Hotel restaurant near Avranches, Mont Saint-Michel, Granville and Saint-Malo
In order to better organize your visit to “La Merveille”, we can give you all the necessary advice.
WHEN GOING TO MONT ST MICHEL?
With three million tourists a year, Mont St Michel is one of the most visited tourist sites in France. For this reason, you should know that the holiday periods and long weekends are very busy at Mont St Michel and the surrounding region. We therefore recommend that you avoid these times if you can, and in any case to book your accommodation well in advance (we frequently receive later people not knowing where to stay the night, because all is full around the Mont).
In summer, you will avoid much of the crowds if you visit the Mont St Michel in either early morning (before 10am) or late evening. Summer evenings you can enjoy until midnight Nocturnes of the Abbey of Mont St Michel, which is a nice opportunity to walk inside the abbey highlighted (information: call +33-126.96.36.199.00).
Winter is a also a good time to visit Mont St Michel. Of course you’ll find less crowded, but you can also enjoy a walk on the ramparts of the Mont, overlooking the bay of Mont St Michel, windy weather and alternating between rain and cloudy. The play of lights in the sky over the bay associated with the sensation of the elements is a real pleasure to discover (well dressed, of course …).
THE ABBEY OF MONT ST MICHEL
It is common for visitors to the Mont Saint Michel to only discover the village, without pushing up the visit of the Abbey. This is a mistake, as this monument is an architectural gem steeped in history. The classical tours last one hour, and are the minimum to do. But if you have some spare time and curiosity, we strongly recommend the guided tours, during which you will be guided by real historians of Mont St Michel, you will learn about their work while going in rooms inaccessible during the traditional visit. Finally, note that the Abbey wins. You will have access after climbing many steps, but it’s worth it.
TIDES OF THE MONT ST MICHEL
The Bay of Mont St Michel has one of the highest tidal range in the world. To take full advantage of the tides, you must come during a full moon or new moon, times when the coefficients are most important. The highest tides are those of the equinox, spring and automn. Finally, what are the weather (including wind) that will make even more spectacular tides of Mont Saint Michel.
You can experience the tides at different locations, which will give you different approaches. See the arrival of the tide at Mont St Michel you will discover the speed of the advancing sea, and its trajectory. Discover then at the Grouin du Sud to feel the full force and judging with the naked eye on the speed of rising waters. See erosive impact and its influence on the formation of landscapes of the Bay, at the Roche Torin. Finally, it is by example Pontaubault you enjoy full bore.
Locally, the coefficients and the tides are in the local newspapers. Rely on the hours of high tide at Granville, and take two hours earlier to enjoy the rising waters.
ACCESS TO THE MONT SAINT MICHEL
From the 28th of April 2012, the new Mont-Saint-Michel car park is due to welcome all vehicles : buses, cars, motorhomes and cycles. The Passeur, is a reversible shuttle transporting you nonstop to the Mont. the Departure place is located next to the car-park.
The Maringote, a horse-drawn shuttle, is also in service. For all information on the car park or transport shuttles, visit the dedicated website. Further information…
THE BAY OF MONT ST MICHEL CROSSINGS
Do not miss them if you have time. The crossings will make you relive the sensations of pilgrims while living unique experiences in nature: ornithology, quicksand, seal with a little luck, etc. …
Many crossings are proposed by various guides, simple or themed, from January to December. They are departing from Genêts or Mont Saint Michel, and last between 2 hours and a half and 7 hours, according to the one you choose. Never go into the Bay of Mont St Michel without a guide, even at the foot of Mont. Through its water holes and the phenomena of encirclement by the sea, the Bay is dangerous if you do not know it, especially in times of tide.
For your visits around Mont Saint Michel, the Auberge de la Sélune occupies a central location in a region offering an abundance of varied landscapes and monuments, but is also off the beaten track. Here, you will find a few suggestions for your stay (with the distances between them and the Auberge), but there is also a host of other opportunities available to you.
AVRANCHES – 10KM
Be surprised by the Mont-St-Michel Manuscripts Museum and its beautiful illuminations, and also visit the city garden with one of the best views on the Bay of Mont-St-Michel.
