irgendwann haben wir alle Schüler wieder eingefangen und haben die Busse nach Hause genommen. Dieses Mal hab ich dann gelesen.
    Wieder an der Schule haben wir auf die französischen Schüler gewartet und sind dann alle langsam nach Hause gegangen.
    Das hier zu schreiben jetzt etwas länger gedauert, weil ich nur eine Hand frei habe, was auf dem letzten Bild erklärt wird.
    Heute war wunderschön und auch echt warm - teilweise. Ich freu mich auf morgen aber alles geht viel zu schnell vorbei. Egal ich genieß es in vollen Zügen - na ja Bussen heute - ha ha...
    Euch noch einen schönen Abend und bis morgen!
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  • Day47

    Mont-Saint-Michel: An Island Abbey

    June 17, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    This Benedictine Abbey is dedicated to St Michael, the archangel. It is an island, connected to the land when the tide is out. It was a Sunday, so lots international bus tours and other people were visiting the area. They get many more during the middle of the tourist season. We used the Park & Ride system and the shuttle dropped us off pretty close. We walked up through the village of hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops that have been there since pilgrims started coming. About 26 people live on the island, running the businesses. Great views from on high.Read more

  • Day47

    The Abbey

    June 17, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Mont-Saint-Michel was converted into a prison during the Revolution, so many artifacts have been lost. But it is still magnificent. We heard a group of seven college students singing acapella in one of the chapels off the sanctuary. They faced the concave surface of the chapel and their voices resonated throughout the cathedral. It was beautiful, and so refreshing to see young people with a spiritual connection, since we don’t see a lot of that in Europe. A lot of people were listening and making videos.Read more

  • Day92

    In Which we Mount the Mont

    September 15, 2017 in France ⋅

    In the immortal words of Kenny Rogers, sometimes “you’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know to when to run”. If there was ever a time to put this advice to the test, this was it. After the belting we had taken yesterday, the peloton was not in prime shape. Shoes were still wet, washing was still drying, energy reserves were low and the team was looking to me for a brave decision. I did what anyone else would do under these circumstances – looking out the window to see what the weather was doing. It was the same as yesterday, still pouring. Considering that we had another 30 or more kilometers to complete along the black quicksand, (otherwise known as the bike trail), it was very unlikely that most of the peloton would be up to the challenge. I certainly wasn’t.

    “Do you really want to ride ?”, I asked.

    “Not really”, was the overwhelming response. They are obviously much more intelligent than they look. But what other option was there ? I decided to ring the travel company to see if they would take pity on a group of pitiful elderly Australians.

    “Bonjour Beatrice”, I began in my best French. “Please help us”, I blabbered, trying hard to hold back the tears (maybe still an aftereffect from yesterday’s sunscreen in the eyes). I explained our situation and asked for her to move heaven and earth to save us from another day in the freezing mud.

    “I vill reeng you beck”, Beatrice promised.

    A few minutes later I had the solution I had been hoping for. Apparently they would be able to arrange a taxi and trailer to transport us and our luggage to Mont St Michel, but our bikes would have to wait till the following day. Of course a few Euros would have to quietly change hands to keep the driver happy. All in all a most agreeable solution.

    I called the group together and outlined the plan. When I told them that they could take off their filthy cycling gear and change back into proper clothes, their faces broke out into huge smiles. Apparently it was the news they had all been hoping for.

    About an hour later we were all packed and changed into warm and dry clothes, waiting for the taxi. It arrived on time and most (but not all of us) were able to climb inside. Maggie and I ended up in the front seat, next to the driver. Although this gave us a great view, it also gave us several near death experiences. Soon after we started moving it became evident that the driver not only spoke not a single word of English, but also had not the foggiest notion where Mont St Michel actually was. He reached for his GPS with his left hand and his mobile phone with his right hand, leaving the steering to take care of itself. While his head was buried in his electronic devices the minibus wandered straight over the double line onto the wrong side of the road. Maggie’s nails dug a deep crater in my right thigh.

    The driver looked up at the last moment and then jerked the wheel to the right, sending us right across the road onto the verge on the right side. We tried to keep his attention on the road, but he kept getting SMS messages, phone calls and emails (maybe from his stockbroker, or possibly his undertaker)while he was driving. The circus continued for the entire drive to the outskirts of Mont St Michel. From time to time we caught glimpses of the famous tidal island and the driver seemed just as excited as we were. I suspect he was surprised that he had actually found the correct route.

    As we reached the entrance to the main street of Mont St Michel we were stopped by a boom gate. The driver looked mystified. We pulled to a stop. He looked into space, scratched his head, babbled something in French and just sat there. Behind us a huge line of waiting buses and cars started to build up. The driver rang someone on his phone but the call seemed to keep dropping out. The queue behind us grew ever longer, until eventually a driver came up and asked what he was doing. He scratched his head and finally turned out of the way and did a loop around the block to have another go. The whole charade was repeated a second time, until finally we saw the boom gate on the exit go up. We pointed to it and the driver swerved across the road and entered via the exit, accompanied by a chorus of cheers and clapping from the Ghostriders.

