Travelling Omnomnivore

Join me on my travelling and nom nomming adventures!

Paris – Mont St Michel day trip

IMG_2482.JPG
I had wanted to visit this imposing fortress on its own island (but only at high tide) since the day I saw a photo of it, so there was nary a doubt that I would find my way there by hook or by crook the very next time I found myself in Paris (because the first time, I only had 36 hours in Paris on a Contiki tour). Imagine my disappointment when I got to the lookout point to find my view partially obscured by cranes and campervans. Oh well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all my travels, it’s that things don’t always go your way and you shouldn’t let anything dampen your spirits.

But first things first. The Mont St Michel is an island commune situated just under 400km west of Paris and 1km off the northwestern coast of France, in the lower Normandy region. It is a world heritage site and one of the most famous landmarks in France, receiving over 300 million visitors a year, so you can expect to rub shoulders with other tourists on your visit. As such an immensely popular destination, you will also find no shortage of tour companies to take you there on a day trip, though if I had been travelling with a group of friends, I would have much preferred to drive there over a few days as this would have afforded me more time to find the best spots to take photos as well as taking in a few other castles on the way around the Loire Valley.

Alas, I was flying solo and did not fancy driving on the other side of the road all on my lonesome for 4 hours there and 4 hours back, and I only had 1 day, so tour bus it was. I can’t remember exactly which company I booked with, but the name Paris City Vision seems to ring a bell. Regardless of who you go with, the itineraries are fairly similar. With such a long journey, it will be a long roughly 14 hour day with an early start, not too many stops (if you’re going to make all that effort to go, you might as well maximise your time there) and a late finish back in Paris. But, trust me, it will be worth it!

On the day I visited, our first stop was the medieval village of Gerberoy, approximately 1/2 hour northwest from the town of Beauvais and just under 2 hours from Paris. There, we were able to get some deliciously flaky and buttery pastries for breakfast from the local bakery, which I enjoyed while strolling the twisting cobblestone paths and taking in my idyllically rustic surroundings.

IMG_2483.JPG

IMG_2484.JPG

From there, it was straight to our lunch stop, where we got our first view of the Mont St Michel itself. This was where I took the photo at the top of this post. By this time, I was itching to set foot there and too excited to really notice or remember where exactly we ate or what we were served.

After what seemed like an eternity, we were finally dropped at the parking lot at the door of the Mont St Michel. The rest of the afternoon was spent slowly climbing up to the top to visit the abbey, and then back down again through quaint narrow windy streets. There has been a church on the island since 709, however it wasn’t until 1421 that the current more grandiose Gothic style abbey was built.

IMG_2485.JPG

IMG_2486-0.JPG

IMG_2487.JPG

IMG_2488.JPG

Getting there:
Just under 4 hours west of Paris if you drive directly there, taking either the A13 and A84 through Brittany/upper Normandy (via Rouen and Caen, consider a side trip to Beauvais and Gerberoy), or the A11 through the Loire Valley region (via Chartres, exit at Fougeres). The car park is a long way from the Mont itself, but don’t worry, there’s a free shuttle service.

Opening times:
The abbey is open everyday except Jan 1, May 1 and Dec 25
From May 2-August 31 – 9am-7pm, last admission at 6pm
From Sept 1-April 30 – 9.30am-6pm, last admission at 5pm
Dec 24 and 31 – 9.30am-5pm, last admission at 4pm

You can also attend mass there:
Weekdays except Monday – 7am and 6.30pm
Weekends – 8am
Be at the entrance of the abbey 10 minutes beforehand

Tickets:
€9, €5.50 for 18-25yo, free for under 18s, €7 per person for groups of 20 or more
Tickets are available at the entrance of the abbey
Self guided and one hour guided tours available

This is definitely one of the must-see destinations in France. In fact, I would really love to return one day, but by car next time so that I can take my time exploring. However you get there though, I’m sure you’ll be pleased you made the effort!

If you enjoyed this post, please hit “like” or “follow”

Advertisements

2 comments on “Paris – Mont St Michel day trip

  1. Pingback: Paris – Rouen by rail | Travelling Omnomnivore

  2. Pingback: 7 beautiful off the beaten path small towns you must visit in Europe | Travelling Omnomnivore

Questions? Comments? Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Practical Wanderlust

Budget Travel Blog

greentealicious

A blog that explores anything green tea.

Lifestyle By Lily Perth-Melbourne Food & Lifestyle Blog

Perth-Melbourne Food & Lifestyle Blog

french ideas

Fine places in France and around the world.

The Flying Sapiens

Travel Anecdotes. Told Colloquially.

A Flash Packers Guide

Books written by flash packers for the savvy traveller.

I've Got Cake

|| Food vs. Style||

Fae's Twist & Tango

Magazine of a Storyteller... articles about world cultures, travel, and recipes with a twist and tango ♪ ♪ ♪ ...

The Sweet and Savory Bite

Enjoying good food.

Journalist On The Run

Bringing Stories Homes

alifemoment

Colourful Good Food & Positive Lifestyle

Cooking Up The Pantry

Feeding a hungry family!

Dulcia Mira

Brightening Life with Homemade Desserts & Delicious Sweet Treats ~

Smiling in Sonoma

Explore Sonoma County's beauty through wine, food, music, hiking, and photography.

Everythingaroundcoffee&coffee

coffee culture, Cities, trends, roasters, love, health food, nut bars, communities,

Roses on the Road

Nomadic newlyweds exploring the meaning of home

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

%d bloggers like this: