mont st michel: a photo essay

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There are quite a number of places in the world that we have seen photos of and have therefore decided that we wanted to go there.

Mont St Michel is one of them. It has been on our dream travel list for as long as we can remember. Plus the added bonus that it was on the UNESCO Heritage list that we are trying to tick off slowly. We missed going to see it last time we were in France. We were not letting it slip away again this time.

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It is certainly not the easiest place to get to (particularly if you don’t have a car) so we decided to stay two nights – which turned out to be a double “thumbs up” decision. It gave us plenty of time to explore and relax without feeling like we were rushed.

After travelling several hours from Paris on a train and then a bus, we finally arrived! In the distance, we could see the outline. The feeling we often get inside when we get to finally see something we have been SOOOOO looking forward to: a tingle in our stomach and the goosebumps of “we are really here!”

It’s as majestic and grand as we have seen it in the pictures. Without wanting to sound cliché, we will be cliche anyway by saying that it truly took our breath away.

Once we were inside the walls after crossing the bridge, it was like we were zapped back in time to the Middle Ages (except for maybe the hoards of tourists in modern clothes).

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Crowded as it was, we looked past that and found the entire place so surreal to witness. Walking up all those old stone steps to the top before exploring the inside. And the inside? It seems to carry that little bit of mystery, intrigue and plenty of history that we love when we explore places like this.

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With the tide being out, we were able to walk around the outside of the walls on the mudflats. We didn’t stray too far as we were warned that there are sections of “quicksand”. It is recommended that you join a tour group before venturing too far.

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To finish off our time there, we sat down for a local Normandy feed. We tried a soufflé omelette with bacon… let’s just say, it must be an acquired taste! 

The other local dish we tried was creamy chicken cooked Normandy style and that was DELICIOUS 🙂



Mont St Michel was listed as a

UNESCO Heritage site in 1979.

To see the other UNESCO sites we have visited,

visit our unofficial bucket list

Have you been to Mont St Michel? Tell us your experiences/thoughts.


46 thoughts on “mont st michel: a photo essay

    Kat at travelgardeneat said:
    February 25, 2015 at 8:19 am

    The UNESCO sites make such a wonderful base for a travel bucket list! I look forward to ticking many off in the years to come.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      February 25, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      You and us both – Here’s to us ticking off more UNESCO sites! 🙂

    […] a movie mystery setting. If you would like to see more photos of Mont St Michel – we have a photo essay you can check […]

    Marina said:
    December 2, 2014 at 6:48 am

    My mom went there last summer for the second time. I just have a postcard from there but I hope to visit it for real soon!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      December 2, 2014 at 7:59 am

      It is an amazing place 🙂 We hope you get there someday real soon!

    worldjourneysdiscover said:
    November 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    meh. i guess it’s ‘okay’. Castle on the beach. I own several. 😛

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      December 1, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Ahhhh – well be sure to invite us next time to one of your ‘castles’ on the beach 🙂

    Nurul Lubis said:
    November 28, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Put it in my bucket list…:-D

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 28, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Definitely worth of going into everyone’s buckets 🙂 Hope you have been well!

    Julia said:
    November 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Awesome post! The pictures are exquisite! What restaurant have you had the best creamy chicken? Remember to add it to your Besty List!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 28, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Julia! We will have to refer back to notes to see where we ate this delicious creamy chicken dish so we can add it to our Besty List 🙂

    ourworldheritagebe said:
    November 26, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Loved this essay! We live so closeby (4 hours drive I think) and haven’t been there either. High on our to – do list as well… certainly after seeing these wonderfull pics!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 27, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Thanks guys! It is a pretty awesome place to visit 🙂 It’s funny how some things that are close by we don’t see yet we have seen things that are so far away 🙂 There are plenty of places around us that is only about 3-4 hours away that we are yet to visit! We better duck on over to your blog now actually and see what you have all been up to.

        ourworldheritagebe said:
        November 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

        Yes, it’s true – further things always seem priority somehow. We have passed this one twice on the road south, but want to take out the time for it. Might make this a wintertrip to avoid crowds 🙂

    katerinasgift said:
    November 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Mont St Michel!!! I love this place. So unique!!!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 27, 2014 at 7:21 am

      It is truly something, huh? Thanks for reading!

    marjma2014 said:
    November 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I really enjoyed visiting Mont St.Michel on your blog! Thanks for the wonderful photos.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and we are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed this post 🙂

    […] like to challenge Janaline’s world journey, Backpacks and blackboards, Niamh on leave,  Wise monkeys abroad and Rare birds fly to think of their five favorite places. – Top Destinations to […]

    Shikha Kothari said:
    November 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Your are welcome 🙂 Thanks for checking it out!

