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Mont Saint-Michel Abby (Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel)

#5 in Best Things To Do in Normandy

Mont-Saint-Michel picture in Normandy
Mike Cattell / Flickr

Key Info

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.5
Overall
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  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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Surrounded by sea in the high tide and sand in low, Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s most-toured sites outside of the popular Parisian landmarks. Its first incarnation was raised on the 264-foot-high rock in 1144, but additions were added well into the 19th century. Today, you can tour the abbey and the little village at its base. Tours are offered all year-round, but you can also traipse the massive structure on your own.

One TripAdvisor user says: “The Mont Saint Michel Abbey is one of the most beautiful and interesting sites in the world. … The hike to the very top is worth the effort to view the surrounding sea and town.” Another TripAdvisor user gives a recommendation, “Rent a car, go in the evening, spend the night, and leave early the next morning -- the abbey and Mont in the morning light is a sight to see.”

Fodor’s warns: “Tides in the bay are dangerously unpredictable. The sea can rise up to 45 feet at high tide and rushes in at incredible speed -- more than a few ill-prepared tourists over the years have drowned.” In low tides, there are also patches of quicksand, so we recommend staying away from the sand flats period.

You'll find this impressive abbey on a skinny strip of land in the English Channel. Admission is €8.50 EUR or about $12 USD. For more information, visit the abbey’s official website.

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#5 Mont Saint-Michel Abby (Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel) Surrounded by sea in the high tide and sand in low, Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s most-toured sites outside of the popular Parisian landmarks. Its first incarnation ... Read more » Mike Cattell / Flickr

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Beware the area surrounding towering Mont-Saint-Michel -- there are patches of dangerous quicksand.  Mike Cattell / Flickr

Monet's gardens inspired a great many of his works.  Miriam Weiner / USN/WR

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake on the site of this church, at Place du Vieux-Marché. Le Grand Portage / Flickr

JR P / Flickr

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