Mont St. Michel Abbey

Mont St. Michel Abbey

The Abbey & Island at Low Tide

July 5, 2019

Mont St. Michel is an island off the Northwestern coast of Normandy where Normandy meets Brittany. A commune and Benedictine abbey that dates back to the 8th Century, its location 1 km off the coast and surrounded by water, which made it unapproachable anytime except for low tide. The religious symbolism of this site still remains today as a Christian pilgrimage site for devout Christians.

The drive from Caen to the Calvados region was easy and the road to the abbey is a two lane country road. Prior to approaching the Abbey, are a series of cider distilleries. The Calvados region is known for its Cidre’s and Calvados, alcoholic beverages that have been produced in this region since the 1600’s from apples or pears. Cidre’s are generally served sparkling and Calvados are brandies that are non sparkling and aged anywhere from 2 years to 30 years. We stopped to sample both and purchased some to bring home as gifts and to enjoy later. We recommend the tasting room at Doz de Douzanges on the right as you are heading towards Mont. St. Michel.

After parking we took the tram across the causeway that now allows guests to visit anytime of day, not just low tide. If arriving by tour bus, you will also have the option to hire a horse drawn carriage to cross, or you can walk. Once at the island, it has been modernized and provides paved paths and driveways, you can access the abbey which sits above a town at the base filled with shops, restaurants and even lodging. The only thing as impressive as the thousand year old abbey itself is the views from the grounds high above. We were visiting during low tide, but now that we saw how easy it is to access the island via causeway recommend going to see the abbey and the island during high tide when it is 100% surrounded by water, except for the causeway. This is a not to be missed site when visiting the Normandy region!

The road to Mont St. Michel