Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 1
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Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to a what to do at Mont Saint Michel day. Mont Saint Michel is one of the most beautiful places in France. It’s sometimes called The City on The Rock, but that has nothing to do with professional wrestling or Michael Bay movies.

In fact, Mont Saint Michel is a gorgeous medieval abbey that has been preserved unlike any other. Sure, it can get crowded with tourists, but this guide will teach you how to avoid that.

You have basically three choices when taking a what to do at Mont Saint Michel day.

You can book this tour from Paris.

You can book this tour from Bayeux, which is much closer.

Or you can take the train to Mont Saint Michel and spend a night or two on the Rock.

Either way, follow me and you’re sure to have an amazing time!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day

#1 TOP PICK

Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
MONT SAINT MICHEL DAY TRIP
✔️
Convenient from Bayeux
✔️
Personalized experience

#2 PICK

Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 3

MONT SAINT MICHEL WALKING TOUR
✔️ Expert local guide
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 4

ALL OTHER MONT SAINT MICHEL TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

mont saint michel day trip

what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

Morning: Explore Mont Saint Michel

If you choose to spend the night at a hotel on Mont Saint Michel, you’ll be able to get up and explore before it gets too crowded. I found that 11 AM was when the tour busses really started to show up in droves.

For this itinerary, I woke up and had my breakfast buffet and coffee at La Mere Poulard at 8 in the morning. That left me plenty of time to explore Mont Saint Michel before the abbey opened. I do suggest getting your tickets to the abbey online in advance here.

However, if you don’t, don’t worry. As long as you show up at the abbey when it opens, the lines won’t be too long. If you’re on a group tour, tickets will be included.

Whatever way you choose, get ready for…

Approximately Top 5: what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

mont saint michel day trip
1) Walk the Walls

As I mentioned, this is your only chance to walk around Mont Saint Michel before it gets crowded. Only about 30 people live on this island, so it’s not like a million locals will be out and about in the morning.

mont saint michel day trip

Be sure to check out the salt marshes surrounding the island. These salt marshes are where the local sheep feed, and all that salt makes their sheep flesh incredibly flavorful. (We’ll be feasting on some of this sheep later tonight.)

Can I guarantee that you’ll see a glorious rainbow like this on your what to do at Mont Saint Michel day? No, I cannot. But I saw it, so you might be just as lucky.

mont saint michel

Even if there’s no rainbow, the walls of Mont Saint Michel are romantic enough. Without the crowds, you’ll feel like you have stepped into your favorite fantasy novel. (For me, that would be the Redwall series, which is appropriate because those books take place in an abbey.)

mont saint michel day trip
2) Marvel at the Abbey’s Architecture

At last! It’s time to head inside Mont Saint Michel and learn some medieval history. One reason the architecture of this abbey is fascinating is that the structures come from different time periods. The main reason for that is that the abbey was damaged in a fire.

So, for example, this lovely golden spire that you can see in my photo above was a later addition.

mont saint michel day trip

Yes, I think you can see that this part of the abbey just “looks older”. Olderfication I believe is the technical architecture term for this.

mont saint michel day trip

My favorite architectural feature in the abbey is this beautiful cloister. It’s hard to get a good photo because the columns kept getting in my way, so it looked like I was taking this photo from inside a prison. However, I promise you that it was not in prison.

mont saint michel day trip

Off the cloister, you can see the rooms where the monks would have eaten and slept. It must have gotten so cold here in the winters without modern technology. That will teach me to complain about how there’s never any air conditioning in Europe.

mont saint michel day trip
3) Enjoy the powerful fortifications!

It’s important to remember that Normandy, the region where Mont Saint Michel is located, wasn’t always part of France. The most famous Duke of Normandy was William the Conqueror, who conquered England back when the Anglo-Saxons were running that show. In those 1066 days, France was not a unified country by any means.

