Most tourists only go to Rennes as a way of getting to Mont Saint Michel. A two hour train from Paris, and an hour bus from Rennes will bring you to Mont Saint Michel. The streets of Rennes are lined with cute local cafes and restaurants on every corner; people sitting outside sipping Rose. Really is an adorable town full of great walking streets. Wish we had a full day here.
One of France’s most recognizable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and more than 3 million people visit it each year.
The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it: on top, God, the abbey and monastery; below, the great halls; then stores and housing; and at the bottom, outside the walls, fishermen’s and farmers’ housing. Its unique position of being an island only 600 metres from land made it readily accessible at low tide to the many pilgrims to its abbey. Equally, this position made it readily defensible as an incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned, would-be assailants.
Mont Saint Michel is a neat abbey to explore, only accessible from one road, and used to only be accessible during low tide, but they rebuilt the road higher to allow for easier access.
Exploring the town and the abbey…
The island is packed during the day, but very quiet at night. I highly recommend staying the night on the island to walk around and explore the streets and walls with no other tourists around. Otherwise, during the day will be extremely overwhelming with people.
- Quiet at night (except for the damn seagulls)
- Sunset and sunrise are out of this world – Best on the whole trip
- Every restaurant/shop sells the same thing
- Crowded – completely touristy
- Go to the Abbey as soon as it opens then leave the island. It’s so crowded! Or better yet, wait to come on the island until the afternoon and go inside right before it closes. Enjoy your quiet evening and then have breakfast in the morning and leave. You’ll thank me.
- Wear horizontal stripes to fit in.
- At low tied, walk around to the back side for a neat view…
- World’s first omelet at La Mere Poulard