Did you mean?Try your search again
In June/July 2006 we had a 9 day driving holiday in France. We caught a car ferry from Dover to Calais, drove down through Normandy, popped into Brittany and then caught the ferry back to Dover from Boulogne-sur-Mer.
We chose to take our own car over, as the cost of the ferry and petrol was significantly cheaper than flying from London and hiring a car in France. I also feel a lot more comfortable travelling in our own car as opposed to a hire car.
The only negative thing about driving our car in France is that it is a right hand drive car, and French cars are left hand drive, which means that tolls/tickets machines etc are on the wrong side of the car for the driver to operate…luckily I was able to assist in these duties from the passenger seat, but I do feel sorry for the solo traveller in these situations.
Driving in France is great. The roads are good and the sign posting is excellent. You can hoon along on the wide tollways/freeways, or travel along pretty coastal roads, soaking up the atmosphere of the French countryside. Just remember which side of the road you have to drive on if you come over from the UK.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
The Mont is located 180 miles northwest of Paris. It can be reached by car (A11 & A81 west to Rennes, N175 Pontorson) Total driving time from Paris is about 4 1/2 hours.
There is no direct train route to Mont St. Michel; take the train from Montparnasse, if leaving from Paris, to the town of Pontorson, from it's station take bus #15 to Saint Michel.
Take the TGV to Rennes, then take Les Couriers Bretons bus for the 75-minute transfer to Mont-St-Michel. Depending on the season, there are between two and five bus departures from Rennes a day, most of which are configured to correspond to the TGV's arrival times in Rennes.
Updated May 31, 2004
Phone: 02 99 19 70 70
Mont-Saint-Michel is 22 km south west to Avranches
67 km north to Rennes and 9 km north to Pontorson.
It is open for visits yearlong but the hours vary according to the season.
From May 2nd to August 31st : 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (last entrance 6:00 PM)
From September 1st to April 30th: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM (last entrance 5:00 PM)
It is closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
Unaccompagnied visit with a leaflet (available in french, english, german, italian, spanish, russian, chinese, dutch, japanese, polish, portugese), is free under 18, 5 € between 18 and 25 and 8.50 € for adults,.
For visit with audioguide (available in french, english, german, spanish, italian, Japanese), the supplement is 4 € single and 3€ couples.
Guided visits are available too.
No dogs allowed except blind’s.
Written Jan 10, 2009
Excellent transportation info here
In short: TGV (fast train) from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes (2 hours, cost between 25-51 EUR)
Then bus from Rennes to Pontorson (9 kms from M.St.M), then another bus to Mont St. Michel.
You need the following websites to work out your trip:
www.voyages-sncf.com (for train travel and remember to reserve for TGV in advance).
Then use bus services: http://www.lescourriersbretons.fr/english/accueil.htm
Written Aug 15, 2007
As one of its many excellent concessions to managing the tourist hoards, Mont St Michel offers an excellent navette (shuttle bus) service between the mainland and the Mont.
However, if it's a nice day and you're not in a rush - you really should consider walking to the Mont. It will only take you about 15 minutes extra, depending on how long you dawdle to admire the view and take photos, and (particularly in peak season), you will more than compensate for that with the time that you'd otherwise have spent queueing for a navette.
Quite apart from the saving in time, the chief attraction of walking is to approach the Mont in the same manner as the medieval pilgrims and experience the intimidating spectacle of the Mont rearing up from the coastal flats: utterly incomparable!
Updated Jul 23, 2012
The walk from the parking areas to the navette (shuttle bus) station is at least 10 minutes - and considerably longer if you're visiting in peak period when you'll have to park in one of the more remote car parks.
One of the excellent tourist-friendly initiatives that has been undertaken at Mont St Michel is to plant shady trees along these walkways. Judging by the size of the saplings at the time of writing in July 2012, they were only a couple of years old, but it will only be a few years before this makes a major -and very positive - impact on visitors' comfort.
Updated Jul 23, 2012
Mont St Michel experiences the most extreme tidal range in Europe, which has been both a challenge to access and a defensive advantage, particularly during in its early history.
Up until the 19th century, visitors to the Mont had to approach the island across the tidal flats and could only access the island during low tide. Imprudent travellers often paid for their carelessness with their lives, either being swept away by the galloping tide, or falling foul to quicksand.
In 1879, a permanent causeway was installed between the island and the mainland, which allowed round-the-clock access in all weathers. Whilst a superbly practical solution from an access point of view, this has had a significant impact on the marine environment, encouraging siltation on either side of the causeway, and causing damage to the sensitive salt marsh ecosystem. Yet another major improvement to this amazing location!
At the time of writing in July 2012, construction was underway to replace the causeway with a bridge that will go a considerable way towards reinstating natural flow conditions and assist in the reestblishment of the natural ecosystem. This project will not compromise access to Mont St Michel, but construction activity - with some attendant disruption and aesthetic impact - is not likely to be completed until 2015.
Updated Jul 23, 2012
Driving is certainly the most efficient way of visiting Mont Saint Michel. By road (see road access instructions on the picture - see the website below for details +railway,...):
- A11 motorway, Chartres-Le Mans-Laval exit to Fougères, then, direction to Le Mont Saint-Michel
- A13 motorway to Rouen and Caen. From Caen, use the A84 motorway to Le Mont Saint-Michel.
From Paris the total driving time is about 3.5 hours (358km-Toll 21.60 €)
Parking: (per day and per vehicle)
Car 4 € Camping car 8 € (Autobus: Free)
Remember: when those car parks are covered by the sea (high tides periods), you can park your car upon the causeway (from approximately 2 hours before to 2 hours after the high tide hour).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
...just be very mindful of the schedule of return times since they are not the same every day...if you are not careful you could find yourself facing a semi-pricey taxi fare back to Pontorson (as was our lot) so you can still make your train back to Bayeux or wherever it is you are staying that evening! Then again, if you drive your own or a rental car here, be mindful of the tides. During high tide, this lot becomes submerged, no kidding!
Updated Apr 3, 2004
This tip concers mainly those who don't drive.
As we were on an Interrail trip, we depended on trains and other means to get to the places we wanted to see.
And visiting The Mont Saint Michel was in fact quite easy. The nearest train station is the village of Pontorson. There are trains arriving from Rennes and from Normandy. From the station, a private bus company takes you to the Mont Saint Michel for a reasonable price. There are several buses a day, but the amount of people waiting for them can be great too.
Written Jul 17, 2004