In Normandy, France, Le Mont-Saint-Michel is located approximately one kilometer off the northwestern coast of the country, near Avranches, at the mouth of the Couesnon River and is within 100 hectares.
The island became a famous education center, welcoming some of Europe's greatest minds, while at the same time keeping away the royals from across the channel who could never break the ramparts, now ironically open to about three million tourists every year. Many of the fine buildings that went up Mont Saint Michel's streets have been transformed into boutique shops, crêperies, hotels and museums, although they still retain their old charm.
When you arrive, you're going to walk through the narrow, paved streets on either side with wonky buildings. Even if you visit it will be full of tourists but don't let that put you off, just embrace the exciting hustle and bustle as it is the atmosphere that makes this place so special. The streets are lined with small shops, mostly selling tourist tat, but you can pretend you're walking along the Diagon Alley and this isn't another souvenir shop, it's Olivander's Wand Shop!
If you have a car, there's really no reason to walk the whole causeway. The route is about 2.5 km (1.6 miles) so 30 minutes could be easy. Park your car outside the Mont parking lot. You're still going to have a good 10-minute walk to the Mont anyway. Visit Mont Saint Michel and park a short distance from the island, then either take a quick shuttle bus or walk to Mont Saint Michel. The walk is beautiful as you approach the impressive abbey slowly, so if your legs are up to it, I would definitely recommend walking. The shuttle bus is free of charge and included in the parking price. Try going there at night when all the tourists are leaving the place. It's a different thing altogether.
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