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Marees 2018
Please subtract 5 minutes for the time of the high water and add 1 metre for the height.

The highest tides in Europe at Mont Saint-Michel

Marées - vue du Mont
The Tides are caused by the action of the heavenly bodies, principally the sun and the moon. When they are in line with the earth (in syzygy) the attraction is multiplied, announcing spring tides, this corresponds with the period of highest tides ; on the contrary, if the sun and the moon form a right angle (in quadrature), the attraction is reduced and we are in neap tides, the period of lowest tidal movement.

These phenomena are accentuated in Mont Saint-Michel bay, because with the rock being in the back of the bay, the sea doesn't reach the Mount during neap tides. On the other hand during spring tides, the sea reaches the Mount but only after 4 hours and 30 minutes after the start of the rising tide, about every fortnight. 

During the big flood (more than 12.85m water level), which takes place only 6 to 7 times a year, the Mount Saint-Michel is bathed with water and becomes an island.

The highest tides take place 36 to 48 hours after the full and new moons. These indications are a rough guide only and can be affected to acertain extent by atmospheric conditions. The highest tides in continental Europe take place at Mont Saint-Michel, up to 15 metres difference between low and high water. During top of the spring tides, the sea goes out 15 kilometres from the coast and comes in again very quickly.

To observe the phenomenon of the rising tide, you must be present 2 hours before the times indicated on spring tide days. 

It is extremely dangerous to stay alone in the Bay or in the area around the Mont Saint-Michel. The walk across the Bay is only allowed in company of certified guides, who you can find on our page Crossing the Bay.


 Water releases from the dam on the Couesnon

barrageControlled releases are triggered six hours after the high tide.  Each release generates a current that gradually increases to reach a limited and maximum flow of 100m3 / s after 20 minutes immediately downstream of the dam.  This causes a gradual rise in the water level for about 30 minutes. 

With this release, the water level of the Couesnon can increase by about 40 cm in the bay and the bed widen significantly.   The duration of the release is related to the amount of water stored and can last between 2 and 5 hours.  To know the time and duration for the next 2 days, visit the website or see the luminous panel located at the area of "La Caserne", near the dam, along the road to the Mont Saint-Michel.

mascaretThe "Tidal Bore"

The «Tidal Bore» is a wave that can reach several tens of centimetres in spring tides, it forms at the rising tide and takes on greater proportions when it enters a long, shallow, narrow inlet, the mouth of the river. 

In the bay of Mont Saint-Michel, the tidal bore goes back up the rivers of the Sée, the Sélune et the river Couesnon.

It's not uncommon to see kayakers enjoying the fun of surfing the bore, but you need to have good experience, because the force of the current is surprising and could easily unbalance you. 

« © SHOM n° 2018-271 : Reproduction des prédictions de marées du SHOM pour Saint-Malo - non vérifiée par le SHOM et réalisée sous la seule responsabilité de l'éditeur »