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WHY VISITING THIS PARTICULAR WEEKEND?
Not just because it is Easter, but you will witness the SUPER HIGH TIDE.
This is very rare, and it happens only a few times per year.
Visiting Mont Saint-Michel becomes truly extraordinary during this event!!!
Mont Saint-Michel is on the bucket list of many expats in Brussels. But since it is far away and without good public transportation connections, basically the only way to get there is by car. Therefore Expat Club is organising a convenient Easter weekend trip with a luxury coach from Brussels and with many really nice fellow expats. This allows you to relax, meet new friends and enjoy a fantastic program with special guided tours that you would not be able to arrange on your own. This trip will be mega special, because when we are there the high tide is “super high”with 13.75 meters and will make the island an actual island again, which happens only a few times per year (out of 2 x 365 high tides per year!). Also, since it is full moon we will be at Mont Saint-Michel at one of the most magical moments.
Transportation by 4* luxury coach
One large suitcase per person
2 nights in a 1* or 3* hotel in Bayeux
Entrance fees for Mont Saint-Michel
Guided tour at Mont Saint-Michel
Bonus visit to Étretat, Caen, Bayeux & Honfleur
A great group of international people
A lifetime memory
Coach pick-up points
Place Schuman, Brussels (bus stop next to KBC bank on roundabout)
Louise, Brussels (next to Tiffany’s)
Gare du Midi (Charleroi Airport busstop, Rue du France)
Families or small groups are more than welcome on this trip to Mont Saint-Michel. Children will get a discount and there are family rooms available (for 3 or 4 persons). However, please contact us before by email or phone, 0495-345144 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This way we can ensure you get the right room and a proper child discount.
From many kilometers away this pilgrimage destination is visible.
The islands seems close to the main land, but when fully surrounded by water, it is hard to reach. | by Michel Avion Fabos (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
After leaving the highway the island comes closer and closer.
The low hanging fog makes it sometimes look like it is floating in the clouds.
Until just a few years ago a large and broad dike with parking spots of both sides led all the way to the island. It has now been replaced by a bridge to offer more freedom to the sea. Visitors are shuttled back and forth from the mainland by buses.
As with all Expat Club trips, our program for this trip will be carefully designed. As of publication of this event, until the actual reservation system opens up, the program is not yet confirmed and may still change a bit. The below program is primarily based on our trip in 2018.
Saturday 20 April
07h00 – Departure from Brussels
09h15 – Highway stop
12h45 – Arrival Étretat & lunch
15h30 – Departure Étretat (depending on weather)
17h15 – Arrival Caen
19h15 – Departure to Bayeux
20h00 – Arrival Bayeux and check-in
Sunday 21 April
07h00 – Breakfast & free time
12h00 – Departure to Mont Saint-Michel
13h30 – Arrival mainland parking & shuttle
14h15 – Arrival Mont Saint-Michel & free time
15h45 – Start guided abbey tour
17h45 – End guided tour & free time
19h20 – Watching tidal wave
19h45 – Dinner
21h30 – High tide
22h30 – Departure bus
00h00 – Arrival Bayeux
Monday 22 April
07h00 – Breakfast & free time
10h00 – Departure to Honfleur
11h30 – Arrival Honfleur & free time
14h30 – Depature to Brussels
17h30 – Highway dinner stop
21h00 – Return time Brussels
Saturday 20 April
We depart early in the morning towards Normandy. We stop once along the highway for a coffee and to stretch our legs, before we continue to our first destination in Upper Normandy, namely the lovely coastal village Étretat.
Étretat is a famous coastal town just above the big harbour city Le Havre. It is famous for its magnificent cliffs, among which three arches and a pointed needle. Over the centuries it attracted many famous painters, including Courbet and Monet. We will be spending a few afternoon hours here, so just take your time to explore the village and the famous cliffs. There will also be time for lunch and souvenir hunting before we continue towards Lower Normandy.
Caen is a roughly 1.000 years old, although traces have been found from many centuries before that. It really started to grow around 1025-1030 thanks to the Dukes of Normandy, with the development of a market, mills, vineyards, churches and other buildings. Since then it went through a rich history with many rulers, wars and sieges. Currently the city has about 110.000 inhabitants, with well over 400.000 in the larger urban area, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in France.
We spend a just few hours in Caen to walk around and to have a nice dinner. Most of the tourist attractions are already closed when we’re there, but since it is the largest city in this part of Normandy, and one of historic significance, driving by without seeing these buildings would be a shame. Afterwards we continue to Bayeux, where we will be staying for the night.
Sunday 21 April – Bayeux & Mont Saint-Michel On the second day we explore the city of Bayeux in the morning. You can visit the famous 70 meter long tapestry, the Cathedral or the impressive British Cemetery, the final resting place of thousands of soldiers who died during the D-Day landings. We don’t have a lot of time, but in just a few hours after breakfast you can see still see very much and get a good impression of this historic city.
Next we drive to Mont Saint-Michel (about 1,5 hours). It is a beautiful highway through the Normandy hills. When we get closer to the sea you will have a first spectacular view from the highway. The closer we get, the more impressed you will be with the magic of this centuries-old pilgrimage site. We park the bus a few kilometers from the island on the main parking, and from there we will take the shuttle bus towards the entrance of the village.