    Jess Carey said:
    November 26, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Oh my goodness, these pictures are stunning! I wish I’d had more time when I visited Paris to make the trip out here – will just have to visit again 😉

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Yes, plenty of reasons to visit to France again. This should be one of them 🙂 We looked into doing a day trip from Paris but it is a loooong day so if you go back to Paris, choose to stay maybe one night at least so the experience is not rushed and you get to see the sunsetting around the abbey!

    Gypsy Bev said:
    November 26, 2014 at 7:30 am

    When was this constructed. It looks magnificent.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      It is simply gorgeous! It was built around the 9th or 10th Century… so glad we could see it!

    goannasnake said:
    November 26, 2014 at 7:18 am

    We visited last year and did have a car. Our first glimpse was of it rising like a fairy tale castle through the mist on the road in. The crowds didn’t bother me so much but the heat in July was terrible. I would like to go back at a different time of year. And take a bit more time. We had to cut our tour of Mont St Michel short and also missed St Malo. So many places, so little time …

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. That is such a wonderful description… “rising.. through the mist..” 🙂 So true – there are so many places and so little time!
      We have so much of France still to see… and the rest of the world! 🙂

    the eternal traveller said:
    November 26, 2014 at 6:16 am

    Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean about Mont St Michel being one of those places you see in photographs but never dream you will actually visit. I felt the same when we went there in 2008. When we were planning our trip to France there were three places I wanted to go and this was one of them. We based ourselves near St Malo and I’ll never forget our first glimpse of this wonderful building as we drove along the motorway.

    We spent a whole day exploring and your photos have been a wonderful re-visit for me! We were told that three million people go there every year, but only 1 million make it all the way to the top. I couldn’t imagine not going up to the church, but I certainly did feel as though I had made a pilgrimage by the time I got there!

    I have really enjoyed reading this post…thank you.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts on Mont St Michel. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed this post 🙂
      We enjoyed reliving it again ourselves! Such great memories!
      Next time we visit France, we must be sure to drive to see more. Hope you are well 🙂

    katpegimana said:
    November 26, 2014 at 2:00 am

    WOW! 🙂

    Vlad said:
    November 26, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I wanted to take a day trip to Mont St Michel when I visited Paris, but sadly there wasn’t enough time. Lovely photos, you have made me regret even more that I didn’t go.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      A day trip would’ve been hard so it’s probably a good thing you didn’t just rush there 🙂 See it as an opportunity to go back!

    AndMiles2GoB4iSleep said:
    November 25, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Another wonderful, interesting and informative post as always…. thank you… 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and leaving us such a beautiful comment 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!

    Melinda Lusmore said:
    November 25, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Love this post! Seeing Mont-Saint-Michel for the first time across the flats was one of those spine-tingling, pinch me moments for me too 🙂
    As for the tourists, a local reminded me that pilgrims have been flocking here in great numbers for centuries. The shops have always been there, once they fed pilgrims and sold them souvenirs of their pilgrimage. Now they sell to tourists. It’s not really all that different!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 25, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks Melinda for reading and leaving us your comment 🙂

      That’s a nice reminder about the pilgrim and numbers. When we hear stuff like that it makes the experience for us more special and authentic 😉

      Crowds don’t bother us except when we are waiting for the toilet LOL! And we were there in peak season, so we can’t expect much else.

    kayrpea61 said:
    November 25, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Comprehensive and brilliantly illustrated again. Thank you for this tour 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Thanking you!

      Mont St Michel is so brilliant, we couldn’t really go wrong 🙂

    gypsyinjeans said:
    November 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Last two photos look mouth wateringly delicious :-p

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      The omelette as we said in the post is probably more of an “acquired” taste while the last one was definitely scrumptious 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    November 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    As I said once before : this is a must see for me ever since I saw it as a child in history books.
    Wonderful pictures once again 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you for liking our photos 🙂

      Now that you are in Germany, it isn’t far for you to duck on over there, right?

        CrazyChineseFamily said:
        November 25, 2014 at 11:08 pm

        Well its a bit long for a quick visit but perhaps on a round trip later on 🙂

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          November 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm

          😉 We feel everything in Europe is “close” to one another so we assume all trips can potentially be quick 🙂

            CrazyChineseFamily said:
            November 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm

            I bet everything is pretty close for you in Europe considered the distance you traveled already 🙂

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