5 Quick Travel Tips – Mont Saint-Michel, France
Did you know that more French citizens visit this iconic abbey each year than visit the Eiffel Tower? If you or your party are interested in exploring this historic Breton village, its Norman-Gothic monastery, and the nearby town the way a real French family might, here are five quick travel tips to enrich your visit.
Traveling off-season? Check the bus timetable.
On day trips, it’s easy to assume you can grab a bus or train back to your home base the second you’re done sightseeing, but that’s not always true! During the off season, you may only have 2 or 3 options for departure times – an early or late bus. Make sure your group plans their time wisely and understands when they need to be back at the depot.
Feeling energetic? Skip the free shuttle.
Mont Saint-Michel provides a convenient shuttle bus to and from the island so it’s easy for everyone to see the historic village. But the lines for these shuttles can often be longer than the 15-minute walk back to your hotel, especially once you’ve finished shopping and just want to sit down and eat a crepe. If you’re able to do so, bring a coat and scarf to keep out the wind, and enjoy a peaceful, flat trek out on the boardwalk.
Do not bring a stroller to the abbey.
When traveling with young kids or grandkids, it’s tempting to want to throw them in a stroller along with your souvenir bags, backpacks, and anything else you need. But remember: Mont Saint-Michel is extremely popular and it is a pre-medieval city. In other words: the streets are narrow cobblestone paths not built for modern wheels – and there’s no coat check for strollers at the top of the abbey. Grab a sling, backpack carrier, or let older kids walk or bike beside you. Your lower back will thank you later!
Staying the night? Take advantage of the hotel breakfast.
Americans: this one’s for you. It’s one thing to skip the Holiday Inn cereal bar at 7AM, but it’s another to skip breakfast in a small town where many quick-service options aren’t open early. The hotel breakfasts here are delicious and very plentiful, with options for everyone in your group. Grab a coffee any way you like, cut yourself a delicious piece of fresh brioche, and enjoy!
Sneak away to watch a sunrise or sunset.
Even when you’re traveling with a big group, it’s easy to create a cozy, intimate moment with your favorite person in the middle of all the commotion. Just put on your pajamas and your coats and go out to the boardwalk. Here, you can watch the sun rise over one of France’s most beautiful historic landmarks. Or stay behind after a day of sightseeing to watch the sunset from a distance. The choice – and the moment – is yours.
See you soon with more handy travel tips –