Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s great icons, located on the coast where the Normandy and Brittany regions meet. Paris, one of the world's most popular destinations, is 225 miles (362 kilometers) away from this village and world-famous Abbey complex set high on a rocky island. Driving between Paris and Mont-Saint-Michel is the most straightforward option, allowing you to explore at your own pace and avoid the transfers and hassles the buses and trains usually entail.
|Car||4 hours, 30 minutes||225 miles (362 kilometers)||Exploring on your own|
|Train||4 hours||from $84||Arriving quickly|
|Bus||4 hours, 50 minutes||from $21||Budget travel|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel?
The least expensive method of transportation between Paris and Mont-Saint-Michel is the bus (from $21). Passengers can take a direct FlixBus vehicle that leaves in the mornings; two rides are offered per day. The quicker option takes about four hours, 50 minutes from the Paris Pont de Levallois bus station. Another possibility is a bus lasting five hours, 35 minutes from the Bercy Seine bus station in Paris. Either way, you will end up at the Mont-Saint-Michel bus stop. Transport schedules are prone to change and sometimes the rides are only offered seasonally, so reserve and then confirm details in advance.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel?
The quickest way to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris is a train trip that's roughly four hours when you factor in the transfer. A TGV train from Paris to Rennes (from $70) takes about two hours, with several departures each day. Passengers can then take a 40-minute train ride (starting at $11) from the Rennes-Pontchaillou train station to the Pontorson-Mont-Saint-Michel station.
You can also take SNCF trains, which depart the Paris Gare Montparnasse station approximately five times a day for Villedieu-les-Poêles. The journey (from $45) takes around four hours, 40 minutes. Passengers have a one-hour transfer and continue with SNCF to Mont-Saint-Michel. You will need to plan in advance so you are able to make the second train, which typically only leaves once a day at 10:27 a.m. Before leaving Paris, travelers can contact the Tourist Information Centre in Mont-Saint-Michel to learn about shuttles, which are typically coordinated with the train schedules, heading from the train station to the town.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
The 225-mile (362-kilometer) journey from Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel takes around four hours, 30 minutes, depending on your speed and any traffic. There are tolls on the Autoroutes such as A13, which is the most direct way between the two destinations. Some visitors—as long as you are age 18 and up and not a European resident—use the Renault Eurodrive Buy Back Lease. This option is known as the most economical way of renting a new car if you’re in France for more than 21 days.
The island has large parking lots about a mile from the Abbey; tourists can take the free Passeur shuttles from the lots to the historic site. Shuttles leave from the parking area next to the Tourist Information Centre. Note there may be long lines to enter the parking lots and you must pay at the ticket machines before going back to your car.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Mont-Saint-Michel?
Mont-Saint-Michel's best and sunniest weather is between May and October, and from June through September in particular the area usually has less rain. The island's microclimate is influenced by the tides. Typically taking place in late May, The Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel Marathon hosts 5,000 runners from all over France and the world. Summer, long weekends, and school holidays are the most packed with tourists. To avoid big crowds, explore at sunrise or during the afternoon, or take a walk around the village in the evenings.
What Is There to Do in Mont-Saint-Michel?
While Mont-Saint-Michel is small at 240 acres (97 hectares), the island is beautiful and offers a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel. Dating back to the eighth century, the Abbey features bay views from 262 feet (80 meters) high and more than 20 rooms to explore on your own or with a guide. Travelers also enjoy the cafés and tourist shops of La Grande Rue, the steep main street in the village. There are some peaceful chapels to explore, like Eglise Paroissiale Saint-Pierre and La Chapelle-Saint-Aubert. Also, the Moulin de Moidrey windmill from the early 19th century is worth checking out and still in service; flour and other products are for sale on the ground floor.