    We found the hotel (thanks to my GPS) and pulled up outside. The driver opened his door and looked out, at the same time accidentally dropping his jacket out the door. He didn’t see it and started to reverse. We yelled at him about his jacket, but he just smiled and laughed. Maybe this was all part of the performance. It certainly was great entertainment. A bystander banged on his window and pointed to his front wheel. He finally showed interest, got out and retrieved the filthy remains of his coat. He seemed quite mystified as to how that could possibly have happened. Such is life in France.

    We bade farewell to the driver, thankful to be both alive and still dry. After dropping our gear at the hotel we set off to explore the famous landmark that is visited by millions of tourists every year. The distinctive towering abbey dates back to obscure beginnings in 708 when Aubert, Bishop of Avranches had a sanctuary built to honour Michael the archangel. For most of its existence it was only possible to reach the island at low tide, but a recent elevated road and walkway now allows the onslaught of tourists to reach it at all hours.

    Although it is possible to travel across by free tourist buses, we chose to walk across instead and experience the visual sensation of seeing the abbey growing in size as we drew nearer and nearer. Carol’s first experience of the famous abbey was not a pleasant one. As soon as she opened her umbrella, the howling wind grabbed it from her fingers and quickly sent it souring into the air and out of sight. I had visions of Carol becoming a modern day Mary Poppins and sailing right over the abbey rooftop, holding onto the handle of her umbrella. Like Bob’s GPS, the umbrella is probably now somewhere over the English Channel.

    We last visited this spot a few years ago and, although it was crowded then, the crowds have now grown to almost unbearable proportions. As soon as we entered the lower parts of the Mont we were surrounded by a crush of tourists that had all been disgorged from their tour buses. A large percentage were holding on to their cursed selfie sticks so that they could photograph themselves in front (and thereby completely obscuring) every nook and cranny. Those that weren’t carrying selfie sticks were sucking on stinking cigarettes, blowing smoke into every else’s face. This is NOT my favourite type of location. After an hour or so of doing battle with the masses we retreated to the quieter outskirts of the abbey and sought some personal space and fresh air. For a short time we succeeded, but soon even this refuge was overrun by a line of smokers. I could not help feel disgusted at the way they tossed their buts straight down onto the ancient paths or flicked them into the ocean. This place might have survived the elements for a 1000 years, but I can’t see it standing up to the battering it is taking from the tourists every day. We were glad to leave the chaos and walk back to our hotel, assisted by a roaring tailwind. We enjoyed this simple pleasure much more than the abbey itself.

    In the evening it was another superb dinner, this time at the Relais du La Roy. Apparently this is the best restaurant in town and the food was superb. I chose the seafood platter for entrée and it would have been enough to serve as a main course at any other restaurant. I somehow managed to spread it all over the tablecloth , my napkin, shirtfront (and even send a spray of something from a squashed prawn onto the adjoining table). I think people suspected that I am not skilled at this sort of thing.

    After dinner we took a final look at the floodlit island and staggered back to our hotel. Tomorrow we move to St Malo.
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  • Day97

    In Which we discover the best Boulanger

    September 20, 2017 in France ⋅

    Day 30 and 31 have provided the best cycling we have so far experienced in our 4 weeks in Europe. The scenery in this part of Brittany is absolutely captivating, much of the route is via peaceful back roads where the silence is complete, the weather has turned completely and we have been able to enjoy the genuine essence of France.

    A highlight of yesterday was the lunch we shared in a Boulangerie in a small town. The girl at the counter explained in very limited English that she had only opened the business three weeks ago. She was so eager to please that she literally ran back and forth with our orders, went out the back to her own kitchen to get extra chairs and smiled so widely that you would think her face would break. She was so thrilled that a group of Australians would choose to eat in her shop that she was almost overwhelmed. When Carol gave her a small koala she blushed deeply and said that it would be her treasured mascot. It really was a magic moment that meant so much more to us than all the tourist hoopla of Mont St Michel.

    Today we started the day with a visit to the nearby discount shoe shop to search for a pair of shoes to replace the ones I had destroyed several weeks ago in Paris. Ever since that time the soles had been progressively falling further and further off, allowing the rain and cold to reach my toes. To my relief we found a pair of the required 46 size (not easy in France where they apparently are not used to anything larger than about size 8). Since I paid the princely sum of 15 Euro for them I can assume that they should be very good quality.

    Later in the morning we all walked to the Wednesday market at Pontorson. The sky was completely blue and the relaxed atmosphere of the market gave a precious insight into life in this part of the country. We all stocked up on baguettes, cheese, ham and strawberries (so much better than the Australian rubbish), stuffing them into our panniers for a waterfront picnic lunch. Much of the ride was along a beautiful cycle path with a very good surface. This meant that the kilometres just sailed by. Along the way we could see the distinctive silhouette of Mont St Michel gradually shrinking into the distance.

