"A Tourist Pilgrimage Within France" Mont Saint Michel by hquittner
Mont Saint Michel Travel Guide: 302 reviews and 985 photos
There is a small town (pop. 80) at the base of the Abbey as well as three small hotels (about 70 rms). The The Mont is a l km rock outcropping in the Bay of St.-Michel whose waters recede and return daily as a function of the massive tides of the adjacent Bay of St. Malo. This alternately makes it a spit of land (with an established causeway) or an island. For a thousand years it has been a pilgrimage site and a tourist trap. But more than that it is an intriguing piece of architecture, a good example of an ancient monastery and an impressive sight. It is a 3* tourist attraction and throngs visit it daily. We have traversed it extensively twice, at a leisurely pace, the second time to introduce our 10 yr. old grandson to medieval France and hopefully for him to begin to feel the mystery of people with intense religous beliefs. This experience began at Chartres which overwhelmed him. When we returned home he was ready to read Henry Adams' "Mont St. Michel and Chartres", which served him well with material for papers all through high school. We are now too old to visit it thr Mont again. You must be able to climb about 200 steps and walk several km to enjoy your visit (rough estimate).
We did not go as "economy tourists" and do not recommend it. We have hardy friends who have "visited" the Mont and the Bayeux "tapestries" in a day-trip (tour) from Paris, starting in the early morning (7AM?) and returning at mid-night. (these peple have rarely visited any other areas of France except Paris and Provence-Riviera). This approach can be "duplicated" by starting nearby. We drove and stayed two nights at a charming relais 9 km from the Mont. We arose early and were among the first 500 who parked that day (high season). On entering, we stopped immediately at La Mere Poulard and reserved a table for 12:30. We did the whole Mont by ourselves (occasionally eavesdropping near a guide); there were no audio guides then. We had a great day each time! Remeber that you MUST be in the first wave of invaders; this is one place where late arrivers keep pouring in!
The Mont is one of the few "intact" abbeys that you can visit in Europe, even though it is a multple level compressed complex. You must understand the layout. It also helps if you understand basic ecclesiastic architecture. There are many detailed guidebooks covering the Mont. Tear out the pages of one or make notes and bring along diagrams of the layout and a pair of binoculars. The crowds make the guided tours minimally rewarding. (We are not fond of audio guides, but they may be a substitute for a personal brain).
- Pros:Almost a Complete Abbey
- In a nutshell:Try to Feel Their Closeness to the Almighty
Having climbed so many stairs (almost 200) and an inclined road to reach the platform before the church, you are... more travel advice
The support of the church required a substructure which was designed into the many areas required by such a religious... more travel advice
hquittner's Related Pages
Mont Saint Michel Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "A place that simply redefines 'awesome'!"
- "Mont St Michel - "The Marvel of the Western World""
- "Merveille de l’Occident"
- "A wonderful corner of France"
- "A shock for the eyes and the soul"
- "Le Mont Saint Michel, the western wonder"
- "Mont St-Michel"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Mont Saint Michel
- Hotels in Mont Saint Michel
- Transportation in Mont Saint Michel
- Nightlife in Mont Saint Michel
- Restaurants in Mont Saint Michel
- Shopping in Mont Saint Michel
- Warnings and Dangers in Mont Saint Michel
- See All...
Explore the World
Badges & Stats in Mont Saint Michel
- 11 Reviews
- 66 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 2 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (52)
Have you been to Mont Saint Michel?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Mont Saint Michel
Photos in Mont Saint MichelSee All Photos (66)
Top 10 Pages
- Paris Intro, 226 reviews, 938 photos, 5 travelogues
- Autun Intro, 17 reviews, 356 photos, 2 travelogues
- Versailles Intro, 45 reviews, 207 photos, 4 travelogues
- Munich Intro, 34 reviews, 157 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Chartres Intro, 32 reviews, 159 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Lyon Intro, 34 reviews, 145 photos
- Carcassonne Intro, 33 reviews, 143 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Toulouse Intro, 31 reviews, 138 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bordeaux Intro, 34 reviews, 127 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Arles Intro, 33 reviews, 121 photos
Latest Mont Saint Michel hotel reviews
- 138 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 24, 2013
- Relais St Michel
- 70 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 17, 2013
- La Mere Poulard
- 156 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 3, 2013
- Auberge Saint-Pierre
- 180 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 28, 2013
- La Vieille Auberge
- 29 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 17, 2013
- 65 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 21, 2013
- Le Mouton Blanc
- 190 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- La Digue
- 23 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 17, 2013
- Terrasses Poulard
- 92 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 3, 2013