Le Mont St Michel is something out of a fairytale. This medieval fortress town has been on my bucket list for ages. And when I finally visited, it was every bit as striking and majestic as it everyone had talked it up to be.
Last weekend, we set off on a modern day pilgrimage – a girls’ road trip – to Mont St Michel. As the castle spires emerged ahead of us in the misty distance, we all gasped in excitement. We made our way closer and before we knew it, a magical, gravity-defying medieval monastery appeared atop of an isolated island across a serene bay.
We wandered around the souvenir shops of the quaint town and up to the abbey to admire the sweeping bay views of the Normandy mainland. It really was magical moment of my year living in France so far.
In the 8th century, the bishop of the nearby town of Avranches, claimed that the Archangel Michael himself wanted a church built atop the island just out to sea.
In the centuries following, the dukes of Normandy and French kings continued to develop the abbey on the Mont-Saint-Michel with magnificent monastic buildings. The abbey became a renowned centre of learning and attracted some of the greatest minds in Europe.
How to get there
It took us about four hours to drive to Mont St Michel from Paris. You need to park your car in the parking lot on the mainland and then take the free shuttle bus across the bridge to the island town.
Eat & Drink
A trip to Normandy isn’t complete until you’ve had buckwheat crepes for lunch. Tucked upstairs in a cobblestoned building, Creperie La Sirene is difficult to find but not-to-be-missed for outstanding crepes and local cider.
We were there while the tide was low and saw groups of people hiking across the bay. We weren’t dressed for a Tough Mudder experience this time, but next time I would bring my Hunter boots and outdoor gear for a guided walk across the bay for unforgettable views of Mont St Michel.
Photos by Peta and me.