If you want to visit some amazing places, this should be on the top of your list for one of the best places to visit in France. Off the coast of Normandy is Le Mont-Saint-Michel, a tidal island and mainland commune. Set in the beautiful bay where Normandy and Brittany merge, the staggering location makes this a spectacular sight to behold. Around its base are medieval walls and towers above which rise the clustered buildings of the village with the ancient abbey crowning the mount.
Over 20 times a year, the exceptional high tide turns this former abbey a tidal island. A little history helps us put in perspective the danger of a quick high tide rolling in at this mountain island.
The island remained unconquered during the Hundred Years’ War as a small garrison fended off a full attack by the English in 1433. How did they do this? Most likely by taunting and goading the English to attack just before the tide rolled in. The incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned would-be assailants.
This mountain also made a formidable prison during the middle ages under the kingdom of France. You’d better have a good understanding of how tides work if you were planning to bolt across the path to land during low tide.
Here’s some further enticement with this locale for Normandy sightseeing – Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Watch this video produced by the Normandie Tourism office. You’ll see how this magical island topped by a gravity-defying medieval monastery, counts among France’s most stunning sights.
If architectural masterpieces rings true for you, then this is one of the best places to visit in France. Back in the day, William the Conqueror, then Richard the Lionheart built castles, churches, abbeys and other notable architectural works, which would make Normandy one of the richest provinces in the kingdom.