Our Trip to Mont Saint Michel Normandy – 1 Day Travel Guide
The most enchanting and breathtaking place to go for someone who loves Disney and Castle like places. Le Mont Saint Michel Normandy, the absolute place to go to experience the best of France. In terms of history, activities, scenic & landscape views, and many more.
We’ve started our road trip from Brussels, Belgium early in the morning. The trip will normally take us more or less 6 – 7 hours via car, depending on the roads traffic.
I was extremely excited, to visit Le Mont Saint Michel I have told my hubby that we should go there but, we really didn’t have that schedule to make it. But, this day we got this moment to finally, visit Le Mont Saint Michel Normandy.
Thinking that everything was perfectly organized; our hotel, tickets, and places to go. We were definitely ready to this another road trip.
The Road Trip
The odd and disturbing thing was, on the same day of our trip it was also the same day that we were invited to lunch by our relatives’ residence. An error on our part for not verifying our schedules at that moment.
But well, we didn’t have a lot of choices, the moment we realized that we should be at our relatives’ it was already too late. We were in the middle of our road trip heading to Normandy, France.
Thinking twice if we should back out on our trip, in the end, we’ve chosen to continue. My heart was aching cause I don’t really want to disappoint anyone on that day. Trapped, in that difficult situation where we cannot go back in time.
Meanwhile, Hubby was driving we suddenly arrived at the toll gate, to enter the Normandy Bridge. Normally, cars who are crossing the bridge should pay the toll fee, in our case we didn’t pay on the spot.
We bought an applied for an online toll payment machine (Tag or Telepeage), so we have that small vignette that can detect the toll gate to open automatically for us.
Travel Tip: The toll fee to cross the Normandy Bridge cost 5 Euros. So make sure you have your credit card or cash with you when going to Mont Saint Michel Normandy. Better if you have the Tag or Telepeage to avoid paying on the spot.
Car Parking and Finding the Hotel
Arriving at Pontorson, we directly found our designated hotel. It was a 2-star hotel with a bar & restaurant, only 9 kilometers away from Mont Saint Michel Normandy.
The easiest part was finding the hotel, but the tough one is car park hunting. Fortunately, Hubby is an expert on detecting parking lots and just a few minutes after we found the parking 5 minutes walk from the Hotel.
Arrived at the Hotel past 1 o’clock in the afternoon, just the right timing to eat our late lunch. We didn’t let the opportunity passed, so we had our lunch before going to Mont Saint Michel.
We ordered a simple menu for lunch. I got the rice with squid, (Calamares) and Hubby got fries, salad, and ham. For our dessert, I chose a Crêpe (pancake) while he chose a Crème brûlée (Burnt cream or Trinity cream).
Way to Mont Saint Michel Normandy
There are plenty of ways to reach Mont Saint Michel. But I’ll let you know the most important part first. It is forbidden to use your vehicle to reach the island. So you have to park your car in the “Parc de Stationnement” Parking Area.
After parking your car, you can get either a shuttle bus or the “Maringote” horse-drawn carriage ride to bring you to the island of Mont Saint Michel.
According to some source: the horse-drawn carriage is the original method of transport. And the perfect way to discover Mont Saint Michel in the same way as pilgrims did in the olden days.
The Shuttle Bus
Talking about our choice, we opted the Shuttle Bus which was free to ride rather the other the Maringote. Looking at the information page of Mont Saint Michel Normandy it’s noted that the use shuttle bus is 2,90 Euros per trip. Maybe the fee directly charged on the parking by that time.
There’s actually an essential detail that I haven’t shared yet. We didn’t park our car in the general parking hub area. Instead, we went to a shop just near the parking.
It was a recommendation given to us by one of the staffs of our hotel. The hotel staff told us to park our car in the shop near the parking area and instead of paying the parking fee we just need to buy something from the shop. (with no minimum amount required)
Things to remember: The Parking fee is 6,50 Euros for less than 2 hours and 30 minutes. or 12 Euros for 24 hours from arrival time.
Payment of the parking fee through machine via Credit Card only.
