SFC002ST - WALKING TOUR MONT SAINT MICHEL BAY
Walking holidays on the coastal path in Mont St Michel bay from Granville to Cancale
Tucked between Granville and Cancale lies the Bay of Mont Saint Michel, home to one of the greatest religious gems of the western hemisphere. At first view this immeasurably flat plain is just a tidal salt marsh but for those who know how to take the time to walk and observe…it becomes a living theatre. From the top of the granite cliffs of Chapeaux you admire the bay and then continue over the foothills of St Jean le Thomas to where pilgrims began their journey to the Mont at low tide. At the beginning this Mont was nothing but a huge block of granite over which proud cathedral architects fought to erect the work of art which is now the abbey. Finally turning your back on this abbey continues your walk along the Duchesse Anne seawall. This feature has allowed man to reclaim and cultivate the land up to the cliff of Roz. Arriving in the oyster port of Cancale you will be seduced by its peaceful beauty; unique flora, both subtle and wild; and thousands of birds breeding, nesting or just flying over the bay.
Mont Saint Michel bay – From $1467.72
From April to end of October but be careful this area is very crowded in summer time and we recommend you to come outside this period. Nevertheless this area attracts a lot of tourists and you have to reserve earlier.
Walk difficulty: Grade 2 - walks of 4 to 6 hours a day. Some stages could be up to 20 km and rolling uplands, ascents mainly gradual than steep of up to 500 m. In some areas you will walk on sand. An average level of fitness or some experience with walking is recommended.
Highlights: Granville and the Roc headland, St Jean le Thomas, Bec d’Andaine, Avranches, Pontaubault, the Roche Torin headland, the Mont St Michel and its abbey, Le Vivier sur Mer, Cancale
DAY 1 - Arrival at GRANVILLE.
Visit of the old city, a military fortress built on a rocky promontory which ends at the Roc headland. Encircled in ramparts lie a number of granite houses and the austere church of Notre Dame - Lodging and breakfast.
DAY 2 - GRANVILLE – ST. JEAN LE THOMAS (20 km).
You will leave Granville by the Herel sailing resort and the Gautier cape. You will flow the coast, crossing the beaches of St. Pair-sur-Mer, Kairou, Jullouville, and Carolles. You will continue along the Champeaux cliffs, the only points of height which dominate the bay and offer splendid views of Mont Saint Michel. You will then descend to St. Jean le Thomas, a very popular seaside resort in summer - Dinner, lodging and breakfast.
DAY3 - ST JEAN LE THOMAS – AVRANCHES (18 km).
Following the coastal line, you will cross vast beaches and sand dunes; punctuated by sparse vegetation, until – drawing nearer to Mont Saint Michel – you reach Bec d’Andaine. For a pleasant detour, head to the small village of Genêts, where you’ll find a beautiful 12th-14th century church, and to the headland of Groin du Sud. You will walk up the mouth of the Sée, which cuts a path through the vegetation. This stretch of grassy land, where sheep graze at low tide, will be covered entirely by the sea at high tide - Dinner, lodging and breakfast.
DAY 4 - PONTAUBAULT – LE MONT ST. MICHEL (20 km).
Transfer by taxi to Pontaubault. You will begin your hike by walking across the bridge of the Sélune, the same bridge that played a strategic role in the advancement of American troops many years ago. You will follow the coast across vast prairies toward the Pointe de Roche Torin. From here, you will see Mont Saint Michel in all its splendour. Once beyond the Pointe de Roche Torin, continue along the seawall which protects the polders and their culture. Here, you will be fascinated by the obsessive beauty, unable to bring your eyes from it - Dinner, lodging and breakfast.
DAY 5 - TOUR OF MONT SAINT MICHEL – CHAPELLE SAINT ANNE – LE VIVIER SUR MER (10 km).
The Day begins with a tour of Mont Saint Michel and the abbey. The abbey stands as an architectural masterpiece. Technical daring, fineness and stylishness combine and make it worthy of its title of “The Wonder of the Western World”. The visit of the city holds its own charm with high ramparts, narrow and twisting streets, hidden corners and a small church. You will enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants in the village. We recommend trying an omelette at La Mère Poularde, where the recipe and the manner of preparation have been passed down for more than 150 years! Towards the start of the afternoon, a taxi will take you to the Sainte Anne chapel, which sits beside the long Dyke de la Duchesse Anne. The seawall dates to the beginning of the 11th century and has been reinforced many times over to protect the nearby villages and to transform the once-marshy land into a vast zone of fertile soil. A few mills remain, leaving evidence of their vital role in draining the waters from the surrounding earth - Dinner, lodging and breakfast.
DAY 6 - LE VIVIER SUR MER – CANCALE (18 km).
Today you will enjoy a hike full of contrasts. You will start out along long, fine-sand beaches and pass through small villages that specialize in the raising of muscles and oysters, villages such as Hirel, Vildé la Marine, and Saint Benoît des Ondes. Beyond the cape of Château- Richeux, the landscape changes: granite boulders appear, the coastline becomes more jagged, and the coastal path rises and descends all the way to the port of La Houle and Cancale - Lodging and breakfast.
DAY 7 - CANCALE – Hike around Cancale via the Cape of Groin (18 km).
You will leave the port of Cancale and set off into the hinterlands. You will pass through fields of artichokes, cauliflower and other vegetables and continue on through a shallow wooded valley to arrive at the ocean’s waters, and next, to the chapel of Le Verger. You will follow the coastal path to the cape of Grouin, the western extremity of the bay of Mont Saint Michel. You will then return to Cancale, either following the coastal path along the cliffs, or by way of the beaches, highly populated during the summer months - Lodging and breakfast.
DAY 8 - CANCALE. End of the tour after breakfast.
|Price per person||2-star hotels & 4 dinners||2/3-star hotels & 5 gourmet dinners|
|Twin/ Double share*||$1467.72||$2121.55|
|Single room supplement*||$357.87||$582.86|
* Prices based on 2 people walking together
- 7 nights’ accommodation in selected hotels
- 7 breakfasts –
- 4 dinners in 2 star hotels or 5 gourmet dinners in 2/3 star hotels
- Hotel to hotel luggage transfer.
- Taxi transfers: Avranches to Pontaubault, Mont St Michel to Chapelle Ste Anne
- Set of maps (1/25 000 scale) with the route marked on and detailed route notes describing the trail.
- Daily itinerary together with information about facilities and places of interest along the trail.
- Emergency assistance.
- Transportation fees to and from the walk area
- Entrance fees
- Transfers except those mentioned above
- Additional meals
- Spending of personal nature e.g. laundry, souvenirs, phone calls, are not included