Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
Between Granville and Cancale is situated the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel known as the land containing the largest tides in Europe. As a result, each year, you can admire the Mount completely surrounded by water .
The bay is also an exceptional natural site.
The Bay of Mont Saint-Michel is a must-see touristic site located in the English Channel.
Cross the Mont Saint-Michel Bay and visit the Abbey, which is a masterpiece of medieval architecture. Visit Granville, a small corsair city converted into a renowned seaside resort. Discover the artisanal tradition around copper at Villedieu-les-Poêles. Let yourself be carried away by the magic legends of the Mortainais … From Granville to Mont Saint-Michel, the possibilities are multiple in order to enjoy your stay in Normandy: climbing, hiking, sightseeing, relaxation, strolling, contemplating …
Every year, more than 3 million visitors come to discover the Mont Saint-Michel. It is the 3rd most visited tourist site of France!
Whether you discover the Mont Saint-Michel step by step while crossing the bay, following the road, or climbing down from the cliffs of Champeaux … you will be dazzled by his majesty! Then you will certainly understand why the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is named the “Wonder of the West”.
The Mont-Saint-Michel Bay is also home to the biggest tides in Europe …
The Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel
The Wonder of the West opens its doors for a classical or thematic visit of its different rooms and its intimate cloister. This masterpiece of medieval architecture is a recognized emblem of the know-how of the 13th century builders who have managed to build two three floor buildings on granite rock.
The Bay of Mont Saint-Michel
The bay of Mont Saint-Michel occupies a depression of about 500 km², which is between Cancale and Granville. Theater of the largest tides in Europe with an exceptional tidal range (amplitude) of nearly 15 meters during high water, this bay brings together a wide diversity of natural environments thus constituting the largest French expanse of salt meadows and polders.
The fauna and flora
The diversity of the environment allows the hatching and the installation of many plant and animal varieties. One-third of the Armorican flora has settled among mudflats, freshwater and saltwater marshes, groves, dunes, rocky coasts, deep waters, polders and rivers.
130 species of birds
The Bay is a breeding ground for gulls and sparrows, a moulting area for black scoters, a migratory stopover for some migrants, and a climatic refuge for whistling ducks or harvesting geese in extreme cold.
Hermelles are small marine worms that build large-scale reef sites: The “Banc des Hermelles” is Europe’s largest animal “bio-construction”, covering more than 100 hectares.
A hundred species of fish
soles, rays, gray sea bream, bars, …. There are also many migratory species such as salmon or eel.
This abundance of fish benefits predators such as the dolphin or seal that thrive in the Bay.
Crossing the Bay
Pilgrims or walkers, the bay of Mont Saint-Michel invites you to a hike, feet in the sand. Accompanied by approved guides, you will tread the herbus, along Tombelaine and its many birds, cross rivers and you will undoubtedly sink in the quicksand … until you reach the Mont Saint-Michel.
In 2015, Mont Saint-Michel becomes an island again!
After 20 years of studies and work, this exceptional monument finds its island character back. With the destruction of the old dyke-road, the landscape of the bay is metamorphosed, a little more with each big tide until nature takes back its rights.
The dam, commissioned in 2009, allows, by regulating the waters of the Couesnon and the sea, to drive the sediments out to the sea. Hydraulic facilities have also been installed on both sides of the dam in order to speed up the process. The “bridge”, inaugurated in 2015, and the ford, complete the restoration of the maritime character of Mont Saint-Michel.
Within the heart of the car park, a Tourist Information Center (CIT) exposes exhibitions and events around this important work.
How to reach Mont Saint-Michel?
On foot, several paths have been laid out so that pedestrians can discover, with complete peace of mind, the evolutions of the landscape of the Bay and its Marvel.
Aboard the “smuggler” (motorized shuttle), 12 minutes to the Mont. A model of innovation, accessible to all! Aboard the “maringote” (horse-drawn shuttle), 25 minutes to the Mont. Pulled by two draft horses, this shuttle travels on the new access to the Mont.
The village of Mont Saint-Michel
In order to discover the village of Mont Saint-Michel, “lose yourself” in its medieval streets.
About forty people live in the village, including ten brothers and sisters of the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem. Everyone lives there for what he believes in, often depending on the ebb and flow of pilgrims and tourists. Nearly three million visitors are welcomed each year at Mont Saint-Michel. They visit the abbey, but also the shops of the Grande rue, the medieval wall, and for the most curious minds, the side roads …
The Avranches Scriptorial
Since 1791, Avranches has been the depository for the collection of books of religious communities in Avranche, including nearly 4,000 volumes from the Mont Saint-Michel abbey (including many incunabula) ! Today, these manuscripts are sheltered and valorized within the enclosure of the Scriptorial of Avranches. You can discover their history by following a real initiatory journey.
The Ecomuseum of Mont Saint-Michel Bay
On the “Pointe du Grouin du Sud”, in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel, an eco-museum, located in Vains, exposes everything that creates life in the Mont Saint-Michel: geology, fauna, flora, but also human activities.