Many writers have tried to define this "Marvel of the Occident", some say that it is to the sea what the pyramid of Keops is to the desert, some describe it as an imaginary manor-house, stupefying as a dream palace, others say that is is not dry land and yet not the sea. Surrounded by the sea with one of the highest tidal ranges in the world the Mont St. Michel is simply unique.
From Paris Daily 7:30am/7:30pm
All Inclusive Shared Tour:
From Paris 229€pp 6.30am/7:30pm
Departures Tue, Thurs, Sat.
The tour begins with a guided visit of the Abbey founded by Aubert at the beginning of the 8th Century and that became a major cultural and pilgrimage centre during the middle ages.
You will have to admire the Romanesque Church, the Gothic "Marvel" with the monk's Cloisters and Refectory, the Knights Room, the Guest Room, the Undercroft, the Refectory, as well as various chapels : St. Stephen, St. Martin, Our Lady Underground, St. Mary Magdalene, Crypt of the 30 Candles.
Lunch at the terrace of "La Mere Poulard" and free time to explore. If time permits you may stop for a cider tasting on the way back.
Short visit of Rouen
Lunch in Etretat
Long range artillery at Longues sur Mer
American Cemetery/Omaha Beach
Overnight St Malo or Dinard
Visit of the Mont Saint Michel
Lunch th terrace of La Mere Poulard
Drive along RN176 aka Voie de la Liberté
Calvados/cider cellar visit
Return to Paris
Cider Tasting Visit
Monet's Garden in Giverny
Lunch in Rouen
Tasting at the Abbey Benedictine
Visit the cliffs of Etretat
Arromanches + Longues sur Mer
Lunch at the Caen Castle Museum
William the Conqueror's castle
Visit Normandy's only winery
Return to Paris
In 708, a dream led Saint Aubert, the bishop of Avaranches, to create a shrine to Saint Michael at this site. Mont Saint-Michel then became one of the major pilgrimage destinations in medieval Christendom
In 966, the Duke of Normandy entrusted the sanctuary to the care of the Benedictines of Saint Wandrille. The monks built a magnificent abbey which the Middle Ages considered as the image of the Heavenly Jerusalem on earth. In the 11th and 12th centuries, they constructed a Romanesque monastery with the church on the top of the hill. A part of this abbey burned down in 1204. It was replaced by the famous "batiment de la Merveille", a building constructed north of the church in a few years' time that includes halls for the pilgrims and rooms strictly reserved to the monks (scriptorium, refectory). Then from the middle of the 13th century to the beginning of the 16th century, the monks completed the ring around the church on the east and south by constructing the abbot's residence and buildings to house the abbey's legal and administrative services. During the Hundred Years' War, the village at the foot of the abbey was surrounded by massive ramparts.
The heroic resistance of Mont Saint-Michel to the English made the abbey a national symbol. The choir of the church, which collapsed in 1421, was replaced by a Flamboyant Gothic structure. The abbey is thus an exceptional example of the full range of medieval architecture. In 1790, the monks left their monastery which was then used as a prison until 1863. After it was designated a historical monument in 1874, major works were undertaken to restore the monument to its former splendor.
A sense of mystery surrounds Mont-Saint-Michel. According to Bishop Aubert, he was ordered to build the church by the Archangel Michel in the 8th century, it then became a Benedictine monastery and renowned as a center of medieval learning.
Pilgrims have been coming here for a thousand years, and todays tourist follow the same narrow walkway to the Abbey, but once inside the church there is a sense of monastic serenity. There is still a small Benedictine community living in the abbey. There are many things to see and do: the main street with its shops, the museums, the walk around the ramparts with views out over the sands of the bay, as well as the spectacle of the sea rushing in to surround the Mont at each high tide. The Abbey can also be visited at night when it is lit up.
“We reviewed our pictures and watched video of our trip over the break and had great memories of our time in France with you. The trip to Normandy and drive thru Paris was really a trip highlight. Want to thank you again for your excellent service and great commentary. We will never forget the trip. I attached a couple of photos that were taken at the cemetery
Ron enjoyed our trip to Normandy so much and it gave him so much pleasure to remember our trip! He loved the history and the sacrifice that Normandy represented and you made the trip so meaningful for him. Thank you for giving us those special moments!
Thanks so much for such a good tour! Our trip was so lovely, informative and we enjoyed our driver/guide very much. He was superb. I felt very much like I was there in 1944 or maybe I was in the middle of a virtual war zone overwhelmed by all the odds against the Allied troops. How brave all of your countrymen were and the countries who came to your aid! Our driver/guide was thorough and interesting, besides very delightful company. Thanks so very much for a wonderful addition to an already superb visit to your beautiful country. It was worth the time and money we spent.