France, Normandy

Mont St. Michel from Bayeux: Easy Day Trip Guide

If you haven’t heard of Mont St. Michel, you probably will at least recognize it. This iconic Abbey and tidal island is one of France’s most visited tourist attractions. It definitely should be added to your France bucket list – but the question is, do you need to spend the night there? No! You can visit Mont St. Michel from Bayeux and other cities on a day trip!

Being one of the most visited attractions in France (it receives 2.5 million visitors annually!), accommodation prices tend to be higher around the Mont St. Michel. So to save a little bit of money, staying in towns such as Bayeux or Caen are very possible alternatives. Here, I will focus on how to visit Mont St. Michel from Bayeux since Bayeux is one of my favourite towns in Normandy!

In this guide, you’ll find out a little bit more about what Mont St. Michel is, how to get there from Bayeux, and some of my top recommendations on what to do when you visit. Any questions I didn’t answer? Feel free to leave a comment or book a 1-on-1 consultation call with me!

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


What is Mont St. Michel?

Mont St. Michel is a tiny island in Normandy on the west coast of France. It is a tidal island meaning that for part of the day, the island is separated from the mainland. At the very peak of the island stands the famous Mont St. Michel Abbey. It is one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage destinations and it has been since the 8th century!

The town has a total of 27 residents – just to give you an idea of its size! Besides visiting the Abbey, wandering around the medieval streets should be added to your itinerary. It will feel as if you are walking back in time. There are no vehicles on the island and it is strictly a place for people to wander, explore, and learn.

A girl looks at Mont St Michel in the distance on low tide


How do you get to Mont St. Michel from Bayeux? 

🚗 Arriving by car: This is by far the easiest option! It is only approximately 1.5 hour drive from Bayeux and there are no tolls on this route! What’s great about visiting by car is that once you park at the parking lot on the mainland, there is a free shuttle that will take you to the foot of the island! It runs every 12 minutes!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 things to do in Bayeux, Normandy

🚂 Arriving by transit: Although it is possible to visit Mont St. Michel from Bayeux by train, it does take longer. If you were planning to go this way, I would look for places to stay in Mont St. Michel to make the most of your visit. You will need to take a train from Bayeux to Avranches train station. From there you can grab a Flixbus to take you to Mont St. Michel. You can look for cheap train tickets on Trainline – I use this site for all of my train journeys in France!

🚌 Top-rated tours to Mont St. Michel: Alternatively, there are several tour options that will make your visit to Mont St. Michel completely hassle-free!

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Mont St. Michel Full Day Tour with National Guide from Bayeux

Mont St. Michel Day trip from Bayeux (shared tour)

Here are some options if you are visiting Mont St. Michel from Paris 👇🏻

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Is one day enough to visit Mont St. Michel?

The short answer is: yes. Mont St. Michel isn’t that big of an attraction and genuinely you can get the full experience in a full day’s visit. To give you a frame of reference, we spent 2 hours on a walking tour of the town, 1 hour for lunch, 2 hours visiting the Abbey, and another 1-2 hours visiting the mainland.

Find the exact walking tour we took of Mont St. Michel here 👇🏻

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We found a day trip to Mont St. Michel from Bayeux very possible. The drive wasn’t too long and we saw everything we wanted and more within 6 hours roughly. However, if you are visiting Mont St. Michel by train, I’d recommend staying the night. The journey is much longer so you’d want at least a full day to get the most out of your experience.

I’d suggest the same if you are visiting from Paris – it is quite a long journey. If you have a tour arranged with a tour company, you’ll be fine. But if you are making the drive out there yourself, you’d want to spend at least one night in Mont St. Michel.

Want something more personalized? If you want help planning your trip to Mont St. Michel, check out my custom travel planning services on Thatch!

Various views of Mont St Michel, one from the bottom of the mountain looking up at the Abbey, one from the distance across a farmers field and one looking at the abbey in between the medieval buildings of the village


Is Mont St. Michel worth visiting?   

Absolutely! To help convince you to visit, here are 5 recommendations of what to do in Mont St. Michel!


HIGHLIGHT: Enjoy the views from the mainland

People often hurry to visit the island but don’t take a second to really take in the view. I personally believe the BEST view of Mont St. Michel is from the mainland! I’d highly recommend spending some time on the many walking and bike trails to truly appreciate the beauty of this island!