    We are now spending the night in St Vivier Sur Mer. We have discovered that it is the town where nothing is open. We waited for over 30 mins outside the Patisserie because it was supposed to reopen at 3 pm after siesta. Apparently the owner must have overslept, because the shop was still closed at 3.20 pm and even the locals gave up waiting. Such is the rhythm of life in France.

    Tomorrow we return to St Malo and a well earned short break before heading across to the Channel Islands for stage 4 of our adventure.
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  • Day3

    Day 3-Bayeux to Mont St Michel, 20 miles

    April 18, 2016 in France ⋅

    (plus 75 miles by train!)

    Slight cheat day today. After relaxed morning in Bayeux the train was boarded after lunch (banana and Nutella crepes are my new favorite thing) for the 2 hour journey to Pontorson and then short ride to Mont St Michel. For anyone who has not been this is a must. Turns out it's the third most visited tourist attraction on France and you can see why. An Abbey built on a rock that gets cut off by the sea twice a day. After popping up the during the day and wandering around I went back after dinner for the sunset and for anyone that knows me im a sucker for a sun set.

    The big bonus for me today is Mont St Michel will be the 'Grand Depart' for Le Tour this year. Might not mean much to many people but to any cyclist this was a big box ticked.

    Inbetween I checked into my guesthouse a couple of miles in land in Beauvoir. Lovely place and Claude the host was very welcoming even if I wasn't sure what eye to look at!

    Great day and will be getting a few more trains to see more things as so easy and cheap. England could learn a thing or two.
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  • Day47

    Le Mont-Saint-Michel

    June 17, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    The highlight, of course, is the Abbey at the top of the mountain. It is amazing to look at the sheer size of it and to think of how they built it. They hauled the rock from the archipelago quarries by barge at high tide. They winched the stones up the mountain using 6 men walking on a “gerbil wheel”, then cut the stones precisely and laid them on a pointed mountain. First they had to make a base around the point, and build it up from there. It was built in the 11th-13th centuries, and then in the 14th century it was fortified for the 100 years war. Because it resisted all English assaults, it is France’s symbol of National identity.Read more

  • Day47

    Le Mont-Saint-Michel tour

    June 17, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Our admission included a tour, which gave lots of information and showed us things we might not have found on our own. With all the tour groups, it was hard to hear her at times, but we still learned a lot. She said they get a lot of Japanese tour groups, and we certainly saw that. We are thankful that this monument was not damaged in the war, and that the French government is preserving it.

    We also saw a performance of medieval music and dance in a courtyard.
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  • Day5


    June 17, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 61 °F

    Mont-St-Michele is going to be a great place to visit, but it will be even better because both of my kids will be with me for father's day for the first time in 4 years. Michelle and I always enjoy that, regardless of what day it is.
    Abbie got me a watch with a picture of the two of us after our sky diving event. She also had the back engraved with "You Are My Sunshine," our song together. Adam sent something to the house but it arrived the day after we left so father's day is going to stretch out for me.
    Mont-Saint-Michel is an Abbey built on a massive rock island just off of the coast into the English channel. Construction began in the early 10th century if not before. Some say it originated in the 1st century. By the 15th century, the Abbey and surrounding village had taken up every inch of the island.
    After the French revolution, when the religious community was dissolved, the Mont was used as a prison and it easily thwarted several military attacks, and once look at it, you can easily see why.
    It is the most amazing man made thing I have ever seen. This scene is the kind of place that theme. parks try to mimic. The main path up today is modern with restaurants and retail, but I can imagine how that same market place must have looked in past centuries.
    The walk to the top was quite physical, but well worth it. If Michelle and I are ever fortunate enough to return here, we will spend the night in one of the hotels beneath the Abbey so that we can experience it without the crowds. That would be my one complaint. The tour buses are flowing through here, but with good reason. If you stay overnight, after the busses leave, you are still able to tour the place, minus the Abbey, with more solitude. I will end this note like I started it. It was amazing.
    I'm amazed at how this edifice was made with no modern equipment. One of the coolest things about this place is the contraption that was built to move food and supplies up to the prisoners. It was basically a hamster wheel that people would walk in, and a mixture of wheels and pulleys would move a giant sled up and down the side of the Abbey wall.
    We left here in the late afternoon and drove several hours to a town called Amboise a little south of Paris. It seems every little town in France is just as cute as can be. We're checked into the Novatel, which appears to be fairly new and headed out for dinner. The city center is just off the Loire river and the architecture of the old buildings here are pretty cool.
    When I picture what it is like eating in France, this is it. Small restaurants lined up along a narrow road with people eating outside in conversation. We ate at L'Ambacia and we all had fish and chips except Adam. It may be the best meal I've had yet. After we stopped in for some gelato before we headed back to the hotel for some badly needed rest.
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