We begin our tour of the island with a free visit to the village. You can go into one of the 4 small museums, have lunch or find some souvenirs. In the later afternoon you are expected to have walked up the hundreds of steps towards the entry gate of the abbey.
Next we will be making a guided tour through this mysterious building with a professional guide. You will see the main church, the many halls, and corridors. The guide will tell us about the long history of this mysterious place. You will be amazed with this complex and how old certain parts actually are.
After the guided abbey tours we will spend some more time to enjoy the souvenir shops and stunning views, as well as to drink a glass of local wine (or whatever you prefer) before we witness one of the most spectacular natural phenomena: the tidal wave.
The tidal wave & high tide
It is said the high tide arrives with the speed of a galloping horse! That’s up to 30km per hour, which you clearly cannot outrun, certainly not on the muddy sands. You can see it coming closer and closer from far away, until it fully encircles the island… if the tides are high enough of course. On 21 April we are lucky as the water reaches a whopping 14,05 meters, which should be enough to flood the road to the island. The wave comes in at 19h36 and the high tide is at 21h36. In between we’ll be enjoying a nice dinner!
Museums Besides the Abbey, Mont Saint-Michel has 4 small museums that are worth visiting. You can visit them on your own. Each museum takes just about 15-30 minutes. We recommend you buy tickets on the spot.
Archeoscope: a show to discover the construction of this fabulous monument and its sacred history.
Museum of History: old collections ( weapons, paintings, sculptures, watches), prisons and dungeons, the 19th century periscope which reveals the bay.
Maritime and Ecology Museum: discover the tides, the bay and the massive building site to restore the maritime character of the Mont Saint-Michel.
Tiphaine’s House: discover the 14th century residence that Bertrand Duguesclin had built in 1365 for his wife Tiphaine (furnitures, paintings, tapestries).
Individual entrance fees (2018 prices) are €9 per museum, but we may be able to offer you lower fares.
We have dinner in one of the famous restaurants on Mont Saint-Michel overlooking the bay. Our group dinners are a great way to meet new people and have fun. Prior reservation for dinner is required and you can indicate your meal preference during checkout (including vegetarian). This is a busy evening as many people will stay for the high tide so finding a spot may not be so easy. Besides it’s Easter weekend!
Entrée Normandy style seasonal vegetable soup
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Main course Pan-fried salmon, beurre blanc sauce, basmati rice
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Dessert Apple tart with custard
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Drinks 1 glass of cider rosé Tradition Mère Poulard A bottle of red wine per 4 persons – Berger Baron Philippe de Rothschild Vitel water Coffee or tea
Day 3 (Monday 22 April) – Deauville and Honfleur This day we return to Brussels, but with so many nice places along the way, we decided to make extra stops, namely in Deauville and Honfleur. In both places you will have free time to walk around, do some souvenir shopping, and have some food. It’s a perfect way to break up the trip back to Brussels.
We depart on Saturday morning 07h00 from Place Schuman. The actual time and departure point(s) will be communicated about one week before the trip. We will be travelling with a 4* luxury bus with reclining comfort seats, foot rests, air-conditioning, an on-board toilet, and a DVD-system with at least three flat screens. Along the outbound trip way you will be served some drinks and snacks (waffles, candy bars, bananas).
We will stay in two hotels in the historic city of Bayeux this time, located right to each other. The La Première Class is a basic hotel that is included in the price of the trip fee. The Campanile hotel is a 3* hotel and can be booked for an additional fee.
HOTEL – CAMPANILE BAYEUX
This is a basic 3* hotel on the edge of Bayeux. It has clean single rooms (one large bed), double rooms (one large bed for 2 people) and twin rooms (2 single beds). We may also have 1 or 2 larger family rooms, but that is only at request. If you travel alone, you can choose between a single room (one large bed) or a twin room (2 separate beds) and we will help you find you a room partner to avoid the single-supplement. It is at walking distance from Bayeux centre and the British Cemetery. There is a surcharge for this hotel, and you can opt for breakfast.
HOTEL – PREMIERE CLASS BAYEUX This simple 1* hotel gets good reviews and is situated right next to the Campanile hotel. Having personally inspected it and stayed there in 2018, we actually believe the rooms qualify as a 2* hotel. It has basic but clean rooms with either a large double bed (for single use or couples) as well as twin rooms (two beds for two friends sharing) or even triple rooms (at request), including a small but complete private bath room. It is a good accommodation to stay the night. Breakfast is already included in the price.
If you travel alone you can avoid the single room surcharge by sharing a “twin room” with 2 single beds. We offer male or female rooms and we can introduce you to all the other ladies or gentlemen in our group who are also searching for a room partner. This means we do not assign you to a room, but you choose yourself who you want to share the room with. So if you prefer this option, just select it during checkout. It is a perfect way to lower your costs and to meet another friendly expat. Many of our guests in the past have chosen for this option, sometimes even up to 70% per trip. In other words, you don’t have to worry about finding a room partner, we do this for you. Since our participants are all adults, most between 30 and 60 years), there is always a kind person to share the room with. Note that we may stop the twin sharing for male rooms from about 2 months before departure!
The trip will be carried out by one of our trusted coach partners.
This trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are indicative and may change if required by circumstances.
The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know and we may consider a small discount.
You are personally responsible for getting a good cancellation and travel insurance that covers you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
Expat Club cannot be held liable for long delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the coach, strikes, weather etc.
Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself. If you book this option, you are never forced to pay for a single room.