Cycling To Mont Saint Michel An Unbelievable Experience!

Today was a perfect day bicycling in France, a day so perfect that even the afternoon rain didn’t spoil it.  First of all, I was awaken this morning by the sound of the Wednesday market setting up outside my window. How perfect is that?  I started snapping photos early!  Here is the first one I took from my window:

The Wednesday market in Pontorson

The Wednesday market in Pontorson

The skies were gray and rain was predicted, but between the market and my journey today to Mont Saint Michel, I knew this would be a perfect day.  Cycling to Mont Saint Michel alone would make a perfect day, but a market too, it doesn’t get any better than that.

I love Pontorson.  It is a perfect town for exploring the Bay.  There are numerous bike paths in the area so you can easily stay several days.  It is charming with many great small hotels, B&B’s and gites, and some really great restaurants.  Somehow, this town that is only 10 km from Mont Saint Michel has avoided all the touristy feel of other options in the area.  I was so happy to be able to stay here 2 nights.  For one of them to be market day was a real treat!

But the main reason for staying in Pontorson was to bicycle the 10 km greenway from the town to Mont Saint Michel.  Seeing the Mont from afar during yesterday’s ride was great, but today would be the real thing, actually cycling to the base of this incredible site.  In my book, it really doesn’t get any better than that.  Everything else is just frosting on the cake.

Signs show the way to Mont Saint Michel

Signs show the way to Mont Saint Michel

So after a short visit to the market to pick up picnic supplies, my husband and I were on our way.  The greenway is easy to pick up from the small town park.  There are signs pointing the way if needed, but everyone in town knows where the path is, so there’s no chance you won’t find your way.  The path is perfect and flat.  Within about the first 5 km you get your first view of what you have been waiting to see.

View of Mont Saint Michel from Pontorson greenway

View of Mont Saint Michel from Pontorson greenway

Before we knew it, we passed the first of several parking areas for bicycles.  We found a place to park our bikes and then went on to observe the new facets of the reclamation project which I will explain more in a future post.  It is an amazing undertaking and is one that I’d like to explain more fully.  Here is one of my favorite photos of the day:

Me in front of Mont Saint Michel

Me in front of Mont Saint Michel

The new pedestrian walkway had just opened several weeks ago, so we had the opportunity to walk across the bridge which takes about 30 minutes.  This is wonderful time to just take in the magnificence of this structure.  I am in total awe at the miracle of its construction in the 13th and 14th century.  We enjoyed being two of the only people on the pedestrian bridge, since most opted for the bus option, as a light rain had started to fall.  For me, it just added to the atmosphere of the day. This was one day of my trip that rain would not spoil.

We knew that it would be busy here, even though we had hardly seen any tourists in the last few days.  After all, this is Mont Saint Michel, the second most visited attraction in France.  But on this day, not the crowds, or the falling rain or anything else could spoil the perfect experience of visiting Mont Saint Michel by bike via the greenway from Pontorson.

This was the perfect bicycling day, definitely one of my all time favorites.

Posted by Maggie LaCoste

I love the adventure and unpredictability of experiencing France by bike. Cycling in France is the ultimate slow travel adventure, an opportunity to see it through the back door in a way few tourists experience. One week on a bike in France and life takes on a different meaning! I created Experience France By Bike to inspire recreational cyclists to visit France the slow way....by bike, and to be the best source of information for planning the perfect bicycling adventure. I encourage readers to embrace the uncertainty of the road ahead and to take the path less traveled, exploring roads, towns and villages that you would never experience traveling by car.