Mont Saint Michel Medieval Fantasy

Driving down the narrow curvy road on the Brittany Coast of France you are intrigued by the beauty. As you meander through the historic half-timbered villages that lace the French Countryside you pinch yourself to make sure its real. Passing by colorful fresh fruit stands you can’t resist stopping for a healthy snack. Large grassy fields with wooly white sheep dominate the scenery. Zipping through a bend in the road you are taking it all in then “BAM!”. There it is, Mont Saint Michel! Your breath is literally taken away by an amazing sight of huge stone medieval walls, and imposing fortress.  The craggy Abbey Spires rising up to the heavens.  You will find yourself speeding up with anticipation of walking thru the gates of this monumental marvel.

View of Mont Saint Michel from road as you arrive along the coast of France

Our first view of Mont Saint Michel

More than just rustic boutique shops and gastronomical delights you feel as if you have just entered into a time warp and living an adventure into the distant past.

Historic cobbled street that leads up to the abbey at Mont Saint Michel in France

Historic street that leads up to the abbey. I love how it’s full of fun shops and places to eat

Climb the tiny cobbled street that leads you up to the abbey.  You won’t be able to help yourself from walking into a few of the shops. Of course the Boutique La Mere Poulard is probably the most popular for chocolate. They also carry Calvados and hard ciders from the local area. If you have never heard of Calvados and have a taste for brandy then you must try some.  Delicious! Other fascinating buys are at the Monastary Book Shop, Aux 3 Croissants handles local handmade items of porcelain, lace and tablecloths. L’Epee and La Fee Des Greves are shops for collectors of medieval weapons and religious art.

Mont Saint Michel is a sight anytime of day or night

Hiking up the Abbey, reaching the view from the lookout is almost mind-blowing. What looks like a dry barren desert for as far as your eyes can see is the English Channel.  This is not just a scenic view of sandy ripples and protruding rocks. If you stay long enough, and are lucky enough you will experience why the Abbey was built there in the first place.  At amazing speeds of 20 feet per second the salty waters of the English Channel come fast but gracefully to encircle the island.  Mont Saint Michel was ingeniously built to otherwise keep unsuspecting conquerors from attacking.

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Inside the abbey may look a little plain and barren but isn’t that how the monks liked it? Nothing fancy just a place where they could spend their time in quiet prayer.

A visit to Mont Saint Michael will not only leave you with an understanding of life in the middle ages, but also a treasure trove of great memories.

 

If you liked Mont Saint Michel wait until you see some of our other top picks in Europe

 

Historic street photo by Flickr

33 Comments:

  1. I’ve been dying to go to St Michel for a while – after reading this I’m determined to fit a visit into this year somehow!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      It’s well worth the effort to get there. We feel its one of the best Abbey’s in Europe!

  2. Mont Saint Michel is on my list. Thanks for including the shops on the way there. I’m not much of a shopper but the picture of the street and the words chocolate, cider and brandy are very enticing. Chocolate on the way up! Cider on the way down! 🙂

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Now why didn’t I think of that, chocolate on the way up and cider coming down. Perfection! 🙂

  3. Wow! I love that picture at sunset…it is absolutely stunning! I really need to explore France…I’ve only ever been to Calais (which doesn’t count because it was on the ferry!)

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Thanks Lauren, John loves to take sunrise and sunset shots. Next time you make it to France you have to take the time to visit Mont Saint Michel you will love it!

  4. Wow this place looks amazing! Kind of reminds me of Edinburgh a little! We definitely need to explore much more of France as I loved reading your descriptions of driving through the countryside!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Yes, it is a little like Edinburgh! Driving through the countryside was a huge part of the trip. You get to know France in a different way from staying in the bigger cities.

  5. This is so breathtaking! The places are just so historical and magical, and oh, Europe will never fail to show some wonderful places that look like something from fairytale books. 🙂

  6. I still can’t believe I haven’t been to Mt Saint Michel in all these years. It looks like such a magical spot. Love the photos of the tiny streets that weave in between the buildings. Just gorgeous.

  7. Wow, it just looks breathtaking! This is definitely on the list now of places I need to go and see! It really does look like something out of a fairy tale!! And I’m already in love with the historic streets that lead up to the Abbey!

  8. Wow! This is a really cool destination. That alley heading to the abbey really made me think of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter! Would love to visit one day!

  9. Visiting Mont Saint Michel would be such a dream! It looks so surreal and like something out of a movie. Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences!

  10. That street with shops looks so cool. I think I’ll have chocolate and cider on my way back as a treat to myself for the hike. And I can only imagine the views from the abbey.

    Overall looks a great place to spend an afternoon.

    PS: The street also reminds me of ‘Diagon Alley’ 😉

  11. There are some unique places, those I never forget from my visit list. Writer illustrated the place surprisingly, waiting for next articles.

  12. Mont Saint Michel is unbelievably beautiful! It is on my bucket list and your post was very motivational!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Thanks Agness, it is stunning there and hope you can cross this destination off your bucket list soon!

  13. I feel like I am Belle (from beauty and the beast) in this post! I would love to visit France again someday and see Mont Saint Michel too. Thanks for sharing this trip!

  14. Mont St Michel is indeed breathtaking, and definitely a must-visit in the area. You may also enjoy St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, England – it’s smaller, with less buildings on the island, but has some similarities with its namesake in France!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Funny, I just read about Cornwall’s St. Michael’s Mount this morning. I was just telling my husband we need to stay there! Coincidence? I think not! 🙂

  15. Ohhh I love Mon Saint Michel! Went here last year and loved my time there. Your photos are stunning!

  16. I’ve always wanted to visit Mont Saint Michel! It looks so gorgeous there and it’s fun to see photos from the inside, too! That sunset photo is so beautiful and the street leading up to it looks adorable!

  17. I am in love with French culture, food, countryside landscape and medieval towns. Bookmarking your post for my trip across France!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Thanks Milijana! Everything about the French culture is special, especially the food! 🙂

  18. Your post just made me remember my own trip to this place and I can still remember how amazing this was! (Most especially at night!) It’s no wonder that it has been an inspiration for one of the Disney movies 😀

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Don’t you love when you can relive your adventures? Especially one as good as Mont Saint Michel. It is the perfect movie set!

  19. Wow, I can see myself spending hours wandering the picturesque streets and sipping on some Calvados.
    The preservation is incredible and I’d imagine you really feel like it’s the middle ages when visiting.
    Thanks for putting Mont Saint Michel on my radar!

  20. This time around, I should make it here. The last time I was in the area we ran out of time to visit. Now, I know what I missed.

  21. I’ve been promising myself I’ll visit Mont St Michel for ages, but still haven’t done anything about it. You post is another slap on my face to wake me up and make me go! 🙂

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