Many people know Mont Saint-Michel, but how many know the surrounding region? Exploring it in a campervan is an excellent idea. This Norman enclave is bursting with places to visit and activities to try.
Mont Saint-Michel is known worldwide as a wonder of the West, perhaps too well-known for the tastes of campervan enthusiasts. To avoid some of the tourist hordes, we suggest visiting on a bad-weather day in the winter, which reinforces the location's character, or at the end of the day when tourists have all gone back to their coaches, especially since you won't have to get back on the road like they will. After visiting the island, all you'll have to do is head back to your room with a view - your rental campervan! After enjoying the famous Mère-Poulard omelette in the lovely restaurant with the same name, head up to the incredible Abbey. In the summer, explore it at sunset on a tour with sound and lights. At the summit, the beautiful view will render you speechless.
At low tide, you can cross the bay on foot, walking between Mont Saint-Michel and Tombelaine island with an experienced guide who will help you avoid quicksand and the tide. The tidal range here is the largest in Europe. As the local saying goes, the tide rises at the speed of a galloping horse.
On the bay's Breton side above the little Couesnon river that put the Mont in Normandy (according to a proverb), hikers will find paradise on the GR 34. They'll cross the Mont Saint-Michel Bay's polders and stumble upon the famous Pré-Salé lambs that eat the plants that have adapted to this half-land, half-sea environment. The enormous Cherrueix beaches are hot spots for land sailing. Towards Cancale, you'll enter bouchot mussel territory. Taste this delicacy in Vivier sur Mer.
Head out again in your campervan toward Avranches and the Granville port, where you'll leave your van for a few hours and take a boat to the Chausey islands. No vehicles are allowed here. There are just a few fishing family houses dwarfed by the moor, wild beaches and hundreds of islands. It's a complete change of scenery! Once back in your Volkswagen California, set off to the pretty seaside resort in Jullouville and go for an invigorating swim. You're sure to enjoy the dinner you concoct in your campervan's fully-equipped kitchen, before heading to bed for a restful night's sleep by the sea.
Next up, visit the Villedieu-les-Poêles area, known for the copper stoves made there, as well as the church and cathedral bell foundry that crafted Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral bells, which were replaced in 2013. Continue on towards Vire (home of the famous andouille sausage), as well as Normand Switzerland, which straddles Calvados and Orne in the middle of the Norman bocage. Here you can go climbing, canoeing and hiking amidst magnificent landscapes featuring steep hillsides, lush valleys and gorges, including the Vire and Orne gorges.
We suggest you set off on your Mont Saint-Michel campervan adventure from our WeVan rental location in Rennes.