Mont Saint Michel, France

Mont Saint Michel or The Mont as natives call it is located in the Normandy region of France. This magical abbey is located on an island and is an UNESCO world heritage site. I was 16 when I saw a glimpse of this beauty in my French class and it was then and there I decided that one day I would travel to France and while most girls dream of Paris it was The Mont I dreamed of.

The Mont according to legend was built because the archangel Michael appeared in 708 to a Bishop who instructed him to build a church. The abbey went through both the Britons and the French through wars and battles, it was a prison, it was in shambles but it was always one thing, beloved by the French and a site of pilgrimage by Catholics. You will notice in the picture at the very top a teeny tiny gold spot-that’s Michael-he sits atop and watches over the island to this day. Most guests come for the day. I encourage you to stay a night-because yes, you can indeed stay overnight as we did! The rooms are few and must be booked far in advance, but it’s a once in a lifetime experience. You cannot drive onto The Mont so you’ll need to park (this is paid parking) and take a shuttle or walk across the bridge. The shuttle only takes you part way though to maintain the integrity of the island.

The tide does cover the bridge depending upon what time of year you visit so make sure you check the tides before visiting.

The entire walkway of The Mont is cobblestone so it’s important that you wear good walking shoes. You also need to prepare for your visit. The entire walkway is often at a steep incline or has stairs. There are no accommodations for people with wheelchairs, scooters or disabilities. You cannot bring strollers. The Mont is an ancient town and it’s not built for everyone so it’s important you’re in your best shape to go here and have plenty of water and are prepared for your visit.

The goal is to slowly walk up the the abbey. Along the way you’ll find small shops and eateries along the way. The town is also like a small maze with staircases that walk up into other areas and a rampart that circles the entire island.

At the top and after the steep incline and stairs….. you’ll reach the base of the abbey.

Did I mention more stairs? You’ll climb about 100 more stairs, go through security and then enter into the area to purchase tickets to actually enter the abbey.

Then-that’s right-stairs…..

I’m talking about 100-200 more stairs….

Then the chapel….

I’ve got to say it was truly worth it…all the way at the top of the island…

Remember the first picture of The Mont-you’re now at the top of it!

And then you start to descend through the maze that is the abbey….

It’s amazing to think how old this structure is….

On my way back down after realizing I had just climbed 40 flights of stairs-that’s right-we checked later!

See that set behind me? That’s the first set of 2 to get up to security. France is full of stairs but The Mont takes the cake!

Stopping by the chapel on our way back down….

Saint Michael

The Mont is a working town where people actively live and work as well….

The restaurants have grab and go food as well as sit down meals but often close early so if you want to have a sit down dinner, especially if you’re staying the night like we did make sure you sit down by 6:30 (most sit downs are only open from 6-8). The restaurants will start closing their doors so plan accordingly. The famous dish on island is their fluffy omlette.

Of course they love pome frites with everything!

If you’re interested in staying the night reach out to your travel advisor (me) well in advance since spots are so limited. I recommend a year in advance for this location. Find out more about our trip here!

The best part about staying at night was we were able to explore after most people had left!

You can see the beach disappear….

The streets empty….

Visiting The Mont is truly a once in a lifetime event and not to be missed while in France. It was definitely the highlight of our entire trip. Make sure you add this gem to your bucket list!

Need help planning your trip to France? You can find me on Facebook at Callie at Wanderkeep Travel or on Instagram at Wanderingwithcallie or you can email me at and as always my services are complimentary when you book through me!

About Author

I'm Callie, a wanderer and travel planner who enjoys all things Disney, taking the winding road, soaking in the sun, seeing the Fall leaves and planning! I believe in taking the trip, setting the goal and making memories. Come with me as we do all the things in all the places.

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