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Mont Saint-Michel & Normandy

Sunday 29 April | 08h00 to Tuesday 01 May | 21h30
Mont Saint-Michel
, Mont Saint-Michel, France

Additional Information

Coach pick-up point:
Place Schuman, La Chasse, Metro Delta, Metro Hermann-Debroux
Includes:
trip by 4* coach, 2 nights in a basic 1* hotel with breakfast, on-board drinks and snacks, entrance fees Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, great group of international people, a lifetime memory, guided behind-closed-doors abbey tour (for the first 30 reservations only)
Optional:
single room, visit to Saint Malo, dinner, single room, 2 nights in 3* hotel
Child ticket available:
Please contact us
Comments:
You can book as long as the [Book now] button is still active, even the evening before departure., For more (last-minute) information don't hesitate to mail us at info@expatclub.org or call 0495-345144.

Who is hosting?

Tickets

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Tickets

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THE TRIP IS NOW OPEN FOR RESERVATIONS
Book early to also get the special behind-closed-doors tour, which is only for the first 30 guests. If you book now, you are still among the first 30!

13m15 Super High Tide
Mont Saint-Michel Becomes an Island Again
Rare phenomenon

Quick overview of this great trip:
✔︎ 3 full days of exploring Normandy, France
✔︎ Travel by comfortable 4* luxury coach
✔︎ Stay in a good 1* or 3* hotel in historic Bayeux
✔︎ Guided visit to the Mont Saint-Michel abbey

✔︎ Optional visit to Saint-Malo (instead of Mont Saint-Michel)
✔︎ Witness the flood wave come in super fast at night (also for Saint-Malo visitors!)
✔︎ Witness the water fully encircling the island (rare opportunity)
✔︎ See Mont Saint-Michel by day & night (with the magical lights)
✔︎ See Mont Saint-Michel under a full moon sky
✔︎ Bonus visit to Étretat

✔︎ Bonus visit to Bayeux
✔︎ Bonus visit to Caen
✔︎ Bonus visit to Deauville

✔︎ Bonus visit to Honfleur
✔︎ Enjoy the company of Brussels’ friendliest international community

 

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 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 the high tide is “super high” with 13.15 meters and will make the island an actual island again, which happens only a few times per year (out of 2 x 365 tides per year!). Also, since it is full moon we will be at Mont Saint-Michel at one of the most magical moments. 

If you have already been to Mont Saint-Michel (eventually with Expat Club) you may want to join again and join us for the day to Saint Malo when the rest visits the island (it’s an exceptionally stunningly amazingly beautiful coastal city in Bretagne). We return to Mont Saint-Michel before the flood arrives. Compare it to returning to Wimbledon if you have already been there, but this time to see the men finals! Also we added Étretat, Honfleur and Deauville to our schedule, whereas we stay in Bayeux. So many outstanding destinations packed in just 3 days.

The beautiful Cathedral of Bayeux

For this trip we arranged rooms in good 1* and 3* hotels right next to each other at just a few minutes walking from Bayeux centre. It is a small but historic city in Normandy, not far from the D-Day landing beaches. It is known for the beautiful Cathedral as well as the famous Bayeux Tapestry. This is “an embroidered cloth nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long and 50 centimetres (20 in) tall, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings.” (source: Wikipedia)

© SteveMcsweeny - iStockphoto

© SteveMcsweeny – iStockphoto

OUR TRANSPORTATION
We depart on Sunday morning 08h00. 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). 

MSM Normandy MSM 04

The impressive Mont Saint-Michel from a distance

 

DAY 1 (SUNDAY 29 APRIL) – BRUSSELS – ÉTRETAT – CAEN
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, Étretat.

Etretat 01 Author Jean-Luc Faisans WC

Jean-Luc Faisans (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

by Raphaelhui (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Covered Market | Raphaelhui (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Etretat 02 Peco~commonswiki WC

Peco (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Claude Monet's painting | © Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH

Claude Monet’s painting | © Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH

Etratat etretat-1292799_960_720

 

Étretat is a famous coastal town just above the big harbour city Le Havre. This lovely town is famous for its magnificent cliffs, among which three arches and the 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 to Caen.

© Office du Tourisme Caen

© Office de Tourisme Caen

© Office du Tourisme Caen

© Office de Tourisme Caen

© Office du Tourisme Caen

© Office de Tourisme Caen

Caen is a roughly 1.000 year old, although traces have been found from many centuries before that. It really started to grow around 1.025-1.030 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.

