January 18, 2018

Mont St Michel – Touristy but Necessary

There are certain cities and sights that are touristy but still necessary to visit.  One of these is Mont St. Michel.

Located along the English Channel in the Normandy region of France, this Romanesque masterpiece is a sight to see.  Driving towards it, you start getting a glimmer of something in the distance and wonder “Is that it?”.  With each mile you drive the abbey seems to grow right before your eyes until you are face to face with one of the most amazing sights.Mont St Michel France from a distance

Built into the rock the Mont started out as a fortification defending the coast from invaders before becoming a monastery in 708 AD.  This beauty has been around a very long time and has seen its fair share of history from the Norman Conquest, Hundred Years War, French Revolution and World War II.Magnificent Mont St Michel France

At one point, the monks had moved away so the government turned Mont St Michel into a prison for its political prisoners.  Around 1836 there were calls to restore the mount to its glory.  It was during 1874 that it was declared a historic monument and in 1979 Mont St Michel was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Yes Mont St Michel can be very touristy but passing along the cobblestoned path, passing the shops as you wind your way up the more than 900 steps to the abbey is worth it! The architecture is stunning and dramatic while the views are amazing from all angles.


What other touristy spots are “must sees”?

These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

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  1. I’m glad you found it enjoyable, if touristy – I find myself allergic to tourist hotspots but oftern there are ways to catch their magic – perhaps visiting off season or at certain times of day when there are less crowds.
    Heather on her travels recently posted..A Culinary Journey through Styria, Austria

  2. Elise Walsh says:

    I hate that term “touristy.” Just because a lot of foreign visitors are at a spot, it definitely does not make that spot any less amazing and gratifying to see. Sometimes you just have to fight a crowd to get the experience, but whatever it is still your experience. You can still be a traveler and see amazing sights. So beautiful, glad you got to see it.
    Elise Walsh recently posted..5 Free Things to Do in Berlin

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I completely agree with you but I do know people who won’t visit places because they are too touristy. I don’t shy away from them but just add a little extra time for my visit and come early!

  3. Sheila says:

    I think this kind of place is so wonderful hope I can visit this someday..Its a nice place having relaxation with my family..
    Sheila recently posted..Hot Tub Repairs

  4. Sandy says:

    T ank you for your very educational Blog on Mont St Michel. It sure is worth a visit.

  5. Jan Miller says:

    Wow,. what a view. I’ll have to add Mont St. Michel to my bucket list.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I really suggest you do! But don’t forget the rest of Normandy while you’re there 🙂

  6. Erik says:

    I agree with what people have said about there generally being a good reason places are ‘touristy’.

    I try and beat the crowds by arriving at the site very early in the morning, as soon as it opens, that way I get in before the real crowds start, especially bus tours. this worked wonders at Alcatraz last September, it even allowed me to get some pictures without people in them.
    Erik recently posted..Photo of the Day- Vanderbilt Mansion NHS, New York

  7. Betty says:

    Such a wonderful place! thanks for sharing this for us. I love it.
    Betty recently posted..Music Online

  8. Queenie20 says:

    Very amazing.. I saw this in our history class and since then I’ve always wanted to visit Mont St Michel..
    Queenie20 recently posted..Sports Book Betty

  9. YnnaRada says:

    Hi Debbie! Mont St. Michel is definitely an awesome place to visit. And i will add it to my list and i will definitely visit this beautiful place to have a vacation someday. Thanks for the post and for the photos. Love it!

  10. I have always wanted to visit Mont St. Michel and it’s definitely on my bucket list. Spectacular photography Debbie!!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..EuroTravelogue To Embark With Viking River Cruises in Amsterdam

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      And while you’re at Mont St Michel you’ll have to spend time seeing the rest of Normandy!

