Friday 30 until Sunday 1 September
Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France
Transportation by 4* luxury coach
Accommodation in a 1* or 3* hotel
SEATS GOING FAST.
Why join on this specific trip? As usual, Expat Club only travels to Mont Saint-Michel when the high tide level is exceptionally high. This means the “island” will become an actual island again because it will be fully surrounded by water. This happens only a few times per year (5-6 times, including on winter weekdays late at night). We are lucky because on this Saturday evening the levels are super high again, which makes the island an actual island again.
Visiting Mont Saint-Michel during such high tides makes it infinitely more special. This is namely the second highest tide in the world (after the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick / Nova Scotia). The incoming tidal wave alone is spectacular, because at certain points you simply cannot outrun it if you are on the dry sea bed, so fast. Therefore we hope we can welcome you on board our trip at the end of the summer holidays!
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 late summer holiday weekend trip by 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 the island becomes an actual island again, which happens only a few times per year (out of 2 x 365 high tides per year!). It’s truly magical to witness this spectacular natural phenomenon.
- 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
- Single room
Coach pick-up points
- Place Schuman, Brussels (bus stop next to KBC bank on roundabout)
- La Chasse (long bus stop right before the intersection on Avenue d’Auderghem)
- Metro Delta (long bus stop on Avenue de Beaulieu, next to metro exit)
- Metro Hermann-Debroux (long bus stop next to Loxam and under elevated highway)
Who can join?
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
Families & small groups
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 in the cheaper hotel (for 3 or 4 persons). However, please contact us before by email or phone, 0495-345144 or email@example.com. This way we can ensure you get the right room and a proper child discount.
– €250 for children 4-11 years old
– €150 for children 12 to 18 years old
As with all Expat Club trips, our program for this trip will be carefully designed. Still, the program may slightly change depending on, for instance, traffic conditions. We will do our best to still deliver the best possible program.
Friday 30 August
07h00 – Departure from Brussels
09h15 – Highway stop
12h45 – Arrival Étretat & lunch
15h30 – Departure Étretat
17h30 – Arrival Bayeux and check-in
Saturday 31 August
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
Sunday 1 September
07h00 – Breakfast & free time
10h00 – Departure to Deauville, Honfleur and Brussels
19h00 – Approximate highway stop for dinner
22h00 – Return time Brussels
Friday 30 August
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.
Saturday 31 August – 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 30 August we are lucky as the water reaches a whopping 14,60 meters, which is one of the highest ever and more than enough to flood the platform in front of island. The wave comes in at 18h52 and the high tide is at 20h52. In between we’ll be enjoying a nice dinner!
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 if you visit all museums there is a discount card available.
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 a special weekend with this high water!
Normandy style seasonal vegetable soup
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Pan-fried salmon, beurre blanc sauce, basmati rice
Ommelette Poulard (vegetarian option, the famous local dish!)
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Apple tart with custard
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1 glass of cider rosé Tradition Mère Poulard
A bottle of red wine per 4 persons – Berger Baron Philippe de Rothschild
Coffee or tea
Sunday 1 September – 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).
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.
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.