- Visit a crucial medieval pilgrimage site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site on an island off the coast of Normandy
- Get a free guided group visit to explore the abbey and see where Archangel Michel has been worshiped since 708 AD
- See Europe's greatest tidal variations (up to 15 meters in six hours) from a 13th-century religious compound
It looks straight out of a fantasy film – as if dragons might swoop down as you enter. But you haven't stepped into a parallel universe, this is the Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel. This astounding World Heritage Site lies just off the windswept coast of Normandy. Explore 20 rooms, stunning gardens, and get panoramic views from this famous medieval fortress.
Le Mont Saint-Michel is a small island commune in Normandy, and the Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel is most definitely its crowning glory, looming over the island like a big stone soldier as the waves crash against its rocky shores. The first worship of the Archangel Michel occurred here in 708 AD, making it a crucial medieval pilgrimage site.
In the 10th century, the Benedictine monks realized the island's importance and promptly set about building a proper abbey on it. In 1874, the abbey was listed as a historic monument – this was long after the monks had said their goodbyes in 1790. It draws just as many crowds today as it did hundreds of years ago thanks to its spectacular presence. With over 20 rooms and spires, and towers looming over the town below, there's plenty to explore. You can also join a guided group tour for free – just ask at the entrance when you arrive and you'll be allotted a timeslot.
Take time to watch the tide roll in and out. Le Mont Saint-Michel has Europe's highest tidal variations, swelling and dropping as much as 15 meters in merely six hours. Reaching the summit of the abbey will reward you with sublime panoramas and make you feel like the king of the castle!
- Enter via the 'Ticket Holders/Priority Access' line and show your smartphone ticket at the entrance
- There's no WiFi at the venue and the mobile coverage there is quite poor, so make sure to download your tickets beforehand
- Cancellations are not possible for this ticket
- Changes may be possible for this ticket
- Last admission one hour before closing
- The closest train station is Pontorson. It can be accessed via the train lines TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes or Dol de Bretagne, then via coach from Rennes or Dol de Bretagne to Mont Saint-Michel
- Take a train from Paris Saint-Lazare to Caen, then a TER train from Caen to Pontorson, then the shuttle bus from Pontorson to Mont Saint-Michel
- Take a train from Paris Montparnasse to Granville, get off in Folligny and get another train to Pontorson, then the shuttle bus from Pontorson to Mont Saint-Michel
Missed the guided tour? An audio guide is available on-site and it's certainly worth the extra €3, as there's not much written information available in the many rooms you'll see.