Mont St Michel Day Trips from Paris

Excursions to Mont St Michel from Paris have always been a favorite when looking for cultural entertainment outside the city.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

9 min read

Mont St Michel Day Trips from Paris

Mont St Michel | ©Charles JACQUES

The things to see or do in Paris are so numerous that, if you so desire, you can also get to know its surroundings, many of which are places of great historical importance. Mont St Michel is one of these sites and is undoubtedly one of the most iconic spots when you think of the architectural beauty of medieval France.

I have put together a list of different tour packages that can take you from Paris to this beautiful island fortress and then drop you back in the historic heart of the city of love. I recommend that you continue reading this post if you want to have a clearer idea about the characteristics that distinguish each of the excursions that are available to you.

1. Excursion with a private guide departing from the center of Paris

Excursion to Mont St Michel| ©Stig Nygaard
Excursion to Mont St Michel| ©Stig Nygaard

The Mont St Michel is one of the most visited points by international tourists in France.

To be exact, it is a site that usually receives about 3.5 million people annually, and therefore it is quite convenient that you bet on an excursion that offers you a private guide both for the bus ride and for the tour of this peculiar island.

The buildings there are among the most important of the entire French medieval era and specifically the abbey dedicated to the archangel St. Michael is the protagonist of this beautiful setting.

Another major attraction of this tourist spot are the gigantic tides of the bay, since at some points of the year make inaccessible by land means the transit to the walled fortress. In fact, these are the largest sea tides in all of Europe, as they tend to move over a terrain that extends for more than 15 km.

As for this type of guided tours, you should know that they usually include the entrance to the island and the abbey, as well as a pedestrian tour through the few streets of the village that sits on the foundations of this imposing monument of Catholicism.

The guide will also tell you all the interesting details about the history of Normandy, the region in which Mont St Michel is located. It is a site that has been marked by different invasions throughout its history, from the Romans to the English with the Hundred Years War.

The pick up and drop off points are always somewhere centrally located in the tourist area of Paris. Please note that this is a shared tour, i.e. the means of transport is a bus that will go with other tourists in the same conditions as yours.

Details of interest:

  • Prices: a tour with these characteristics usually costs about 138 euros per adult and about 130 euros for children between 3 and 11 years of age. Infants pass free of charge and older adults keep the same rate as adults. Note that the rates remain the same whether the guide speaks English or Spanish, which makes this alternative one of the best tours you can do from Paris to somewhere close to the city.
  • Duration: the total length of a tour like this is usually 14 to 15 hours from the departure from Paris in the early morning to the return in the late afternoon or early evening. The tour as such of the abbey and the island usually takes about 2 hours, and it is common for there to be more than 2 stops at gas stations for passengers to buy snacks and go to the restroom. Clearly, this is a longer trip than the transfers between the airport and Paris, but it is a time that is worth it considering the historical magnitude of the site you are visiting.
  • Advantages: with a private guide you have the possibility to solve each and every one of your doubts at the exact moment they appear. At the same time, sharing the trip with people of different nationalities is an excellent experience for socializing, especially if you are looking for friends to make plans for your return to Paris.

Book your excursion to Mont St. Michel from Paris

2. Small group tour to Mont St Michel

Mont St Michel| ©Geert Orye
Mont St Michel| ©Geert Orye

If you prefer to take a sightseeing tour and learn in detail the history of this impressive monument, then I recommend the Mont St. Michel tour for a small group. With only 8 people in the group and a guide who will accompany you at all times, you will not miss a single detail of the island and the abbey. In addition, this tour includes a cider tasting as a finale.

The start of the tour is basically the same, as a comfortable, air-conditioned bus will pick you up early in the morning at a designated point in the center of Paris.

Along the route through the French countryside and at your entrance to the Normandy region you can enjoy the activities of your choice, as you have the option of listening to music with your headphones or playing cards or having a conversation with your companions who are getting to know Paris with you.

When you arrive at the bridge that takes you to the island, the bus driver will hand you a pamphlet indicating the most recommended places to visit on Mont St Michel and will also inform you of the pick-up time. This way, you can make an estimate of all the hours you have at your disposal to explore the island according to your interests and your own pace.

On the island you can have lunch in some of the restaurants that offer traditional meals in a completely medieval setting. When you have finished you can take one of the free public buses, the same ones that take you from the coast to the island at the beginning.

From the bridge or even on the island itself you can enjoy the progressive increase of the tide in the bay with the arrival of the afternoon.

The sum of all these experiences make this individualized tour one of the best things to see or do in Paris in a 15-day trip.

Details of interest:

  • Pricing: adults typically pay about €213 for a tour of this style, while younger children ages 11 to three get an approximate 15% discount. Note that there are differences between packages that include only transportation and the ticket to access the island and the abbey and those that provide headphones for the audio guide. The explanations of this device come in 8 different languages, including English.
  • Duration: the duration of the total tour remains identical to the other tours that offer a round trip on the same day to Mont St Michel. In other words, the 12 hours will always be a fair approximation of the tour duration. What does change a lot are the conditions of how you distribute your 2 or 3 hours on the island. But this small group option will allow you to get to know the magical place.
  • Advantages: being able to get to know an iconic monument of France while enjoying the cultural and historical contributions that an expert guide can give you in a small group. And, of course, don't forget to taste the traditional cider to end a dream plan.

