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“Over-rated and very crowded”

Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel
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Skip the Line: Normandy Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey
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Mont Saint-Michel Day Trip from Bayeux
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Owner description: The Benedictine Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most remarkable examples of mediaeval religious and military architecture and was one of Christianity's most important pilgrimage sites from the 8th to the 18th century.The Abbey comprises a superb ensemble of clerical buildings including the abbey church, the cloister, the refectory, the monks' ambulatory and the gardens of what has been known as the ""Merveille"" (Marvel) since the 12th century. In summer, the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel is best seen in all its splendour after sunset during the special “sons et lumières"" shows. Designated world heritage site by UNESCO. Open:> 2nd May to 31st August: from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.> 1st September to 30th April: from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last admission 1 hr before closing time. Closed:> 1st January, 1st May and 25 December. Admission fees: Adults : 9€; Concessions (18 to 25) = 5,50 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
Reviewed October 10, 2012

We were looking forward to visiting Mont-St-Michel which looks so impressive and quite amazing when seen from a distance. The first disappointment was that in order to reach our destination we had to park in the enormous parking area from which there was a fairly long walk to the shuttle bus taking people to Mont-St-Michel, passing some rather uninteresting shops, restaurants and hotels on the way. This walk was not something for the disabled, the elderly or people with small children. On arrival at Mont-St-Michel, we found the streets very crowded, it was a real push your way through the throng sort of situation. On the steep walk up to the Abbaye itself were many small touristy shops (some rather tacky), bars and restaurants. Basically, we decided to give the Abbaye a miss having done the steep walk andl instead enjoyed the view from the top which made it all worth while as you can see for miles.
I am sure on a quiet day this would be worth a visit, but we did not find it so in the tourist season.

Thank Marilyn674
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 10, 2012

Yes, it is quite a walk to the base and then also up to the top but it is completely worth it. We made it with 4 adults and 2 very young children. Kids are best carried or walk on their own because there is very little room for strollers on the narrow road. Just take your time and make plenty of stops when you see something interesting. Also, pay the few euros at the top to tour the abbey itself. Just keep an eye on the tide schedule.

Thank Rather_Nomadic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

It is an amazing feat of engineering and building to be sure, and I have no idea how they did it way back then. It literally rises up out of the water. It really is quite amazing to see it from a distance. I can only imagine how many people died building it...but that is another story. It is a step back in history all those years ago to when the church built huge cathedrals and monements to saints all over the place. The church was all powerful then and very very wealthy as one can see here.
Steep walk and stairs so wear good sensible shoes.
Tons of shops, very touristy and no admission fee unless you go into the Abbey, etc. You can avoid the parking fee by using the Pontorson local bus which takes you direct to the base of it. We stayed in Pontorson and it could not have been more perfect.
Have dreamed of seeing it all these years and it did not disappoint...it is now crossed off my bucket list!

Thank suzabella60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This monument is magnificent and not to be missed for many reasons...I loved the way it hit me in the eye....like Sugarloaf in Rio or Table Mountain in Capetown. We drove miles out of our way to see it. Visit for its spirituality, beauty and history. Avoid August. There is a lot of walking involved on the flat which is unshaded and then up and up and up to the abbey and La Merveille. Construction started in 708!!!!!! 1300 years ago: so don't expect decorations. Architects and engineers will marvel at the construction. It's worth the climb to see the statue of Michael the Archangel and the monks' garden (cloister). The view is breathtaking.
It's very organized with buses from the car park and specialized buses for the elderly. A new info and welcome centre is almost completed. There are plenty of restaurants near the car park and then on the Mount itself. Busy and touristy and gimmicky as with all attractions. Loads of shops. There is a charge for parking and the buses are free. The abbey charges 9 euro and you can be guided, or self guide with radio or without. Avoid the Knight's (Chevalier) house / museum on the way to abbey entrance .....18 euro for a few rooms. Nicholas Guesail or some such name. Just keep walking. Lots of cobbles....stout shoes required. We saw lots of elderly people with stout hearts so go for it! Plenty of places to rest. Loos at entrance at the base are clean but they charge....those in the Abbey don't. They are ok...bring baby wipes.

Thank Cassandra595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Visited in September 2012 and was very impressed by this place. It is definately worth the drive if you are in the Normandy/Brittany area of France. The church and grounds and vistas from the top are magnificient. Note there was construction in the bay area and it will continue for another year or so. Parking is a considerable distance away. When you park you have about a 15 minute hike to you reach the shuttle which takes you to the base of the Mont. There is considerable climbing involved with your tour so be prepared, but is so worth it. Entry to the Mont St. Michel is free, but a tour of the facility is recommened to get a better understanding of it which comes at a small cost.

Thank fireguy329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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