09:00 – Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel
To reach Mont-Saint-Michel by train from Paris, head down to Paris Montparnasse train station and take a high-speed TGV train to Rennes, which is about 60 km away. From here, you’ll need to take the bus which runs at regular intervals from morning until early evening and drops passengers off about 300 metres away from the entrance gates.
Alternatively, you can get to the nearby town of Pontorson. From here, Mont-Saint-Michel sits around 9 km away. You’ll just need to get the bus that goes directly there.
10:00 – Mont Saint Michel Abbey and monastery
Start your trip off with a bang and head straight up to the Abbey. With millions of visitors flocking to see this magnificent monument every year, it can get very busy. That means the earlier in the day that you make your way there, the less likely you are to have to share the experience with the crowds coming in from organised tours of the island. Make your way up to the abbey through narrow steep steps where you can buy a ticket to enter. This place of worship was one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has stood on its mount, rising from the waters since the 10th century. Displaying both Roman and Gothic architectural styles, the tall spire rises up to the heavens cutting out a handsome figure on the skyline. This main attraction of Mont Saint Michel deserves at least a couple of hours of your time to fully explore the abbey, its cloisters, grand halls and crypts. Created in stages throughout the centuries, time unfolds before your eyes from within this historic structure.
Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel, 50170 Le Mont-Saint-Michel, France
12:00 – Mont Saint Michel Parish Church
On your way back down from the abbey, it’s worth making a stop at the parish church. It’s about halfway down from the abbey. Dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, this modest little church is dedicated to Saint Pierre. Far more intimate than its big sister the abbey, it boasts some beautiful stained-glass windows to admire whilst you enjoy the peace and quiet contemplation.
Grande Rue, 50170 Le Mont-Saint-Michel, France
12:30 – Lunch at La Mère Poulard
La Mère Poulard Restaurant dates back to 1879 and was opened by Annette Poulard, who became affectionately known as ‘Mother Poulard’. Once upon a time, this restaurant welcomed visiting pilgrims who came to enjoy delicious dishes, including the chef's special omelette and traditional Normandy butter biscuits, both of which are still served to travellers today. There’s a romantic and authentically rustic charm to the restaurant, with its white linen tablecloths and beamed ceiling. The walls are lined with photographs from famous diners who have visited, including writer Ernest Hemingway and designer Yves Saint Laurent.
La Mère Poulard, Grande Rue, 50170 Le Mont-Saint-Michel, France
14:00 – Stroll around Grand Rue
The main (and only) street that runs in line with the old ramparts, Grand Rue is a lot less imposing than the name implies! With a cobbled floor and narrow in parts, its path takes you on a tour of the village. Wander past stone houses dating from the 15th and 16th centuries and tightly packed in rows. Here, alongside the restaurants and hotels, you’ll find plenty of souvenir shops to take home a memento. Of the more notable homes is Logis Tiphaine, which was built in 1365 for a French knight and his famous astrologer wife. Visitors can take a tour inside to see period furnishings alongside slightly more curious items, including a Middle Ages chastity belt!
Rue Principale, 50170 Le Mont-St-Michel
15:30 – The Maritime and Ecology Museum
There are a few museums to choose from in Mont Saint Michel, but what’s particularly fascinating about the Maritime and Ecology Museum is learning about the tides, which play an important part of island life here. You’ll also find out about the work being done to restore the Maritime character of the Mount. If you have time, check out some of the other island museums. Archeoscope is a multimedia show that delves into the village history, whilst at the History Museum you’ll find collections that give a glimpse into the lives of the monks and prisoners who have found Mont Saint Michel home over the centuries.
Rue Principale, 50170 Le Mont-St-Michel
17:30 – Walk the old ramparts
As the day begins to draw to a close, take a romantic walk (preferably arm-in-arm with a special someone) along the ancient ramparts that once served to protect the village from attack. A picturesque pathway wraps around the edge of the mount, providing panoramic views along the way. From here, you can see the village below, the abbey above and the Bay of Saint Michel reaching out in front.
Just the silhouette of Mount Saint Michel sitting on the horizon is enough to get the pulse racing. The ideal getaway for lovebirds, visit our website to learn how to make your dream trip a reality.