Continuing on with the road trip through France, we finally arrive at Mont Saint-Michel. While it’s true that I was busy writing more seasonal blog posts lately, it’s also true that I’ve been subconsciously postponing this one. I honestly felt that my words couldn’t do it justice. I’m still not sure I’ll be able to translate what I felt there into words. This is a place I’ve dreamt of visiting since I first opened art history books. It’s rather impossible not to feel that way about it. It would be magnificent enough as it is with its stunning architecture that spanned throughout several centuries. But on top of that, it becomes an island during high tides. It’s quite impressive that it’s still standing there resisting nature after all this time.

Quiet streets of Mont Saint-Michel

Let me go back in time to the one day we spent in Rennes. After an hour of driving, we arrived a bit early for our check-in so we decided to explore a different path. Specifically, one that included hundreds of sheep! I have never seen that many sheep in my life, there must have been hundreds of them, if not over a thousand. They were quite timid so even though I wished to say hi to them, they all dispersed as we walked through. Full disclosure, we stepped in sheep poo more than once but this view was worth it!

Mont Saint-Michel is nothing short of a fairytale. It’s a place that has been written about countless times. In that regard, this post might seem redundant. But I still wanted to translate what this trip meant to me and how it looked like through my eyes. Studying art history, you notice quite a lot of impressive historical buildings. In fact, I can think of a few more impressive than Mont Saint-Michel that aren’t this famous. But then again, it’s hard to compare any of them because they differ so much. And it’s true that I can’t think of another place that looks this otherworldly and has a landscape as everchanging as this one.

View of Mont Saint-Michel from afar

As if it wasn’t magical enough, the tides make Mont Saint-Michel even more unique. If you want to see it turned into an island, visit during the high tides which usually happen sometime in March and September. But it differs every year so it’s good to keep an eye out on the official website schedule. During our June visit, I would say Mont Saint-Michel was only 10% away from being an island. But special events such as high tides mean more crowds while the island seemed half-empty during our visit. As we walked around it, we only met a handful of other couples. Not a single loud group, it almost felt like walking around a calm village with other locals!

We arrived around 7 pm and spent some time wandering through every nook and cranny we could find. I was baffled at the absence of tourists because I’ve heard this is the most visited site in France after the Louvre. But our Airbnb hosts told us we inadvertently chose the best time to visit. It was only later that groups of tourists arrived in the shuttle for the sole purpose of seeing Mont Saint-Michel light up. It felt rather special walking around so freely like this is any normal place. So if you care to have some peace here, arrive crazy early or after 6 pm!

View of Mont Saint-Michel from below

Early on, I decided I didn’t want to rush about visiting this place so I opted for a two-night stay. This way we had more than plenty of time to see it during any time of the day and during different weather too. Our first visit extended throughout the evening and lasted until 11 pm. The following morning we got up early for a visit to the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. Seeing it come alive in front of my eyes after only looking at photos of it was astonishing. On another note, that morning we saw for ourselves how touristic this place really is. Luckily, our visit to the abbey finished right as dozens of groups arrived so we avoided the midday crowds.

View of the apse in the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel
View through the pillars of the Mont Saint-Michel cloister

For the rest of the afternoon, it rained on and off so we decided to explore more places with unique viewpoints. One of them is by far my favorite one and this is my personal favorite photo we took there. It perfectly portrays the grandeur of this place when set against one single person.

Mont Saint-Michel in the distance, girl in a dress in the foreground
Poppies obscuring the view of Mont Saint-Michel

On our last morning, we woke up early and quickly packed our bags for one last stop before Amiens. Pointe de Roche Torin offers another view of Mont Saint-Michel from afar. But considering how flat the landscape is, it’s impossible to miss it. The sand I’m walking on gets flooded during the daily tides so every now and again, my foot would sink into the sand a bit more. I can’t believe we saw people walking on this while the tide was happening and so far from the land! Regarding that, it turns out that rescuing silly tourists happens about once a day around Mont Saint-Michel. There are one too many videos about it on YouTube!

Mont Saint-Michel in the distance, girl standing in the foreground
The landscape around Mont Saint-Michel before an incoming tide

In summary, our visit to Mont Saint-Michel was a literal dream come true. Grégory has talked of taking me there since we met and this year he fulfilled that promise. It was as unforgettable as I thought it would be and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. We even got to see it during moody weather, which was something I’ve been daydreaming about! I couldn’t be more grateful to have finally seen this stunning and incomparable place. A charming little spot straight out of a fairytale!

Houses of Mont Saint-Michel
Narrow streets of Mont Saint-Michel
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