Seeing, observing, contemplating Mont Saint-Michel to become aware of its magnitude is a unique experience that can only be appreciated on a few occasions. The rain, the cold or the overwhelming tide of tourists don’t help to enjoy this ancient city. In Labois we have had the opportunity (and luck) to be able to visit it at the end of winter, one of the best moments to discover this exceptional village.
Visit in Mont Saint-Michel
Living testimony of a distant past, Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most known and visited historical monuments of France. Located in Lower Normandy, this medieval city has its roots in a rocky islet facing the Couesnon River. In the immense plain of a landscape of meadows, sand and marshes, the solemn silhouette of the abbey stands out. Consecrated to San Miguel, its walls were erected almost two thousand years ago. Since its inception, the city has grown and evolved, always fitted between its large walls, like a ring fits a finger. It is not surprising, then, that it was one of the first monuments of France to be declared a World Heritage Site.
If you pass through the north of France or are traveling in Rennes or Caen, it is worth making a trip to Mont Saint-Michel. It is just over an hour’s drive from these cities. The visit can be made in one or two days, enough time to squeeze it to the maximum. In addition, access to the city is free.
Maybe you’re worried about the Atlantic tides, which is one of the great conditions to visit this city. Every day, the level of the sea rises until flooding the accesses on foot and highway. These cycles occur up to 2 times per day and the water can reach up to 14 meters in height. For centuries, this phenomenon has been a natural defense against invaders, but today it is quite controlled. In fact, the most comfortable and recommendable way to visit the city is by parking outside on the mainland. From there, you can take one of the buses that connect with the city. They are free and there are every 15 minutes.
A city on the sea
Seeing Mont Saint-Michel for the first time is as impressive as seeing it surrounded daily by the tide. With an imperturbable serenity, the city survives day after day the comings and goings of a living and changing sea. One of the greatest spectacles is to see this phenomenon at nightfall – from a distant and safe place – while the lights of the abbey shine on the sea.
Inside, Mont Saint-Michel still retains the charm of a medieval village. Narrow alleys, old stone houses and small shops decorated with charm. Although tourism has broken part of its magic, the attentive traveler can still find corners of peace where he can devote himself to his romantic spirit. Likewise, the most gourmets will appreciate the high quality of Breton flour. Butter cookies or crêpes are your most coveted local product and known throughout the world. If time permits, visiting Moidrey’s old flour mill can help us understand the basis of this savoir-faire.
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