SAINT-MALO – 60KM
The privateer city. You should not miss this visit while staying at the Auberge. Go through Cancale to get there, and eat oysters on the beach, that you just bought on the wharf.
CHAUSEY ARCHIPELAGO – 40KM + 1H with boat
This archipelago is famous among sailors, fishermen and painters. You may walk through the fishermen’s village or on the beaches, or wonder at numerous sea birds.
THE BOIS DARDENNES PATHS ALONG THE SÉLUNE RIVER – 1KM
The path called “Au Fil de l’Eau” will take you along the Sélune river which flows into the Mont Saint Michel bay. You will walk through a wood, le Bois Dardennes. You will also discover the Montmorel Abbaye, a wonderful site built in a meander of the Sélune.
THE SÉLUNE VALLEY – 5KM
Upriver, the Sélune crosses a hilly valley which offers very nice views onto the river.
THE BEACHES (JULLOUVILLE, CAROLLES, …) – 20KM
Holidaymakers enjoy discovering the coastal landscapes on the road up to Granville. They can go trekking all along the coast.
THE COUTANCES CATHEDRAL – 50KM
It is a Gothic Roman Catholic gem in the region.
THE LANDING BEACHES
Remembrance sites for D-Day. Along the coast, discover four museums: the D-Day museums, the Airborne museum, the Liberty Memorial and Dead Man’s Corner museum (parachutists). You will also see the military cemetery of Saint James and learn about the Mortain counter-offensive or the successful Avranches breakthrough.
AND SOME OTHER PLACES…
Come and visit Cancale with its harbour and taste oysters on the beach. Enjoy the panoramic view of the Pointe du Grouin and its superb wild cliffs. Granville is a busy fishing port. Christian Dior Villa and its garden are worth a visit. Granville has regular ferry links to the delightful Chausey island. You can also decide to relax on the beaches of Carolles and Jullouville. Villedieu Les Poêles is famous for its copper industry and bell-foundry. Further south, visit the castle of Fougères, one of the largest medieval fortress in Europe.
- Jazz sous les Pommiers – 50km
A great jazz festival in which you can see the most famous names in May, in Coutances.
- Papillons de nuit – 30km
One of the biggest music festival in Normandy with 90 000 festival-goers, in Saint-Laurent-de-Cuves.
- D-Day cemeteries – 15km
Visiting a D-Day cemetery is always a striking instant that keeps up memory and calls for respect. The Saint-James American cemetery and the Huisnes/Mer German cemetery are among the biggest in the surroundings. Otherwise, Ducey is about one hour and a half driving from the main D-Day beaches (Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, etc…).
- The Avranches Scriptorial – 10km
A very interesting place where you shall discover the precious manuscripts from the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel.
- The Copper Museum and the Bells Foundry of Villedieu-les-Poêles – 25km
Villedieu-les-Poëles is a copper town. There are numerous shops where you may buy nice gifts to take home. You will find here the Copper Museum which will teach you much about this material. The foundry produced bells from numerous churches and abbeys far beyond Normandy.
- The Domaine de Coquerel
You will be able to taste and buy here some good Calvados…
- Sailing in Granville – 40km
Granville is known by fishermen as well as by sailors. You can practise here sailing by dinghy or catamaran, or also windsurf. You will find some information on the Granville Nautical Center web site.
- Sand-yachting in Cherrueix – 25km
A singular sport with view of the bay of Mont-St-Michel.
Ducey is between Avranches and Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët, 20 km east from Mont St Michel, in Lower-Normandy.
- SALMON FISHING IN THE SELUNE – In town
The Selune river is one of the last salmon rivers in France, and fishing this king of the flows is part and parcel of Ducey’s traditions. The Auberge de la Sélune has a specific story with salmon fishing, and proposes services fitted to salmon fishermen. A video in French about fishing on the Sélune. Further information…
- THE DUCEY CASTLE – In town
Now being restored, it may be visited: please get information to the Tourist Information Center.