3. 2-day excursion that takes you to Mont St. Michel along with Saint-Malo and Normandy

Normandy Houses| ©Mariado
Normandy Houses| ©Mariado

This option is much longer in duration, but offers you triple the entertainment so that you can get to know all the secrets of Normandy before your return to Paris.

It is a two-day itinerary in which you leave early in the morning from the center of Paris to visit two emblematic cities of the region, Rouen and Honfleur.

Next would be the visit of a couple of sites that were crucial in the development of the world war, such as the beach of the D-Day landing, the American cemetery for the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives in the region and a couple of memorials.

Accommodation is usually in a 4 star hotel that includes dinner and breakfast as part of the service and at dawn the next day the tour restarts, but this time you will be taken to the port and walled city of Saint-Malo. There you will see the houses that receive the strong waves and you will also have a guided tour of the cathedral of Saint-Malo.

Finally, you will arrive at the final destination and the most important of your trip, the Mont St. Michel. In this excursion you will meet a guide who will show you the most important details of the island fortification and recommend the best places to have lunch within the gastronomic offer of the place.

Also, it usually includes the entrance to the abbey of St. Michel and to the island as such. As well as all the iconic and tourist sites that you will know throughout the trip in the different cities of Normandy in which you will have a stop.

Details of interest:

  • Prices: you will pay about 462 euros approximately for an adult, while children between the ages of 11 and 3 years pay about 10 euros less. Babies can accompany their parents, but they do not have any additional care and cannot occupy a seat in the vehicle.
  • Duration: this tour lasts for two full days if you take into consideration that the departure from Paris is scheduled for around 7:15 am and the return is usually after sunset the following day.
  • Means of transportation: this type of tour uses luxury coaches that are intended for a smaller group of tourists than a double-decker bus. So you can expect quite comfortable seats, internal air conditioning and even a couple of technological features such as charging ports or wifi for passengers.
  • Conditions: lunches are not included in this itinerary and you will have to pay for them out of your own pocket both at Mont St. Michel and at the previous stops provided for this purpose. Although the simple fact that you choose a hotel with dinner and breakfast included is already a very significant saving of time and money.

What is the best time to visit Mont St Michel with an excursion from Paris?

Getting to know Mont St Michel| ©James West
Getting to know Mont St Michel| ©James West

You have to keep in mind that Mont St Michel and the whole region of Normandy are a fairly temperate geographical area. They are located in the far northwestern part of France and therefore receive the cold ocean temperatures that come through the English Channel that separates Europe from the British Isles.

For this reason you may encounter temperatures that approach negative degrees during the winter, but you may also suffer from overwhelming sunshine during the hottest days of the summer. Fortunately, it is an area that will always remain cooler than the interior of the country and therefore the best time to visit Mont St Michel from a climatic perspective is summer.

Being in Paris in spring, or at the end of this season, is another good alternative, as you will not encounter the rainy atmosphere that defines Paris in autumn, but neither will you have to deal with the thousands of tourists that flood the French cities and monuments during the summer months.

How should you dress for Mont St Michel?

Comfortable Shoes| ©Kindel Media
Comfortable Shoes| ©Kindel Media

In France there are no major regulations on how you should enter a tourist spot. However, you should take into account the climatic factors I have mentioned, as well as the comfort you should maintain on the island and on the bus or coach that takes you there.

For example, in the summer it is very advisable to wear cool clothes because you will start to perspire immediately after you get off the vehicle. On the other hand, in autumn you have a totally different scenario, as rainproof coats would be more appropriate.

The comfort of your footwear is the other decisive factor in your choice of clothing, as you will be walking a lot, just like on an excursion to Versailles from Paris or a walking tour of the city center.

The bus and coach on such excursions are air-conditioned and some people are quite sensitive to this artificial air conditioning. So it is only fair and necessary that you have some cover at your disposal if you belong to this group of individuals.

Is an excursion to Mont St Michel from Paris a good plan to do with children?

At Mont St Michel| ©Renee Grayson
At Mont St Michel| ©Renee Grayson

The practicality of an excursion to Mont St Michel as a family entertainment plan with children included depends a lot on the personality of the little ones of the house. And it is an activity that is great fun for those who admire the architectural beauty of the places they visit and for those who are interested in the natural phenomenon of the tides of this peculiar bay.

However, it is still a relatively long journey in which you have to find continuous and interesting entertainment for the children if you do not want them to get bored quickly. So this may not be a very viable plan among the things to do in Paris with children if they do not enjoy road trips.

There are other alternatives that can compensate them and help you balance the way they are taking the family vacation, as you have the alternative of buying tickets to Disneyland Paris in another of the dates of your trip.