FRANCE – A Mont Saint-Michel day trip in Normandy

It has been about 15 years ago that I have been on a Mont Saint-Michel day trip and all of the photos I made at that time are analogue. I’m not planning to digitalize any old photos but now my wife did a Mont Saint-Michel day trip with her mother. A nice occasion to write about it but the courtesy of all photos go to them! The story however is written based on my experience 15 years ago when I travelled through France. Enjoy this Mont Saint-Michel day trip with me.

If you are visiting Mont Saint-Michel then make sure to read also:
Complete France Travel Guide
FRANCE - A Mont Saint-Michel day trip in Normandy

Mont Saint-Michel day trip

The island has been inhabited since ancient time. In ancient time it was a hill on dry land but as nature took its course it changed to an island like it is today. Human influence has changed how far the island is from the mainland due to polderising the sea around it. Since 2014 the water can flow again freely around the island due to a newly build bridge. This wasn’t the case when I visited 15 years ago.

FRANCE - A Mont Saint-Michel day trip in Normandy

In the 8th century the monastery dedicated to Saint Michel was built from where the island got its name. It’s interesting to know that it was never conquered because of its strategic location, not even during the 100 year war. During the French Revolution it became deserted and the island was turned into a prison. Since the end of the 19th century it is a national monument and since the early days of the UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

FRANCE - A Mont Saint-Michel day trip in Normandy

During my Mont Saint-Michel day trip many years ago one could drive up to the island by a man-made bridge which had a parking lot just in front of the entrance. Now, the parking is on the mainland with shuttles carrying tourists to the island. On the island you can feel the old atmosphere of how it must have felt in ancient time. You can explore the abbey, the monastery, churches and all the lower buildings which served as shops and housing for the working class.

FRANCE - A Mont Saint-Michel day trip in Normandy

In ancient time up to 1000 people lived on the island while the current population is only a few dozens. I think all the tourists make up for that as you can walk over the heads on busy days. The site is visited by many each year. My advice is if you plan to go then go on a day when it is less busy. You can wander the small streets for hours, have a nice lunch there and maybe watch the sunset. A beautiful place and looking at the photos of my wife I must say that I really want to return one day soon myself!

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Gallery Mont Saint-Michel day trip

Click an image for a full screen gallery of more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.