There are a thousand and one possibilities to discover the Mount with the family, depending on the age of your children, the season and the weather conditions on site.
Visitors often tell us that they visit Mont Saint-Michel at least twice. The first time, with their loved ones during childhood. This visit usually forges unforgettable memories, which draw on the mediaeval imagination of fortresses and knights. To pass on the magic of the site, and perhaps to relive those happy memories, they then return in adulthood, with their own children or grandchildren. Our experts of the territory reveal the unmissable activities to enjoy with the little ones, as well as all the practical information you’ll need to make the most of this experience.
My guide to visit The Mont Saint-Michel also serves as an essential tool for everything you need to know about access, the sites to visit and the accommodation and catering options available both inside and outside of the village.
Discover the abbey through the eyes of a child
- Access to the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is free for children under 18 years of age when accompanied by their families, and one-hour-long guided tours are offered every day, at no additional cost and without reservation.
- For families with children between 7 and 12 years old and upon prior reservation, educational and fun “Family visits” (in French) allow you to push open forbidden doors … (Note: as with guided tours of the abbey, family visits are not taking place at the moment, due health regulations.)
- During the festive season, the “Mont merveilleux Noël à l’abbaye” (The Marvellous Mount: Christmas in the Abbey) transports young and old alike into a magical world. Our costumed “Tales & Stories” walks (in French) are also available on reservation.
- For teenagers who love digital apps, it is now possible to explore the abbey at your own pace by downloading the free TimeTravel Corp: Les secrets de la Marveille app – a time travel journey (in French) filled with mysteries.
- On the spiritual side, the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem offer wonderful experiences of discovery and sharing for little pilgrims, all year round.
Step back in time to the heart of the mediaeval village
- A treasure hunt (in French) for children from 7 to 13 years old is available from the Intermural Tourist Office. Composed of a children’s booklet with about thirty questions and riddles, as well as an adult booklet with all the answers, it takes families on a delightful journey through the village and up to the summit of the Merveille.
- As for the abbey, teenagers fond of new technologies can wander through the streets of the village and the twists and turns of history with TimeTravel Corp: Le tour du Mont en 1200 ans.
- The four museums of the mediaeval village, free of charge for children under 12, will also be appreciated by the younger ones, who can discover – among other things – the abbey’s dungeons, and exciting scenes of mediaeval life.
Walk along the bay to discover the fauna, flora and quicksand!
- On reservation, bay guides offer guided walks along the bay, perfectly suited to little ones – such as the discovery of quicksand (1h30, 2 km) or the tour of the Mount (2h00, 3 km).
- Little hikers and teenagers can also take part in the guided crossing round trip between the Mount and the islet of Tombelaine (3h30, 6 km).
- Educational and fun outings themed around the plants and shells of the Bay are also offered by the Bec d’Andaine (commune of Genêts).
- To discover the salt-meadow sheep, you will need to walk along the GR223, which starts from the entrance of the walkway bridge and runs along the Normandy coast of the Bay, particularly at the Roche Torin or the Gué de l’Épine.
Preparing to visit with children
- As the weather in the Bay can be very temperamental, we advise bringing several layers of clothing, and – most importantly – something to change into in case of wind or rain. Comfortable shoes are a must, in every season!
- For the bay walk, summer outfits should include shorts, a jumper, a water bottle, some sunscreen and a small backpack, which will also be useful for storing shoes during the activity. In winter, we recommend wearing neoprene socks or plastic boots and ensuring that the upper body is well covered throughout the walk. Guides will offer you all the necessary information upon booking.
- The Le Passeur shuttle bus is accessible with a pushchair, but the Mont Saint-Michel village can be difficult to walk through, because of its many steps. To visit the abbey, you will need to climb about 350 steps, and the circuit within the monument includes narrow passages and a spiral staircase. Furthermore, lockers are currently not available as a result of “Vigipirate” anti-terrorism measures. It is therefore strongly recommended to use a baby carrier. Before your visit, it is possible to rent one from Mont Bébé, a company based in Pontorson.
Here are a few tips for your visit
- To reach the abbey via the main street or the ramparts, you will need to climb about 200 steps. With young children, it is easier to climb up the Fanils path, which is less busy and has only around 50 steps. You can then go back down via the Grande Rue or the ramparts.
- Outside of the village, the Tourist Information Centre is equipped with a baby area and changing table. Within the village, you can change your baby in the paid toilets located in the front courtyard. Other toilets are located in the main street and next to the parish church. They are free of charge and open 24 hours a day.
- Most of the restaurants inside and outside of the village offer children’s menus and are equipped with high chairs. Several snack bars and restaurants also offer take-away sales. To enjoy the view, you can choose to have a picnic at the dam, at the entrance to the walkway bridge. Within the walls, visit the village gardens, equipped with benches and waste bins.
- In the summer and during school holidays, frequentation on site can be quite busy, especially between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm. We advise providing children with an identification bracelet (given out for free at the Tourist Office) with the parents’ mobile phone number. You should also choose a meeting point together in case they get lost. This could be, for example, the Tourist Office, located in the Grande Rue.