© Yvon Boelle

Out and about in Mont Saint‑Michel Bay

Wide open spaces and an iconic silhouette

Out and about in Mont Saint‑Michel Bay

On the Brittany-Normandy border, this vast bay is as wonderful as it is famous. Sky, sand, sea, salt marshes, polders, and of course the Mont-Saint-Michel, share a horizon that seems endless. It’s no wonder this bay is a UNESCO’s World Heritage site.

The highest tides in Europe

Straddling the land and sea between Cancale and Granville, Mont-Saint-Michel Bay extends over an area of around 500 square kilometres and offers a huge variety of natural environments. The dense herbaceous vegetation of the salt marshes, covered regularly by the sea, is much appreciated by the peacefully grazing sheep. Another trademark feature of the bay is the polders: fertile lands reclaimed from the sea by building protective dykes, which are used especially for growing vegetables. You’ll be awe-struck by the height of the tides and the changing character of the landscape, as well as the light. You can’t miss the Mont-Saint-Michel and its abbey, an architectural gem straight out of a fairytale. The coastline, stretching along wide beaches, grows wilder and more jagged between Cancale and the Pointe du Grouin headland. Parasol pines and an emerald-green sea: it’s like being in the South of France. Just opposite the Pointe du Grouin is the île des Landes, an ornithological and botanical reserve. Binoculars at the ready!

Time for the main event!

As you’ll have gathered by now, walking in these surroundings is a real pleasure. Fancy walking across the bay? It’s a stunning sight. Because the landscape is very flat, you’ll have a permanent view of the Mont-Saint-Michel. Follow a professional guide and make sure you don’t go out into the bay too far on your own, because as the saying goes, the tides in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay come in ‘at the speed of a galloping horse’. Having said that, why not check out the truth of the saying by taking a ride on horseback in the salty sea air? If you’re a sailing fan, cast off from Cancale and you might be lucky enough to see some of the bottlenose dolphins who cross the bay… You’ll find just as much to enjoy if you’re into board sports and sand yachting. And if you’re on a bike? The European Tour de Manche route connects the Mont-Saint-Michel with Saint-Malo, taking you along quiet minor roads and a greenway running alongside the bay’s salt marshes. There are also various loops around Dol-de-Bretagne that allow you to soak up the different atmospheres of this region.

Official website of tourism in Brittany