Best things to do in Mont-Saint-Michel
Top 10 travel activities, visits and attractions
The best activities, attractions, visits and excursions in Mont-Saint-Michel
You’re looking for the best things to do at the Mont-Saint-Michel? What to see in the South Channel region? The best travel activities, visits and attractions? You’re in the right place! To help you organize your trip and not miss anything, our TOP 10 gathers the best things to do and see : points of interest, tourist attractions, excursions, sightseeing tours, monuments, museums, etc.
To save time and money, we advise your to book in advance your hotel rooms, activities and touristic services (insurance, transport…). In order to help you, we’ve selected the best offers available on the Internet. You will find all links in this article, with a listing of our favorite travel websites. Have a nice trip . – By Flo, Caro & The Team
In this article, you will find :
- The TOP 10 1st part: Best things to do in Mont-Saint-Michel
- The TOP 10 2nd part: Best things to do in South Channel
- Other visits and activities that you may like (for those who want to try and see everything !)
- Travel tips and good deals to organize tour trip (hotel rooms, car rental, travel insurance…)
- Other articles that may interest you (Visit Normandy, Visit Landing sites in Normandy, Visit Bora Bora…)
TOP 10 tours and activities - 1st part: Best things to do at the Mont-Saint-Michel
This first part of our TOP 10 is dedicated to the activities at the Mont-Saint-Michel. This one being ideally located at the south of the Channel, we’ll then list the best activities of the region.
1. Visit the Abbey at the top of the Mont-Saint-Michel
- Admission fee ($) – reservation required (see more information below)
The Abbey is the reason for living of the Mont-Saint-Michel. It was built in the 10th century, when the cult of the archangel Saint Michael had already been introduced on the rock in 708 (the history is a bit complicated but you will learn everything when you visit the place). A small town was then built little by little around this Abbey, becoming the site we know today. We therefore invite you to visit this absolutely unique historical monument to discover its history and architecture. From there, you’ll also have an amazing view of the bay.
The abbey is actually the highest point of the Mont-Saint-Michel, so you have to visit it if you want to discover the entire monument. It recovers a large surface only accessible during the visit. The ticket gives you access to the different rooms, the cloister, the living rooms where were held medieval receptions, and many other different places. You’ll also access a large panoramic terrace, offering one of the best views on the bay. Last, you’ll stroll in the beautiful gardens which also offer a nice view on the ocean and the bay. For all those reasons, the abbey is definitely a must-see!
2. Walk down the narrow streets and fortifications of the Mont-Saint-Michel
To get to the top of the Mont-Saint-Michel, you can either take the main street or the ramparts. We recommend you to start your visit with the fortifications. You’ll enjoy the views on the bay and avoid the crowd. There are two different paths that follow the ramparts, we advise you to take them both (even if you have to go back and forth) because both routes offer different views! You can also walk along the main street to discover the restaurants and tourist shops.
If you’re on a budget, we recommend that you pack a sandwich and eat in one of the nice parks of the Mont-Saint-Michel. You’ll save time and money as many of the restaurants are quite expensive, and often very crowded!
3. Cross the bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel by foot (with a guide!)
- Admission fee ($) – reservation required (see below for more information)
This is also an unmissable activity at the Mont-Saint-Michel! Be careful though, you are not to cross the bay on your own, you need to follow a guide! With its quicksand and rapidly rising tides, the bay is dangerous. Many guides offer this activity, with more or less long routes. We’ve indicated in the links below an ideal route of 7~8 km starting directly from Mont-Saint-Michel. It includes the discovery of the quicksand and the rock of Tombelaine (similar to Mont-Saint-Michel, but without the monument)! These tours offer beautiful views of the rock and allow you to discover the whole eco-system of the bay.
There are about a dozen of tours which allow you to walk around in the bay. For us, the most convenient ones are the ones departing from the entrance of the Mont-Saint-Michel and come back to the departing point, taking a different path for the return. With the shuttle system, the access to the main entrance takes a bit of time (you have to leave your car at a big parking lot, then take the shuttle to get to the Mont). By choosing a walking tour departing from the entrance, it’ll be easier for you to organize your day because everything will take place at the same location.You’ll just need to count half-day for the walk in the bay, and the other half to discover the fort and the abbey, with a lunch break in the middle. This way, you won’t need to go back to the parking lot and use the shuttle several times. You’ll save precious time!