© Office du Tourisme Caen

Abbey & Cathedral | © Office de Tourisme Caen

Caen © OT Caen 05

The old castle | © Office de Tourisme Caen

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 it would be a shame. Afterwards we continue to Bayeux, where we will be staying for the night.

 

The 70 meters long Bayeux Tapestry, here depicting the battle of Hastings | by Dan Koehl (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

 

DAY 2 (MONDAY 30 APRIL) – BAYEUX & MONT SAINT-MICHEL OR SAINT MALO
On the second day we first 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 that didn’t survive the D-Day landings. We don’t have a lot of time, but in just a few hours after breakfast you can see quite a lot 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. If you have already been to Mont Saint-Michel, and only would like to see the flood at night (and join for dinner), you can also stay in the bus and continue with us to Saint Malo (read below).

MSM mont-saint-michel-1305148_960_720

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. Around 15h30 you are expected to have walked up the hundreds of steps towards the entry gate of the abbey.

As a group we will be making a special behind-the-scenes guided tour through this mysterious building with a professional abbey guide. You will see the main church and the many halls, smaller rooms 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. S/he will take us to the places that are closed for the general public, such as the dauntingly small prison and smaller chapels. Note that this special-access guided tour is only for the first 30 participants. 

MSM mont-saint-michel-693119_640

View on the abbey from Village

Guided Abbey Tour: behind closed doors
How cool would it be to enjoy a guided tour with one of the few official abbey guides (not a regular guide) who takes with him or her a set of keys that opens virtually any door in this magnificent structure? This is exactly what Expat Club did in June and October of last year and we will do the same for our trip in April. This is a highly EXCLUSIVE TOUR that will take us to the hidden places that regular visitors cannot go to! We will see the hidden chapels and underground passageways and get a good understanding of the history and wonders of this place. We will also hear about the nasty things that happened here, because the abbey was certainly not used for studies and prayers alone, and we’ll become a prisoner for just a few minutes (a rather unpleasant feeling…).

MSM Normandy MSM 03

View on the village walls

MSM armor-723644_960_720

Mont Saint-Michel armour

MSM 02

No pain, no gain. We have to climb up (slowly though!)

You have made it! | © rimbeaud - Fotolia.com

You have made it! | © rimbeaud – Fotolia.com

Nave of Church of Abbey | © giumas - Fotolia.com

Nave of Church of Abbey | © giumas – Fotolia.com

MSM Pir6mon WC 1024px-PSmichel4277

by Pir6mon (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

MSM

Beautiful stained glass windows

The Cloisterie

The Columns of the Abbey with an exceptional view over the bay

© Linda Meyer - Fotolia.com

The mysterious halls and corridors | © Linda Meyer – Fotolia.com

© Olivier Rault - Fotolia.com

© Olivier Rault – Fotolia.com

MtStMichel_avion Fabos~commonswiki

We will be walking around and away from Mont Saint-Michel | by Fabos (assumed, own work), via Wikimedia Commons

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 April we are super lucky as the water reaches a whopping 13,15 meters, enough to flood the road to the island. The wave comes in at 18h38 and the high tide is at 20h38. In between we’ll be enjoying a nice dinner!

normandy-museum

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.

  • Archeoscopea 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 (2017 prices) are €9 per museum, but you can get a pass for 4 museums that give you 50% discount on the entrance fees. So you just pay €18 instead of €36. You can also pay for 2 museums and pay just €12 instead of €18. Note, they close at 17h00, so it’s really only possible before the abbey tour.

The famous restaurant (and biscuit maker) La Mère Poulard | by ugo3ugo32001 (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The famous restaurant (and biscuit maker) La Mère Poulard  | by ugo3ugo32001 (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Dinner
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 (€29,50, including drinks, wine/water/apple juice/coffee/tea) is required and you can indicate your meal preference during checkout (including vegetarian). This is a busy evenings as many people will stay for the high tide so finding a spot may not be so easy

Our menu:

Entrée
Normandy style seasonal vegetable soup

˜ ˜ ˜

Main course
Pan-fried salmon, beurre blanc sauce, basmati rice

˜ ˜ ˜

Dessert
Apple tart with custard

˜ ˜ ˜

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

We visit Saint-Malo with low tides, so you can walk over the dry lands and between the rocks. It’s outright spectacular! The group returns to Mont Saint-Michel before the high tide.


