A Visit to Mont St Michel

A Visit to Mont St Michel

Mont St Michel is one of the most picturesque historical sights to see in France. Medieval Mont St Michel abbey famously perches on top of a rocky island near the coasts of Normandy and Brittany. This UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listed site is hugely popular and always busy. The Romanesque-Gothic abbey complex is absolutely worth seeing but most of the other museums on the island are of little real interest. The restaurants and shops are pure tourist traps and few would regret eating elsewhere. Hiking around the island on the mudflats is very popular too and afford fantastic views. All visitors arrive at the island either by walking or on the free shuttle buses.

Mont St Michel is a small island off the coast of Normandy and Brittany that is most famous for its magnificent Romanesque-Gothic abbey buildings. Annually, around 2.5 million people visit Mont St Michel of whom around half visit the abbey complex as well.

Mont St Michel is a fortified island – once through the admission gates, a single steep road leads up past the tiny village to the abbey complex at the top of the rock. In this street – Grand Rue – are endless tourism-related shops selling souvenirs and overpriced food. A few small museums and attractions are hardly worth entering.

Despite the crowds, the tiny village and especially the abbey are well worth visiting. The crowded Grand Rue can be avoided by using the walkways on the ramparts – with magnificent views – to head up to the abbey. Either way, expect loads of stairs and steep gradients.

Nichole Chan

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