Concerning the guides, we recommend Ludo (see link below). He’s very friendly, expert in his subject, and takes you down a beautiful path. Just make sure you bring along a backpack with you to put your shoes inside (you walk bare foot in the water and the sand). We assure you’ll have a good time!
Price & Online Booking : Activities in Mont Saint Michel (Crossing the bay, museum tickets…)
4. Fly over the Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay: ultralight flights, paragliding, hot-air balloon or skydive
- Admission fee ($$) or ($$$) – see links below
If you’ve never flown on a ULM before, this is your chance! Microlight flights allow you to fly over the beautiful bay AND the Mont-Saint-Michel! It’s a unique experience for those who are lucky enough to participate. Paragliding and hot-air balloon flights are also offered in the region, but they don’t actually fly over the monument. For thrill-seekers, you can also skydive from Avranches, where you’ll get a distant view of the Mont-Saint-Michel. For its unique view, we still recommend the ultralight flight in priority!
- Free : tide and sheep observation
- Admission fee : Mère Poularde and museums ($)
There are plenty of other things to do at Mont-Saint-Michel! You can observe the impressive tides that cover the bay. They are said to rise at the speed of a galloping horse! To see them, you have to plan your visit during a period of high tide (see link below). The Mount will then be totally isolated and form an island in the bay. Don’t miss the salt-meadow sheep grazing in front of the monument either. On the tourist attractions side, you can also visit the Mère Poularde. It’s the most famous site in the Mont-Saint-Michel. It is famous for its omelettes. Finally, you can visit the small museums located in the village. They are mainly devoted to the ecosystem of the bay and the history of the Mont.
Price & Online Booking : Mont Saint Michel Museum Pass (cheaper than buying each ticket seperately)
TOP 10 tours and activities - 2nd part: Best things to do in South-Channel
We invite you to take advantage of your trip to the Mont-Saint-Michel to explore its surroundings and the South-Channel region. Although not very famous, it’s beautiful!
6. Explore the south-west coast of the Channel: Granville, Chausey, beaches, hiking…
- Free : strolls along the coast and into the cities
- Admission fee : boat tour to Chausey ($$)
From Mont-Saint-Michel, we invite you to follow the Channel coast. You will discover many gems: Granville (the “Monaco of the North”) with its ramparts and cliffs, the Chausey islands for a day trip (definitely a must-see!), the seaside resort of Agon-Coutainville, Carolles and its beach cabins. It is also an amazing place to hike, with in particular a path nicknamed “the most beautiful kilometer in France”. It offers a view over the whole bay and is located on the GR 223 at the level of the cliffs of Champeaux. Finally, don’t miss out on a unique experience: if you are travelling at high tide, go to the Havre de la Vanlée to see the road submerged by the sea!
Price & Online Booking : Return cruise to Chausey (from Granville) (possible stopover of 1 or 2 nights, an unmissable!)
Where to stay on the south coast of the Channel? Price for accomodation & Online booking : Granville – Find all hotels / Chausey – Hôtel du Fort (only hotel of the island) Our selection in Granville: Best hotels on a budget (1, 2 or 3 stars) / Best luxurious hotels (4 or 5 stars)
7. Visit Avranches and it Scriptorial, the museum of the manuscripts of the mount
- Free : walks in the city
- Admission fee : the Scriptoral visit ($)
The visit of Avranches is very complementary to the Mont-Saint-Michel. Their stories are indeed intimately linked. It is the bishop of Avranches who initiated the construction of this incredible monument. It is also in this city that the Scriptorial is located. This beautiful museum presents the historical manuscripts collected at Mont-Saint-Michel. It’s a real gold mine for history lovers! You can observe manuscripts that are several centuries old. At that time, writing and bookbinding were an art as well as the main source of transmission of knowledge.
- Free : strolls in the city
- Admission fee : Champrepus Zoo ($)
Although our top favorites in the Channel area are on the coast, some sites in the center of the region are worth a little detour. This is the case of Coutances and its impressive Cathedral of Notre-Dame, in Gothic style. You can also go to Villedieu-les-Pôeles, a small town famous for its foundry and copper work. If you’re looking for something to do in the Manche with children, the pretty animal park of Champrepus is a perfect getaway. Finally, you may enjoy the beautiful historic abbeys of Hambye and Lucerne.
9. Enjoy some time in the water in the South-Channel and go for a nautical activity: kayak, sailboat, sand yacht
- Admission fee ($$)
The Channel region is perfect for the practice of water sports. For example, you can take a kayak tour in the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, where you’ll have beautiful views of the monument from the sea! Sailboat trips are also available from the ports along the coast. For a different type of fun experience, you could also try out sand yachting on the beaches. We highly recommend it!
