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Mont Saint-Michel: five survival tips to avoid crowds


Highlights: With more than 3 million visitors each year, the medieval Norman wonder is too often overwhelmed by incessant crowd movements. Le Figaro gives you some tips to avoid prolonged crowd baths.Focus on Tuesdays and Thursdays outside school holidays, or families with children. Not surprisingly, if you are prone to agoraphobia, avoid July and August. The month of May recorded the lowest influx, even now September and August, but also the month of October, November, January and February, which are therefore preferred.

With more than 3 million visitors each year, the medieval Norman wonder is too often overwhelmed by incessant crowd movements and leaving little room for contemplation. Our survival tips.

There are sites that do not need advertising. Mont Saint-Michel, which is celebrating its thousandth anniversary this year, is one of them. The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, is expected this Monday, June 5 on the Norman islet where he should deliver a speech from the abbey located at the top of the "Wonder" classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tourist season, with a new record of attendance recorded during the long weekend of Ascension, has already started well. Although in reality, tourists, more than 3 million per year, with peaks of attendance at more than 30,000 per day, flock there throughout the year. Does this mean that the visitor, or the pilgrim, is condemned to incessant crowd movements? Not necessarily. Le Figaro gives you some tips to avoid prolonged crowd baths.

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Playing with schedules

If Mont Saint-Michel is a harmonious ensemble composed of walls and old cobbled streets leading to its famous abbey watched over by its archangel, it remains a classic French commune, which still has about thirty inhabitants, including nuns and monks. Unlike monuments, such as the Pantheon in Paris, or some private amusement parks, the medieval city remains open 24 hours a day. This is the reason why the entrance to the village remains free and free access at any time. Our advice: do not hesitate to go there very early in the morning when the brightness, as in this season, allows it. Or later in the evening.

For example, for the low season, from September 1 to April 30, the abbey, which is generally considered the highlight of the visit, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 18 p.m. While for the high season, from May 2 to August 31, it is from 9am to 19pm. There, again, do not hesitate to enjoy the small winding streets and the many panoramas that the wall offers on the bay by going there from 6am before the arrival of the first large contingents of tourists of the day who arrive from 9 am.

Alternatively, for night owls, you can try hanging out until dusk and watch the sunsets over the bay. Unlike a few years ago, most restaurants and bars now remain open in the evening in all seasons. For the return, there are regular shuttles until 1am and on request afterwards, while car parks are free from 18pm. "If I had one piece of advice to give to our visitors, it is not to hesitate to come very early in the morning, around 7am, where you will only meet municipal agents and delivery people. The lights on the bay are magnificent, while between 12:16 and 30:2020 you may find crowd movements comparable to those of Parisian department stores during the Christmas period...", says Jacques Bono, mayor of Mont Saint-Michel since <>.

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Choose a day to close the abbey

The abbey at the top of the Mount is closed every year on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. This implies that the audio guides remain stored and that the groups of tourists, therefore, are few in number on these three days. The opportunity to discover the city differently, its ramparts, and especially its 1100 steps, by providing a small snack and a bottle of water in your bag. Most businesses also close on these three days. Then, nothing prevents you from returning the next day to discover the abbey with its continuous flow of tourists.

Focus on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Outside school holidays, weekdays, such as Tuesday and Thursday, are generally the least crowded. Groups or families with children prefer weekends and Wednesdays.

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Choose the month of your coming

Here again a small study of tourist flows is necessary. Not surprisingly, if you are prone to agoraphobia, avoid July and August. Or even now September. But also the month of May. The lowest recorded influx, on the other hand, affects the months of October, November, January and February, which are therefore to be preferred despite the risk of rain. Although the drizzle and the mists of the English Channel participate in the magic of the place.

Provide suitable footwear

Last tip to visit the mount in the best conditions: plan good shoes. Climbing the steps and strolling through the cobbled alleys requires real comfort of the feet. Getting there, even by taking a shuttle that leaves you 300 meters from the entrance of the village, and visiting the rock requires several hours of walking.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-06-04

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