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January 2nd, 2015 by Roger in Mont St-Michel



A project has been under way since 2005 to restore the maritime character of Mont St Michel. A completely new discovery route will link the different landscapes that are crossed one after the other. The route begins from a new car park 2.5 kms from the Mont on the continent. With 45,000 trees and shrubs planted, it provides over 4,000 parking spaces that melt into the surrounding landscape.


The original plan was for visitors to leave their vehicles before being guided to the tourist information centre then to the pedestrian pathways dotted with information panels on the architectural and historic richness of the site. Each pathway would join the new dam and shuttle departure site located some 750 metres from the car park. Visitors could then choose to travel on foot, by shuttle or horseback along the causeway to access the Mont. The new car park opened on the 28th April 2012.


Well the plan just didn’t work. Visitors were often soaking wet or blown to pieces before they even reached the shuttle departure area. There were so many complaints that the designers were obliged to take the shuttle departure area back nearer to the car parks! This means you don’t have to walk passed the cafes and restaurants any more to catch your bus- so the visitors are now happy and the restaurant owners are just a little upset! As a concession, the owners of the site now allow visitors to drive into the restaurant areas for free after 7 o’clock each night.


Individual vehicles were originally charged 8.5 euros to park, which included ‘free’ travel on the shuttle bus. It was also possible to pay extra and travel by the Maringote, a double decker vehicle pulled by horses; a specific shuttle, La Montoise, was available for disabled people and to carry those that live and work on the Mont. The final 350 metres of the journey for everyone is across a specially constructed pedestrian bridge to preserve a clear view of the Mont from the bay.


With the necessary changes to the shuttle departure area completed, the owners decided to make the public pay for their troubles! They upped the car park charge to 12.5 euros per vehicle. To complete the early disasters, the double-decker vehicles to be pulled by horses proved unstable in the high winds and were withdrawn on the very first day of their use! A smaller horse drawn vehicle now operates if you really feel it’s worth the bother!



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The Mont St-Michel

December 27th, 2010 by Roger in Mont St-Michel

No visit to Normandy would be complete without a visit to the Mont St Michel. I have been so many times but always manege to  find something new to catch the imagination and make the visit worthwhile. The tourists shops are inevitable but a nuisance. So I often take the second entrance to the Mont and avoid these distractions and arrive at the foot of the Castle and Abbey.

Its only about  25 minutes drive from our B&B. If you take the river road from the A84 you are rewarded with some amazing views of the Mont as it gets ever closer. Le Mont St-Michel towers over the countryside for miles around like a mythical creature rising out of the sea and it is not surprising that there are over three million tourists visiting each year. From my experience about half of them – Japanese!!

Situated one kilometre off the coast of Normandy, the rocky island houses the famous eighth-century Norman Benedictine Abbey of St-Michel  that over the centuries has been both a site of spiritual pilgrimage and battle.

Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, the island is one of the most exceptional examples of religious and military architecture from the Middle Ages – hardly surprising therefore that Le Mont St-Michel became the inspiration the mystical Minas Tirith in The Lord of the Rings movies!

During the tourist season try and get there in the early morning if you dont want to queue for hours. The Mont will surely provide you with a unique and memorable experience.

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