PRO TIP: The shuttle to Mont St. Michel also stops at the dam on the mainland. If you get off the shuttle here you can find some beautiful views of the island across the bay! For the BEST view, we stopped at a public farmer’s field a little down the road. If you’d like to know the address, send me a DM on Instagram and I’ll send you a screenshot!

View of Mont St Michel from the mainland looking at it in the distance across farmers fields


Walk across the bay (with a guide)

Did you know it was possible to walk to Mont St. Michel by crossing the bay? If this sounds interesting to you, you NEED to go with a guide. The bay is full of quicksand and you have to be mindful of the tide. Going with a guide is highly recommended to avoid any issues crossing the bay!

Guided tour walking across the Bay of Mont St. Michel


Take a tour of the Abbey

You can’t visit Mont St. Michel without visiting the Abbey! It’s THE thing to do on the island (and pretty much the only attraction to do here)! There are many tours available to take you through the Abbey, however, we opted for the audio tour since we already took a tour of the town. (You can find the tour we took above)! We found it was super useful and detailed and were perfectly happy with our 2-hour visit.

We reserved our entry tickets in advance and payed an extra 3 euros in person for the audio tour. You can book your Mont St. Michel Abbey entry tickets here!

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Inside the abbey


Try local delicacies

I will warn you, food on the island is typically touristy and over priced. You can find better quality options on the mainland! Here are some food recommendations of local delicacies to try:

🍎 Cider is the regional drink of Normandy! You will find many cider options all throughout your visit to Normandy – this is the place to try it! You can even go on a cider tour!

READ MORE: Cider Tour: One of the BEST activities to do in Normandy

🥞Crêpes or galettes (buckwheat savoury crêpes) are also one of the most popular dishes in Normandy. Did you know that the proper drink pairing for a crepe is a bowl of cider? Be sure to give this experience a try during your visit!

🐑 The most local dish you should try, which is a specialty of Mont St. Michel, is lamb. The lamb in this area tastes different because the lambs graze on the tidal grasses. This means that the meat is naturally saltier and has a different flavour than what you might be used to!


Visit the local shops

Although Mont St. Michel is quite touristy, you should definitely still peruse the different shops and artisans in the local village. Most of them are souvenir shops but there are some really lovely finds around town. Giving yourself time to explore the village should be factored into your itinerary!

The tiny, medieval streets of Mont St Michel


Visitor information

📆 Mont St. Michel is open all year round. During peak season it’s open from 9 am to 7 pm. And during shoulder season it is open from 9:30 am to 6 pm.

Visits can last up to 1.5 hrs.

💰It costs 13 euros for an adult (the town is free to visit)

🎧 There are audio tours available which you can pay for onsite. They cost an extra 3 euros per person.

🎟️ You can book your tickets in advance here!

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Tips for visiting

⛰️ Reminder, it is a MOUNT! Tourists often forget that the island is technically a mountain. This means it is very steep with lots of stairs. It is not accessible for all abilities! Be sure to wear walking shoes and take breaks if needed!

☔️ Normandy is not known for its nice weather, come prepared! No matter what the weather network is saying, come prepared for wind and rain. Mont St. Michel is located in a bay so it is subject to lots of wind and rain can come out of nowhere! Pack that umbrella and raincoat to be safe!

🚌 Expect crowds no matter the season! I’ve said it a few times but Mont St. Michel is one of the most visited attractions in France. It is also a medieval village that is quite small. Keep in mind that no matter what it will be busy. Avoiding the summer season is always best practice but even when we went in October, there were still plenty of visitors.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: FREE visitor’s guide to Bayeux


Enjoy your day in Mont St. Michel

Visiting Mont St Michel from Bayeux: An Easy Day trip Guide

Despite the crowds, I truly believe a visit to Mont St. Michel, whether it be from Bayeux, Caen, or Paris, should be done at least once in your life! It is truly a magical island to see in person and the streets will leave you feeling like you’re walking through the Middle Ages.

Hopefully, you have everything you need in order to visit Mont St. Michel from Bayeux or beyond. The day trip is quite straightforward and I hope you enjoy your time there!

If you’re looking for more France travel guides, I have plenty of itineraries and FREE guides on my Thatch page! I’m happy to help make your trip to France as magical as possible!

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Caity Zagar

Travel Planner & Blogger

Welcome to CZ Phones Home! I’m here to help make your travels easier by giving you tips, advice and inspiration to make your trips memorable!

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