- Free : walks in Saint-Malo and Pointe du Grouin
- Admission fee : Saint-Malo Aquarium ($)
We’re cheating a little on this one by suggesting you one last activity… in Brittany! We wouldn’t advise you to combine a trip to the Channel region/ Normandy with a trip to Brittany, there are way too many things to see in each region! However, if you’re going to the Mont-Saint-Michel and you have a car, you should definitely take the opportunity to visit Saint-Malo. This beautiful fortified city is only 1 hour drive from the mount! There is also one of the most beautiful aquariums in France. On the way, you can stop at the Pointe du Grouin, a beautiful natural site with amazing views of the coast.
Other things to do and see in Mont-Saint-Michel / South Channel (activities, excursions, attractions, visits...)
In addition to the activities listed in our TOP 10 you’re looking for other ideas of what to do in Mont-Saint-Michel / South Channel ? Here is a selection of other things to do and see during your stay :
- Other activities and places of interest at Mont-Saint-Michel :
- Saint Peter’s Church
- Horseback riding
- Bike rides
- Other places of interest on the south-west coast of the Channel:
- Christian Dior Museum in Granville (the creator is a native of the town)
- Richard Anacréon Museum of Modern Art in Granville
- Villages of Saint-Pair-sur-Mer and Regnéville-sur-Mer
- Restaurant la Cale in Blainville-sur-Mer (unique setting and very nice)
- Other places of interest in Avranches and in the Channel area :
- Garden and Basilica of Avranches
- Plant Garden and Quesnel-Morinière Museum in Coutances
- Saint-James Military Cemetery – American Cemetery of World War II
- Mausoleum of Mont d’Huisnes – German Cemetery of World War II
- Undergrounds of the Py Park in Folligny – Remains of the World War II
- Les Tricots Saint-James – Workshops and factory outlets of the famous sailor brand
- Great Hiking Trails :
- GR 223: this path follows the entire Normandy coast. You can take different portions of it during your stay in the Channel region (indicated in this article and in our article on the Cotentin). We strongly recommend it!
- GR 34 (Brittany): this path follows the Brittany coasts. You can take a portion on the road between Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo.
- Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney): these English islands are located west of the Channel coast. You will need a passport to go there. Three islands are accessible from the Channel ports. You can reach Jersey from Granville (in the south of the Channel) or Barneville-Carteret (in the middle of the Channel, in the Cotentin peninsula), while Guernsey and Alderney are accessible from Dielette (in the north of the Channel). Each trip takes approximately one hour. On the islands, you will discover beautiful landscapes and a change of scenery. You can make do with a (quick) day trip or spend a night in one of the hotels on the island of your choice. If you have a little time, don’t hesitate to discover them!
Travel tips to visit Mont-Saint-Michel / South Channel and organize your trip (hotels, sightseeing tours...)
Book accomodation at the Mont Saint-Michel & South Channel region: you’ll find the greatest choice on Booking (for hotel rooms) or Airbnb ( for appartments).
Book travel activities at the Mont Saint-Michel & South Channel region: you can book all the best activities online on Viator (american website – many offers and sightseeing tours), Get Your guide (european website – our favorite choice with lots of good offers), Tiqets (european website – great one to book tickets for museums or attractions) or Ceetiz (european website with a large offer of activities worldwide and many promotions)
Book a flight to the South Channel region: you will generally find best prices on Skyscanner.
Book and airport transfer to the Mont-Saint-Michel: save time by using the usefull Airport Shuttle
Rent a car in the South Channel region: it is important to make a booking before departure, as prices on site are much higher than those displayed online. We advise you to use Rentalcars.
Book an organized trip or tailor-made travel to visit the Mont-Saint-Michel and the South Channel region: if you don’t want to organize everything on your own, we recommend the website Evaneos. It puts you in direct contact with a top selection of the local agencies (high quality of the service).You’ll then be able to choose among the different customized programs following the recommendations of the agency. Feel free to ask for a quote, it’s free!
Book a travel insurance (can be important)
Check our other "TOP 10 activities" wordwide - Best Things to do
As an American, Florent is in charge of the English website. He’s been travelling for years and already lived in 5 different countries. Francois and Caro are the ones you will see the most on the pictures. Indeed, we are an international team composed of travellers from different cultures and countries. We think it’s the best way to find and highlight the best activities each destination can offer!