Top 10 Reasons To Visit Mont St Michel Abbey
Mont St Michel Abbey is located on a rocky tidal island off the Normandy coast in France. The abbey was initially founded by the Bishop of Avranches who built a small chapel after having experienced a holly vision of Archangel Michael. The official construction of the actual walls of Mont St Michel Abbey commenced in 1023 and was completed almost 400 years later.
When you travel France, make sure to include this magnificent medieval Abbey into your list of France’s attractions to see due to the rich and fulfilling Mont St Michel history.
Below we list some of the reasons why so many travelers are flocking every year to witness the spectacular beauty of Mont St Michel Island and the Abbey:
1. Rich history of Mont St Michel Abbey that goes back all the way to Roman Times attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Major historical significance multiplied by architectural majesty is the number one reason to visit Mont St Michel Abbey.
2. Mont St Michel Abbey was proclaimed a UNESCO world heritage site and is sometimes referred to as one of the Wonders of the Western World.
3. Dramatic tidal fluctuations that surround the island create even more mysterious aura around Mont St Michel Abbey and are very fun to watch. According to Victor Hugo, one of the greatest French literary artists, the tides moved as swiftly as galloping horses. Visitors should exercise caution walking around the flats of the island since the waves can rise as high as 40 feet.
4. Impressive archaeological structure of the Abbey does not cease to amaze modern day archaeologists and tourists. It’s hard to believe that this massive structure remains whole throughout the centuries despite erosive tidal movements.
5. Underground Chapel De Notre Dame is another reason to visit Mont St Michel Abbey after its recent rediscovery at the end of the 19th century. It’s believed to be the oldest room in the Abbey which had been hidden in the foundation structure.
6. Bay guided tours are one of the most spectacular sightings that attract many visitors. Walking around the bay is a fun way to explore the Island. Guided tours are usually scheduled when the tide is low so the tourists can walk across sandy stretches of land. Tide can change unexpectedly, so never attempt to walk there alone.
7. Abbey Church is located at the top of a rocky cliff of the castle and offers daily masses to all visitors coming to Mont St Michel Island.
8. Mont St Michel town is a charming little neighborhood with narrow medieval streets and crowded buildings that beautifully reflect a part of French history. Cozy restaurants, small specialty shops and cafes are scattered across the township for your enjoyment and relaxation. The prices can get steep, so check several shops before buying anything.
9. Mont St Michel hotels let you experience the island on a deeper level inhaling its salty air and watching powerful waves that come at a high speed of a wave a second. Try staying at Hotel du Guesclin which is located in the heart of Mont St Michel Island overlooking the bay. Its 10 individually decorated rooms allow you to choose which décor and furnishings suit your mood and tastes. Or check out the 2-star Saint Aubert Hotel that offers comfortable rooms for travelers on a budget.
10. The Cuisine of Mont St Michel town is rather special and directly reflects the natural surroundings of the Island. Dishes prepared from the sheep that roam around salt marshes of the island have distinct flavor and aromas that are very hard to come by anywhere else in France. Try their famous lamb stew and omelets that are whipped till frothy creating a melt in your mouth sensation.
Mont St Michel tours are a great way to learn about the medieval history of France and witness its magnificent Island and Abbey.