So Mont Saint Michel wasn’t just an abbey, it was also a fortress where the Normans would hole up when they were fighting the French. Then later, when Normandy was part of France, the French would hole up when they were fighting the English. (The English, especially Henry V, managed to take some French territory, but they never held it for that long.)

mont saint michel day trip

So remember that while Mont Saint Michel has religious significance for Catholics, it has historical significance for all French people in general, and for Normans specifically. Plus, it makes a nice home for these birds. So be quiet and respectful as you wander about the grounds.

mont saint michel day trip
4) Bask in the Glory of Nature

Of course, the most famous piece of natural beauty in Mont Saint Michel is still the salt marshes. You can get some amazing views of the marshes, the sheep grazing on them, not knowing they’re about to be snacked on, and the surrounding Tiny Norman Islands. (That’s not the official name of the islands, probably.)

Your audioguide will be able to tell you the names of these islands, but tragically I have forgotten them already.

mont saint michel day trip

The abbey also has a sweet little outdoor garden, just before you hit the exit. I had a hard time finding the exit from the garden and almost opened a secret door and spied on some monks. (Yes, actual monks still live here.)

But then I just hid in a corner until I saw a family that was leaving and followed them out. Problem solved!

mont saint michel day trip

I don’t know if this counts as nature to you, but after you leave the abbey, don’t miss this little cemetery nearby. La Mere Poulard, who once cheffed at the hotel where we are staying, is buried here. She was famous for her giant fluffy omelets, but more about that later.

There are usually tour groups in this cemetery, paying their respects to La Mere Poulard, and I must say that there are much worse things to be known for than making amazing omelets.

mont saint michel day trip
5) Lunch at Au Pelerin

I suggest getting an early lunch, around 11, because at this point the crowds will hit Mont Saint Michel, and you’re going to want to get off the streets. Duck into this cute sandwich shop called Au Pelerin.

You can get the lunch special, which is a hunk of baguette with melted Camembert, ham, and tomatoes, with a side of fries, and a bowl of mildly alcoholic cider. (I appreciated the sign saying that the cider was from Bretagne, but it was OK because they were friends now. There’s a long-standing rivalry between Normandy and Bretagne.)

Is it a lot of carbs? Yes. But as the French discovered long ago, carbs are very delicious. You can get either mayo or ketchup, but I always go for both if given the choice.

mont saint michel day trip

what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

Afternoon: Alligator Bay

After lunch, you’ll notice that Mont Saint Michel has gotten terribly crowded. If you’ve booked a group tour, that’s fine because your guide will help you to avoid the crowds. But if you’re on your own, I actually suggest that you leave Mont Saint Michel and go for a walk in the beautiful Norman countryside.

Don’t worry because I did it myself, and the tides are not going to come in and keep us disconnected from The Rock.

mont saint michel day trip

You won’t need a map to go for a walk because the walkways are clearly marked, and there’s plenty of other people about. Just be prepared to dodge cyclists and people on horseback. (That’s not a joke; there’s an equestrian school nearby.)

But my favorite spot near Mont Saint Michel is Alligator Bay, which is a thoroughly complete reptile zoo. Allow me to share more with you with…

Three Fascinating Facts: Alligator Bay

mont saint michel day trip
1) Are There Only Alligators at Alligator Bay?

Absolument pas! There are turtles, snakes, iguanas, and more! The signs are in French and English, but a lot of the visitors were French. I have to admit, I was glad that I spoke French here because it was fun hearing the French children get absolutely freaked out by the reptiles.

mont saint michel day trip

Say hello to these giant tortoises! They come from Sumatra, and they are only species of tortoise that makes a nest for their eggs. Also, apparently they like to bite during courtship, so I am definitely not liking this tortoise’s profile on Hinge.

mont saint michel day trip
2) Are There Alligators at Alligator Bay?

Mais, bien sur! In fact, there are both alligators from the Mississippi River and crocodiles from the Nile River. I kind of hope that they’re not together because I know crocodiles are more dangerous than alligators, and I wouldn’t want the crocs to eat the gators.

It’s true that the biggest alligators can attack people, but mostly they like to stick to fish, dogs, babies, the usual stuff.