Optional visit to Saint Malo (free)
If you have already been to Mont Saint Michel, you can optionally join us to Saint Malo, which lies a bit to the West of Mont Saint-Michel in Bretagne. This walled city is situated right on the ocean side. It is a major tourist destination with many very old buildings and other interesting structures, such as an impressive city wall. We’ll be spending a few hours here to visit attractions like the Saint Malo museum and one of the forts. This is all optional, so you can decide on what you would like to do, but usually we walk around with the group to visit several spots, have a drink somewhere and enjoy some time in the harbour. We will return in the late afternoon to Mont Saint-Michel to be on time for the spectacular flood wave. As said above, if you have already been at the island, you are now returning for the big “Wimbledon Men’s Finals”. We return to Bayeux after the high tide, but be ready to get some wet feet. In fact, we highly advise to just get this experience and not to wait until the water has come down again.

The old harbour in Honfleur

 

DAY 3 (TUESDAY 1 MAY) – DEAUVILLE AND HONFLEUR
This day we return to Brussels, but with so many nice places along the way, we decided to make two 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.

The famous Normandy 5* hotel in Deauville

The city hall of Deauville | © Alonbou – Fotolia.com

Stroll along the old harbour of Honfleur that lies in de Delta of the Seine River. Have a coffee or lunch in one of the many bars and restaurants and witness the small (fishing) boats come and go from the docks.

WHO IS COMING TO EXPAT CLUB TRIPS?
Expat Club trips are great for expats of all ages and backgrounds.  Belgians with an international outlook are of course also more than invited. We welcome couples, singles, small groups of friends, and we regularly welcome families. They all have an international background and jobs in the EU institutions, NGOs, small and big companies, or are entrepreneurs and freelancers. Membership is not required, although it provides some nice benefits.

 

family silhouette design, vector illustration eps10 graphic

CHILD TICKETS
Please contact us if you would like to bring your family. The trip is certainly very nice for children from about 4 years of age, but we want to make sure you will get the right room.

 

Our hotels
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 center 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, we actually feel it qualifies 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 private bath room. It is a good accommodation to stay the night. Breakfast is already included in the price.

ROOM SHARING
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. 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 (30-70 years), there is always a kind person to share the room with 🙂

 

COMMENTS & SPECIAL TERMS

  • 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, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided bay tour. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk (it’s a low risk activity).
  • 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.
  • If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).

Tickets

59 RSVPs 0 left Pre-registrations are now closed. Click below to book your ticket. No RSVP Available.

Comments

  1. Claire

    I would love to join. Today i would like à single room, but i may find à friend to share à twin City centre! Many thanks for this proposal 🌞🌞🌞




    1. Edgar Post author

      You’re on the list Claire. The dates are 100% confirmed, it’s just a matter of program now.




  2. Yan

    What is the price ?




    1. Edgar Post author

      The price, program and other details will be published on Thursday.




  3. Murina Chan

    Hi Edgar, I saw this trip couple months ago & looks interesting. If there is space, I would probably come with Zoe. She is 5 now. Maybe we can chat about options. Thanks. Murina




Your comments

Comments

  1. Claire

    I would love to join. Today i would like à single room, but i may find à friend to share à twin City centre! Many thanks for this proposal 🌞🌞🌞




    1. Edgar Post author

      You’re on the list Claire. The dates are 100% confirmed, it’s just a matter of program now.




  2. Yan

    What is the price ?




    1. Edgar Post author

      The price, program and other details will be published on Thursday.




  3. Murina Chan

    Hi Edgar, I saw this trip couple months ago & looks interesting. If there is space, I would probably come with Zoe. She is 5 now. Maybe we can chat about options. Thanks. Murina




Comments

  1. Claire

    I would love to join. Today i would like à single room, but i may find à friend to share à twin City centre! Many thanks for this proposal 🌞🌞🌞




    1. Edgar Post author

      You’re on the list Claire. The dates are 100% confirmed, it’s just a matter of program now.




  2. Yan

    What is the price ?




    1. Edgar Post author

      The price, program and other details will be published on Thursday.




  3. Murina Chan

    Hi Edgar, I saw this trip couple months ago & looks interesting. If there is space, I would probably come with Zoe. She is 5 now. Maybe we can chat about options. Thanks. Murina