Le Mont-Saint-Michel (Meaning "Saint Michael's Mount) is one of the most iconic sights of Normandy and all of France. It is a tidal island and mainland commune that many will know from postcards and movies. It island is around a kilometer or 0.6 miles off the mainland coast.

Today it is both a living abbey and a popular tourist location and visitors can stay on the tiny island. If it seems strangely familiar, maybe because Gondor's Minas Tirith was modeled after it in The Return of the King. If visiting the D-Day Landings at Normandy, don't forget to check out this iconic sight as well.

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Background Of Le Mont-Saint-Michel

  • Population: About 30

The island boasted an ideal medieval location. It hosts an abbey that was accessible at low tide to pilgrims. But the high tide would deter assailants as they would have been stranded, driving off, or drowned. Even during the tumultuousย Hundred Years War, the island managed to remain unconquered. A small garrison there was able to fend off a full attack by the English in 1433. One will notice the ramparts at the base of the island - these were built to keep the English out. Later on, it was also used as a prison.

  • Listed: UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979

It has been listed as a world heritage site since 1979 and is noted for its importance as a medieval Christian site. It is a very popular destination attracting around 3 million visitors annually.

For centuries it has been one of Europe's major pilgrimage destinations. It is said that its status as being a Christain pilgrimage site stretches back to the 8th century. The abbey grew to become a renowned center of learning and attracted some of Europe's greatest minds of the time.

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Today one can visit and enjoy the unique location with its stunning history, medieval buildings. Some of the buildings lining the steep village street have been converted into restaurants, hotels, shops, and museums. The bay that it is set in, is also mesmerizing and is shared by both Brittany and Normandy.

There was a causeway built to the island, but this had the effect of causing the bay to silt up. The causeway has been replaced by a bridge enabling the island to be surrounded by the high tides.

Visiting Mont-Saint-Michel

If one is driving, then the visitor car parks are situated 1.5 miles away from the mount inland to preserve the landscape. There were special shuttle buses "passeurs" that drive the visitors to the mount. The shuttle bus stop is half a mile from the car park and stops 450 meters from the mount. Alternatively, consider booking a special horse-drawn carriage (maringote), or just walk the way from the car parks to the mount.

  • How To Get There: Shuttle, Horse-Drawn Carriage, By Foot
  • When: The Passeurs Run 7.30 am to Midnight Every day
  • Lord Of The Rings: Gondor's Capital City, Minas Tirith Was Modelled On Mont Saint-Michel

For information about guided tours on the island, any tickets, accommodation, and more there is a dedicated website to the isle. The central attraction is of course the abbey, so be sure to visit this iconic Christian building!

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Accommodation

There are a number of 2 and 3-star hotels on the tiny island. Some of the hotels are listed below, to know the price and availability of the hotels see their listings in the links:

Hotel Les Terrasses Poulard

The Hotel Les Terrasses Poulard is located in the heart of the medieval town and is a charming 3-star hotel. Relax at the foot of the alleys of the medieval village and the abbey. The hotel offers 29 rooms with panoramic views. It is open year-round.

  • Pets: Allowed
  • Breakfast: Included
  • Located: In The Middle Of the Medieval Town With Stunning Views

Hotel Le Mouton Blanc

The Hotel Le Mouton Blac is a historic hotel in an elegant 14th-century historic mansion. Enjoy the authenticity of one's stay in one of their 21 rooms with views of the sea, the abbey, and the medieval village. It is also open year-round and offers family meals.

  • Pets: Allowed
  • Breakfast: Included
  • Note: In An Elegant 14th-Century Historic Mansion

Hotel La Digue

The Hotel La Digue is a 3-star hotel that has been accepting guests since 1922. It is a charming traditional house facing Mont Saint-Michel open all year. Book one's stay in one of their 36 spacious and comfortable rooms. Some of the rooms even boast a balcony with stunning views.

  • Pets: Allowed
  • Breakfast: Included
  • Cost: Ranging From 65 Euros to 205 Euros ($75 to $240)

France is a stunning country with much to see. On the other side of the country, France even has Annecy, said to be the 'Venice of the Alps.'

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