The Maringote ride cost 6 Euros per trip
Le Mont Saint Michel
Coming out from our shuttle bus, we had to walk for about 2 minutes to enter the mainland of Mont Saint Michel. My first impression of this place was; it was magical!
For me, it was another historic visit. I was super excited to see what’s inside in this castle-like island in the middle of nowhere (well, northwestern coast in Normandy).
The mainland part of the commune is 393 hectares in an area so that the total surface of the commune is 400 hectares. As of 2015, the island has a population of 50.
Beginning our stroll at the entrance of the mainland, the first thing I’ve noticed was La Mère Poulard restaurant. Read about my blog post: Top 7 Reasons why Le Mont Saint Michel is a must-visit place in Franceto know more about La Mère Poulard.
At the Mainland
Continuing further on the island, I was in shocked when I saw the number of people (tourists) that are visiting in that tiny island. The center part of the island where shops and other boutiques are just filled with visitors.
Luckily, after exerting a lot of patience just to pass through this crowded street. We arrived at the top near the entrance of the Abbey.
After that crowd battle, I was super exhausted. The street that we took was deeply catastrophic. It was great to relieve to reach the top and admire the birds in the sky and the rest of the picturesque view of is this island.
Travel tips: It is strongly recommended to visit Mont Saint Michel Normandy early in the morning or late in the afternoon. To avoid the crowd and have more space to walk in the streets.
Visiting the Abbey
I must admit that one of the highlights of our visit to Mont Saint Michel was the tour in the Abbey. Its reputed tourist attractions including the Abbey, Museums, the Parish and the island itself.
This place gathers 2 million visitors every year which makes it to the top 5 of the most visited places in France.
The Mount consecrated to St-Michel in 708 was one of the first places of cult for the Archangel Michel with the Gargan’s Mount. The Abbey presents a big panorama of the medieval architecture from the XI to the XVIth century.
According to the Abbey’s information, Mass celebrated every day except on Mondays at 12:15 pm. On Sundays at 11:30 am; no entrance fee. You have to be at the entrance of the abbey at 12.00 and on Sundays at 11:15 am.
Other masses at 07:00 am during the week 08:00 am (on Saturdays, Sundays, bank holidays and in August) and 6:30 pm. You have to be 10 minutes before at the entrance of the abbey.
No Vespers on Sundays and no services on Mondays. Masses are only celebrated when the Community is here.
The tour in the Abbey is such an incredible physical exercise for everyone. It requires you to move a lot with stairs every corner of this place. Using your guided pamphlet, you can navigate and choose the place you want to visit.
The abbey is open every day except the 1st of January. The 1st of May and the 25th of December.
From 2 May to 31 August (Summer): 9 am to 7 pm, the last admission at 6 pm.
From 1 September to 30 April: 9.30 am to 6 pm, the last admission at 5 pm.
24th of December and 31st December: last admission at 4 pm.
I would probably say that these photos just made my heart pump out of its place. It was the most shivering moment when you see yourself at the top of this place.
The people below looks like petite miniature creatures. The bridge looks fantastic and the river just splendid.
Normally, in a city trip, we don’t really buy souvenir stuff. But this time, we bought a bill costs 2 euros featuring the Mont Saint Michel Normandy. Which I was very contented to have.
Indeed, a memorable trip to cherish and will be forever kept in my heart. I would surely come back if given another chance. Walking on the sand when its low tide is the most exciting part. Hopefully, we could do that on our next visit.
You should definitely go and visit Mont Saint Michel Normandy, France.
For more information, visit Le Mont Saint Michel official site.
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Mont Saint Michel Normandy – 1 Day Travel Guide
I’d love to visit Mont Saint Michel. And if we did it would probably be as part of a bigger road trip. It always looks so pretty in pictures.
Thank you Cath, your road trip would be a perfect combination of this place. It’s so easy to access as long as you read my guide 🙂
Ohhh i so want to go there, but we never seem to be driving in that part of the country. Saved for later, i hope we finally find the time this summer 🙂
Wow! that’s really nice to hear. I hope you guys could do a visit here in Summer!