  11. AnnaLou says:

    Mont St. Michel is definitely an awesome place! Thanks for the idea here…

  12. Sophie says:

    So many touristy spots are must-sees: The Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, the fjords up here, Neuschwanstein… I suppose that’s why they’re touristy 🙂
    Sophie recently posted..The cliff divers at La Quebrada

  13. Devhonn says:

    The Mont St. Michel looks like a great palce to stay and have a vacation with…

  14. Catwoman says:

    Amazing photos! That place must be really wonderful. I think I’ve just found my new vacation destination! Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Anwar says:

    I love Mont St. Michel. I was there back in 2010 for a weekend trip from England. Such an amazing place, and I love the drive up there most of all, seeing it looming in the background there. Thanks for sharing the photos! I hope you share some more, particularly of the inside!
    Anwar recently posted..Friday Photo: On the streets of Shinjuku

  16. Katharina25 says:

    Wow! This is truly amazing view! I can’t imagine staying in that castle. I feel like visiting that place too! Beautiful!
    Katharina25 recently posted..Foods To Help You Lose Weight

  17. Nancie says:

    This is gorgeous. I would say that the Alhambra in Granada is one of those “must see” spots.
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — February 23, 2012 — An “Arched” View at the Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

  18. Mont St.-Michel is a definite must see! 🙂
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..Where in the world am I? (#22)

  19. Arline says:

    I love travelling and collecting different beautiful image to include in my stuff, And I think this coming summer this is my next spot of destination…

  20. Lisa says:

    While in Paris next month we are taking a day trip to Normandy. I was hoping that we would be able to see Mont St. Michel as well but it turns out that it is impossible to see everything I want to see in one day. We will definitely have to plan a return trip. We travel with kids so we always hit the touristy spots – those are the ones that they have heard of and really want to see because they know that when they return everyone will want to know if they did. It’s fine with me – as someone else said, touristy places are popular for a reason!
    Lisa recently posted..The Beauty of Oia

  21. Shane28 says:

    This is really a fantastic shot Debbie! i admire the great architectural design of this structure. Perfect!

  22. Charrmagn says:

    This is really awesome! I want to visit this too…

  23. EurotripTips says:

    Like I always say, touristy places are touristy for a reason. Having hordes of tourists doesn’t make them any less interesting or impressive. I can’t wait to visit Mont St-Michel this summer!

  24. I like the far away and close-up shots of this gorgeous place. I’ve wanted to visit after watching Rick Steve’s feature on it. Wow on the 900 steps but I would definitely climb it too. We’ve tried to travel in the Fall to Europe but visiting the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower (which I think are must-sees) are still crowded.
    Mary @ The World Is A Book recently posted..Rome’s Wedding Cake: Il Vittoriano

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I’ve climbed a lot of steps in some of the most amazing touristy spots and would do it all again!

  25. Elai says:

    I want to visit Mont St. Michel too and this looks definitely awesome and beautiful place to have a vacation…

  26. Denise says:

    Touristy things are touristy for a reason 🙂
    Denise recently posted..Picture Perfect: Hoan Kiem Lake at Night, Hanoi, Vietnam

  27. Fantastic shots, Debbie! I’ll definitely have to add it to my list. So many beautiful places to see.
    And to think they had kept prisoners there!
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: Greenwood Great House

  28. Mont St Michel will definitely be on my must list when I get to the Normandy area of France someday. Up close or from a distance, it’s amazing.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Sleeping on the Seine

  29. Julie says:

    Such a wonderful place! I wish I ever had the chance to get there…your pictures are really beautiful!

  30. Wow, I love those shots! Weird, but I had never heard of Mont St Michel…! To be honest, haven’t paid much attention (if at all) to France. Now I will though! 😉
    Maria Alexandra @latinAbroad recently posted..Travel Bucket List Day: Dreams and posts, submitted by YOU!

  31. Jackie Smith says:

    Mont St. Michel is still on our to do list. . .maybe just a bit higher having seen these great photos.
    Jackie Smith recently posted..TP Thursday: Santa Cruz ~ Cruise Views

  32. Sabrina says:

    We were just there a month ago! Beautiful place. Since it was still very cold there weren’t as many people, so we were lucky and got lots of close-ups. Love your first pic though from far away.
    Sabrina recently posted..Sunset Above The Clouds

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      That would be wonderful! One year I was in London early April and the changing of the guard without crowds is amazing.

  33. Leigh says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Mont St Michel – and sometimes you just have to join the throngs. I found the same thing in Barcelona – at the Picasso Museum, Parc Guell and anywhere Gaudi’s architecture was on view. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world though.
    Leigh recently posted..Tombstone, Arizona in Photos

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Yes it can be frustrating dealing with all the people but this just means we have to plan a little more and go a bit slower to make sure we see everything we want.

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