The only way around Mont St Michel is on foot, and there are two gates into the walled city. The Porte de l’Avancée, the main gate at the end of the causeway, leads straight to the Grande Rue, which is packed chock-a-block with souvenir shops and tourists. Escape right up the stairs to the ramparts, which are a little less packed and offer great views of the mudflats. The lesser-used Porte Eschaugette, to the left of the main gate, is the quietest route up. All three routes converge at the Abbey on top of the island.
- Abbey of Mont Saint Michel(L’Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel), open 2 May – 30 August 9am-7pm (last admission 6pm), 1 September – 30 April 9:30am-6pm (last admission 5pm), admission (unguided visits): €9 adult, €5 18-25 yrs (free for citizens of the EU), and free for under 18s. closed 1 January, 1 May and 25 December, €4 audio guide (French, English, German, Spanish, Italian). Once a humble little monastery, the island and its fortifications have effectively grown up around this. During the French Revolution, the abbey was used a prison, and an extensive restoration was required to restore it. A few prison-era showpieces, like the human hamster wheel used to lift supplies in and out of the complex, have been kept. Mass is celebrated daily except Monday at 12.15PM.
- Notre-Dame Sous Terre Chapel
The Carolingian church named Chapelle Notre-Dame-sous-Terre (Our Lady underground) was built around 966 by the first Benedictine monks at the very place of the oratory erected by Saint-Aubert in the early VIIIth century.