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For once and for all, is it worth the detour to MSM?

For once and for all, is it worth the detour to MSM?

Old Aug 14th, 2022, 02:59 PM
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For once and for all, is it worth the detour to MSM?

I initially posted about whether to see or skip Mont St Michel (MSM) when I initially was going to do it as a day trip from Paris.

My friend and I since realised we could travel to Rennes and hire a car to drive to MSM and stay there overnight so as to see it outside of the peak tourist hours (noting it will otherwise still be busy but less so).

We will be in Toulouse, then Avignon and Lyon before we would fly to Rennes (finishing in Paris) and my friend and I are at odds - I believe we should skip MSM (as much as I would like to see it) because it doesn't make sense to detour all that way and we could instead use that time somewhere closer to the places we will be visiting (i.e. Bordeaux or Dijon) whereas my friend thinks we may as well since we doesn't know how soon either of us will return to France.

For once and for all, for my fellow travellers who have been to MSM, what would you pick:
(a) time in either Bordeaux or Dijon; or
(b) Mont St Michel?
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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 03:15 PM
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I would skip MSM.
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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 04:08 PM
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It wouldn't be worth the detour in time and cost to me. I think it only makes sense if you're already in the general vicinity.
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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 04:17 PM
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We did not visit MSM until our fourth trip to France and by then we had already spent 17 weeks in France on our three previous trips. We did not feel we were missing out. There ae plenty of sights in Spain or Frances that you could say are unmissable. So, with the amount of effort involved in doing it, I would say skip it. Yes, it is lovely and well worth a visit if it fits in with other considerations. But you are already doing a busy trip and this just adds another layer of moving and hiring a car for one day, especially at the present time, could be quite expensive.

We have not been to Bordeaux even though we spent two weeks in a nearby department, but by all accounts, it is now a great place to stay. We did visit St Emilion which is a very pretty village which we enjoyed visiting for the sights, but did not enjoy the volume of tourists and the proliferation of wine shops trying to get our custom.

We have visited both Dijon and Beaune, but only for day trips from our bases many years ago. We hade planned a stay near Dijon in 2020 and now are thinking we might return next year. Having said that, along with south - west France, Burgundy is one of our favourite regions in France. We have loved all our stays there. We usually fly in and out of Lyon mainly because we get the most choice of flights. As you have found, flying from Australia directly can sometimes limit your options. How ever, what we enjoy doing, that is wandering around the countryside and exploring small towns and villages is very different from your planned trip. So we often find ourselves ending our trips there for access to Lyon. The same will apply next year if we go.

Only you can decide whether MSM is worth the effort. It is only a " must see " if you will feel your trip is lacking if you do not go. I would say either add a day here and there to the places you are already visiting , or go to Dijon/Beaune.

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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rhon View Post
We have visited both Dijon and Beaune, but only for day trips from our bases many years ago.
Where were you located at when you did these day trips?

I was tempted to do either Dijon or Beaune as a day trip from Lyon though if we do skip MSM and decide against Bordeaux, I think it makes more sense to stay in Dijon if we have the time given it will result in less travel time overall.
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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 07:00 PM
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Victoria, we stay in self catering gites for a week at a time and use that as a base for day trips. They are usually in small villages or in the country so not suitable for you. In both cases we were about 50 kms away by car. In 2020 we had booked a gite for two weeks in a small village, not a tourist destination at all, about 15 kms out of Dijon. We would then have been able to get a train into Dijon a few times as well as day trips further afield. We do not stay in cities as we prefer smaller places and do not want to be in traffic each day getting in and out, and the sort of accommodation we use is usually cheaper.

Good luck with your decision making.
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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 07:16 PM
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While I very much enjoyed MSM, it fit into my western France itinerary. It was probably at least my 9th trip to France before I got there. I wouldn’t waste the time and money flying across the country to visit it. But, it’s your trip so only you can make that decision.
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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 08:41 PM
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Agree with the others. Skip it. View my wife's Shutterfly book instead.

Click "Full screen"
https://stududley.shutterfly.com/57

We stay in self catering gites also.

Here is our book for Burgundy & Beaujolais
https://stududley.shutterfly.com/38

Stu Dudley


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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 12:01 AM
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I'd only go to visit if I was in the area
Toulouse is not in the area

To be fair, Brittany is in the country next door to where I live and I've been innumerable times and I've woken up on bright cold mornings at sea or in harbours, rivers etc, near here, and I doubt the experience is any different.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 02:21 AM
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As I said the first time you asked. Skip it.
Saves an unnecessary flight, since you insist you would fly to Rennes rather than take the train, and it never made sense given the rest of your plans.
Honestly it isn't worth it. Fine if you are in the area but otherwise no.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 03:18 AM
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I’ve driven down the N175 on the way to Bordeaux so many times and seen it from a distance.

Two weekends ago, we had three hours to kill on the way to our hotel near Cherbourg. We drove down to the car parks which accommodate the day trippers to MSM - the place was mobbed. From the nearest coast , it is a really impressive site - it looks like CGI special effects.

We couldn’t be bothered joining the hoards for the crossing onto MSM and also had the dog with e500 of wine in the boot.

I really enjoyed the view but my detour was around 12km.

I’m not sure if that helps…..it doesn’t - just skip it and go to Bordeaux.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 04:22 AM
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Save it for the time when you tour Brittany and Normandy. The travel time overhead vs the visit time makes adding it to your present tour is unreasonable.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 04:29 AM
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I would rather slit my wrists rather than spend more than a day in Dijon.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 05:17 AM
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Victoria, Mont Saint-Michel is unique. It's worth a visit at least once. Unfortunately it doesn't fit well into this very packed trip unless you fly to Rennes, and I'm all for minimizing flying.

kerouac, so dramatic!
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 06:04 AM
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Up to a certain value of uniqueness
https://www.visitcornwall.com/things...michaels-mount
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 06:48 AM
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For your itinerary, I'd skip it. But it is a site that is well worth seeing for anyone that is going to spend time in Normandy or Brittany. Your question is rather like a European visitor planning to spend most of his vacation on the East Coast of the US asking if he should detour to see the Grand Canyon.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 06:57 AM
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bilbo, I've visited Michaels Mount. It's fun but, as you and I know, it's not a patch on Mont Saint-Michel. Michael's Mount may be worth a visit if you're in the area, but I think MSM is definitely worth a detour.

Of course you only need to go once, and after that even if you only glimpse it from a distance, it's still a thrill.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 07:50 AM
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Coquelicot, yep. But from Fouge'res, not Toulouse
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 08:03 AM
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A friend & I had an overnight on MSM some years ago. It was not on our way anywhere, it was the destination & because of the season & weather a life-time’s memorable experience. So you know where I stand in regard to its value as a place to visit. However, given you & your companion don’t agree & the awkwardness of fitting it in, just save it or ask your friend to save it for another time. It’s a popular place so best seen off-season at a leisurely pace. Then it’ll be “worth” it.

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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 08:41 AM
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Mont Saint Michel would have been a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed in olden times. But we are now in an era where we can return more than once to faraway places. So never try to do everything on the same trip. Better yet, imagine planning two trips at once. "I'll go here and here and here this time, and the next time I'll go to those other places which make more sense grouped together."
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