This full day Cherbourg shore trip
visits the historic site of Mont Saint-Michel, which is one of France's most popular attractions and a true marvel. Your Cherbourg tour
includes a visit to the Abbey and free time for lunch and stunning photos.
After meeting your driver-guide you immediately depart for the Mont. Nothing quite compares to your first glimpse of the Mont from miles away, so keep your eyes to the horizon and savor the excitement. It stands as a rock island 260 foot above the tidal salt plain surrounding it on all sides. Crowned with a steeple topped monastery, it sits in the most western portion of Normandy.
The idea for this special place was born of the Bishop of Avranches, when in 708 he had a vision of the Archangel Michael ordering him to build a place of worship on the site. Construction began and continued for over 1000 years, due to additions and destruction. Masonry had to be brought to the island by boat at the high tide, and then lifted to the peak by ropes. In the 14th century, fortifications were added which allowed the Mont to be the only place in France that was not taken over by the Germans during World War II. The most recent addition, in the late 19th century, was the statue of St. Michael atop the steeple.
St. Michael is considered the protector of faith, and the one who weighs souls to determine their admission into paradise. This power made him a popular holy figure, and so important that people would risk their lives wadding through the primordial quicksand surrounding the Mont to express their devotion.
In recent times a causeway bridge has been added to allow visitors access to the Mont. The tides here are the highest in Continental Europe and can rise as high as 50 feet in just a few hours.
When you arrive you will enter the city through Porte Bauole, a gate in the ramparts that was added in 1590. Upon entering you are on Grande Rue and begin an ever increasing climb. The street is steep, winding its way up and around the Mont, even becoming steps in some parts, and finally reaching the abbey.
You will enjoy a visit to the Abbey which includes the 13th century monastery (known as the Wonder - la Merveille), the center courtyard of which has an herb garden and provides access to the refectory, or dining hall, where the monks ate their meals in silence. Today it is a feast of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
After your visit of the Abbey you have free time for lunch on your own, shopping and photos.
Since the time of the Victorian Grand Tour it has been tradition on the Mont to serve omelets made with whipped egg whites and cooked in a long handled pan over an open fire. Why not join the illustrious company of other travelers, whose footsteps you follow, and enjoy this local delicacy? The originator of this dish was M̬re Poulard whose restaurant makes this offering their specialty.
After visiting this marvel of a site, you return to the pier in Cherbourg.Note
: This site includes cobblestones and uphill walking. It is NOT at all wheelchair accessible.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, our Cherbourg tours
and Cherbourg Excursions
can also be customized to fit your needs. If you have a larger group, we can offer you a private Cherbourg tour
using a mid-size bus or full size coach. Please contact us
with any questions or to receive a customized quote.