Apparently crocodiles can move very quickly because of their tails, and so they hunt by hiding underwater and then jumping up and pursuing in great haste when their prey comes by. You know, I would really like to go down the Nile, but only in a very, very sturdy ship. Like, a ship made of adamantite, to protect me from the crocs.

mont saint michel day trip

My favorite gators were these albino alligators. They’re not really albinos; they’re mutants that only come from Louisiana. And of course, Louisiana used to be part of France, so it’s only appropriate that Louisiana send our white gators to our French friends. If you listen closely, you can hear the white gators say, “Hoh hoh hoh!”

mont saint michel day trip
3) What’s the Coolest Animal at Alligator Bay?

That’s subjective, but I think it’s any of the reptiles that come in awesome colors like this monitor lizard. I’ve never seen one that was pale yellow and gray before.

mont saint michel day trip

My guy here is a skink, and if you think he looks creepy here, just wait until you see him stick his tongue out. (It’s blue.)

mont saint michel day trip

And isn’t this monitor lizard here a fabulous shade of blue? Sapphire earrings have nothing on this baby. (But I wouldn’t recommend trying to put this lizard on your ears because it’s too heavy.)

mont saint michel day trip

what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

Evening: Dinner at La Mere Poulard

Again, this part of the itinerary is really only something you can do if you’re staying on Mont Saint Michel. There are very few restaurants on Mont Saint Michel that are open for dinner, but I never had a problem getting a table at La Mere Poulard as long as I went early. I mean, we are staying at the hotel, so they have to give us dinner, in my opinion.

Since there’s so little competition, the prices are expensive, but I liked everything I ate.

For an appetizer, you can get the fresh local Norman oysters. Remember, we’re on the coast. Or you can try something more classically French like escargots in butter and garlic.

mont saint michel day trip

And here we have some of the tender lamb we saw walking about the salt marshes earlier on our what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

mont saint michel day trip

You can also try the famous La Mere Poulard omelet. Remember, it’s supposed to be super fluffy, but while the texture is delightful, it doesn’t have a ton of flavor on its own. I suggest getting it with delicious add-ons, like ham and potatoes.

mont saint michel day trip

And for dessert, I suggest the apple tart. Remember, we’re in Normandy, so it’s always apple o’clock here. And it’s the perfect end to a what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

Where to Stay?

I had such a thrill actually spending two nights on “the Rock” itself. This allowed me to wake up early in the morning and explore before the scads of tourists arrived. I also got to stay on Mont Saint Michel at the famous La Mere Poulard, and I strongly recommend it. It’s an old hotel, but it’s right in the center of things, the staff is friendly, and breakfast is included.

If you’re visiting Mont Saint Michel as a day trip from Bayeux, I recommend Le Castel Guesthouse. It had a great location, just a short walk away from all the attractions on this itinerary.

On top of that, I loved my cozy room which was away from any noise, as well as the tasty breakfast served in the breakfast room every morning. This was the perfect place to stay in Bayeux.

If you want a great deal on the hotel in Mont Saint Michel click here.

And if you want to explore great deals on other hotels in Mont Saint Michel, just click here. This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay during your what to do at Mont Saint Michel day. With plenty of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

mont saint michel day trip

That’s a Perfect what to do at Mont Saint Michel day

What would you do on a what to do at Mont Saint Michel day? Wouldn’t you like to see this amazing sunset in my photo above for yourself?

And do you think I should feel guilty for watching the sheep in the salt marshes and thinking about how delicious they look? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Mont Saint Michel now? Email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day

#1 TOP PICK

Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
MONT SAINT MICHEL DAY TRIP
✔️
Convenient from Bayeux
✔️
Personalized experience

#2 PICK

Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 3

MONT SAINT MICHEL WALKING TOUR
✔️ Expert local guide
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 4

ALL OTHER MONT SAINT MICHEL TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend one day on a Mont Saint Michel day trip.

Add a one day in Rouen itinerary. You can also experience a day of what to see in Bayeux France. Try the best D Day tour Normandy.

Best What to Do at Mont Saint Michel Day 2024 8

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