Where to Stay Near Mont St Michel

Bonjour!! We are wrapping up our first week in France for the summer. I have to say, I’m so impressed with how well we have settled in and minimized our jet lag! We took the late night flight from DFW-CDG on Friday night, arrived in Paris mid-afternoon on Saturday and hit the ground running. We spent two nights in Paris, picked up our car at Gare Saint Lazare and headed to Normandy. Today I’m excited to share where to stay in Mont St Michel because we’ve been coming here for two years, and it’s definitely lived up to expectations!!

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links for tours and products I love at no additional cost to you.  You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Journey of Doing - how many days in Normandy France
By staying overnight, you can experience the changing light at Mont St Michel and see the tides come and go!

Is Mont St Michel Worth Visiting?

If you’ve been following along for the last week, you know that I posted a bit of a rant against the day trip, inspired by our recent travels in Normandy. Knowing that, I think you can deduce that I absolutely think Mont St Michel is worth visiting for more than a day. Last year, we spent 5 nights in Mont St Michel before visiting Bayeux and the D-Day sites. It was magical. This year, we opted to spend an entire week near Mont St Michel.

Spending a week in Mont St Michel is an amazing opportunity to slow down. We spent most of the week riding bikes to and from the Mont. Each afternoon, we would head to a local boulangerie for a baguette and a pastry that we would have for dinner and dessert. At no other point in my daily life do things go this slow. And, for that reason, Mont St Michel is magical for me. I love feeling the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair, and the freedom that comes from biking. It makes me very cognizant of the fact that it is vastly different from my life in Dallas, and I love it.

If you’re willing to slow down, I think you should visit. And, if you’re going to visit, I think you should spend a few nights here to appreciate Mont St Michel without the crowds. It’s too far as a day trip from Paris. Even if you only spend a single night to visit Mont St Michel, take the opportunity to slow down.

Journey of Doing - Mont Saint Michel in the evening
Journey of Doing - Mont Saint Michel in the evening

Best Place to Stay in Mont St Michel

I did so much research before we visited Mont St Michel. We bought the DK Top 10 Normandy and Rick Steves Normandy books. I read every Google review on every hotel in Mont St Michel. I looked at everything within driving distance. You know what I found out?

It’s better to stay near Mont St Michel than IN Mont St Michel. Hotels in Mont St Michel are expensive for what they are. It would be quite the adventure to navigate the shuttle and the climb with luggage.

Journey of Doing -where to stay in Ardevon France

From there, I researched every single vacation rental in the area. Seriously. I took at so many websites and so many properties. Ultimately I settled on a few that made the most sense to me. I googled their locations. I analyzed their amenities. And, I settled on the best vacation rental in Mont St Michel. (No question. Hands down. I know I’m not wrong on this.)

It’s less than a 30 minute bike ride from Mont St Michel. It’s less than a 10 minute drive from Pontorson and Beauvoir. If you need a few more amenities and stores, you can drive 15 minutes to Avranches (which is where one of our favorite fromageries and wine caves in the area is).

Mont St Michel Vacation Rental

Our hosts, Thierry and Cristele, were so incredibly kind. On our first trip, our flight was delayed and we arrived a lot later than expected. Thierry told me not to worry and to text him when we were an hour away. When we showed up at 8:30pm, he was there with a cold bottle of cider, Normand pate, and biscuits. On our second trip, he couldn’t meet us in the afternoon, but he provided keyless entry and his wife, Cristele, came by to ensure we remembered how to use everything. Both were so very kind and patient with us and our slow and limited French language skills.

Journey of Doing - where to stay near Mont St Michel
Our cute little cottage near Mont St Michel was the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Normandy!

About Our Mont St Michel Vacation Home

Our vacation rental was officially in Ardevon. It is a two story cottage with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and plenty of kitchen and living space. This vacation rental near Mont St Michel has everything you need for an AMAZING stay: bikes, a jacuzzi, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a fan, and a deep soaking bathtub. We even had a view of the Mont from some windows! Many of these amenities aren’t even available at the luxury hotels near Mont St Michel, though I use that term loosely. Hotels nearby are pretty rustic.

About the Rental

After spending a few nights in a number of vacation rentals across Europe in the last year, I appreciate how bright and airy this cottage in France is. There is plenty of room to be comfortable, and when Tom and I had to be on zoom at the same time, we had enough room to divide and conquer. (The wifi was also strong enough for both of us!)

Beyond that, the large kitchen was completely updated and modern. It had all the appliances and utensils necessary to cook meals at home. (There is a Carrefour and a Lidl less than 10 minutes away.) If you are more ambitious than we are, there is also outdoor grill available for BBQ. On both trips, we enjoyed having the majority of our meals at home. We were able to try many of the local boulangeries and enjoy several French pastries by doing this. (We also picked up several bottles of cider near Honfleur. Michel Breavoine is our favorite cider from Normandy, and it’s on the way from Paris to Mont St Michel!)

There are two large dining tables: one inside and one outside. Since there were just two of us, we had enough room to set up and work on one end of the table and enjoy dinner on the opposite site. On nice evenings, we would enjoy dinner al fresco. The backyard also houses a full-size covered jacuzzi that is lovely perk, especially after riding bikes all day!

While the house offers two bedrooms, we only utilize one during our stay. Our bathroom had blackout shades and shutters to keep the room cool and dark. It also had a fan, which we loved. The windows can be opened to let fresh air in. Both bathrooms feature walk-in showers with great water pressure and plenty of hot water. One of baths also includes a large soaking tub, which I loved. All linens, towels, and robes are provided, but you do need to bring your own shampoo/conditioner and body soap.

Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation home
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Journey of Doing - Mont St Michel vacation rental
Additional Amenities

One of the best benefits of this vacation rental is also the washer and dryer, which is housed in the garage. When I studied abroad, I quickly found out that was dryer was a luxury in Europe! It is nice to have when you are traveling for an extended period of time. The garage also houses the bikes, so you’ll need to park outside. However, parking is available right in front of the cottage. It makes everything super easy!

Ultimately, this house in Mont St Michel spoiled us because it is so comfortable and well designed. It offers every modern and necessary amenity. It is well-designed to be a good use of space with a rustic aesthetic.

In the event our favorite vacation home near Mont St Michel isn’t available, the other vacation homes I strongly considered are Le Petit Gite du Mont in Beauvoir and Terrasse du Mont Saint Michel in Roz-sur-Couesnon.

Journey of Doing - where to stay near Mont St Michel
Journey of Doing - where to stay near Mont St Michel
Journey of Doing - where to stay near Mont St Michel
Journey of Doing - luxury vacation rental near Mont St Michel
Journey of Doing - luxury vacation rental near Mont St Michel

Where to Eat Near Mont St Michel

As I mentioned, we ate most of our meals at home. This allowed us the greatest flexibility for enjoying our days. When the sun doesn’t set until 11:00pm in the summer, your schedule can become a little strange. We liked being able to jump on the bikes whenever we felt the need to move, rather than being concerned about a dinner reservation and having to get places by a certain time. However, I refuse to buy all my provisions at the grocery store. Here are a few places I love within driving (or biking!) distance!

Traditional Cider from Normandy

The first cider from Normandy we ever had was from Le Pressoir du Mont, which is a short bike ride from this house. We like it a lot. Cider comes in three basic forms: brut (dry), doux (sweet), and pear (poire). There’s nothing that compares to a crisp cider on a warm day, in my mind. We are always surprised at how inexpensive the cider in Normandy is. When in Normandy, opt for cider over wine!

French Wine & Cheese Shop

Cave Alambic (Avranches) – We like to stop in here to pick up fresh cheese and get a few bottles of wine. All their wine recommendations are exceptional. They have a combination of Normandy-specific cheese, as well as some of the more popular cheeses in France. (I always love Reblochon from Savoie and an 18-month Comte.)

Journey of Doing - where to eat near Mont St Michel
Journey of Doing - where to eat near Mont St Michel
Journey of Doing - where to eat near Mont St Michel

French Pastries & Bread

Boulangerie Mont Moulin (Beauvoir) – Le Festive baguette is one of my favorite baguettes. Their tartelettes are all delicious. Buy what’s in season and enjoy. We went back here multiple times because I wanted to try as much as possible.

Les Festival des Pain – Artisan Boulanger Pâtissier “Aux saveurs du pain” (Beauvoir) – The pastries here are sublime. I love the tarte au citron here. I think that I started getting into lemon tarts while in Mont St Michel. This is a great version and tastes like summer.

La Mie Du Mont (Pontorson) – This boulangerie is a block off the main street of Pontorson. It’s usually blocked off for pedestrian access, so you may have to park and walk. I think the breads really shine here, as they have the most diverse bread selection. Further, if you’re looking for a dessert that will feed multiple people, they have the best selection. (I kept to the single servings because two bike rides a day = a pastry a day!)

Must Do in Mont St Michel

Since you’re slowing down a spending a few days in the area, you should definitely take a walking tour of Mont St Michel. Despite the questionable reviews, our experience and guide was outstanding. Our guide met us at the Mont St Michel information system and we walked over to the Mont on the foot bridge. (She offered to take the shuttle with us, but we thought walking would be more enjoyable.) We were provided so much history about St. Michael and how abbey was founded, constructed, maintained, and used throughout its colorful history. She also took us through some of the backstreets we had not seen, which provided a respite from crowds and different views. We opted for the earlier tour so that we could miss the daytripping crowds.

When you visit the abbey of Mont St Michel, you will want to book your ticket in advance. I strongly recommend booking the earliest time slot of the day. It will be cooler outside and you’ll have more time to enjoy your visit. If you visit during the middle of the day, you’ll be there with all the daytrippers and it can be super busy. Buying your ticket in advance will minimize the amount of time you spend in like because they have a separate line for advanced bookings.

Journey of Doing - guided tour of Mont St Michel
Journey of Doing - walking tour of Mont St Michel

Visiting Normandy or Brittany

I strongly recommend going beyond Mont St Michel and experiencing other parts of France during your trip. We spent two weeks in Normandy the first time we visited. Our itinerary included spending a couple days in Bayeux and visiting the D-Day beaches and museums, the harborside village of Honfleur that inspired the Impressionist painters, and a couple of days at Chateau d’Audrieu in the Normandy countryside. Every single one of those destinations is remarkable and provides a different experience than Mont St Michel. We cut our destinations in Normandy back this year and will only going to Rouen for a few nights at the end of our trip. Stay tuned for that update!

Journey of Doing - Bayeux Cathedral and walking tour
Bayeux is another beautiful town in Normandy to visit for a few days.
Journey of Doing - Dinan France
Our next trip to Normandy will likely include a few nights in Dinan, which is in the Bretagne (Brittany) region.

This year, we spent a week in Mont St Michel. While we were there, we tried to visit Saint Malo to see if it would be somewhere that we wanted to add our itinerary. On a Saturday in mid-late June, it was impossible to find a parking spot and we had to give up. We headed to Dinan instead, and I can definitely see it being part of our next trip to this area. Dinan is about 30 minutes from Mont St Michel, but it’s in the Bretagne / Brittany region of France. The cuisine and history is different, so it could provide a lovely contrast.

For more road trip ideas in France, check out LP’s France’s Best Trips, Backroads France, and Frommer’s France Day by Day. They all have more information on some lesser known destinations than your average or more popular France travel guide.

Follow along with Sara!

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