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Mont Saint-Michel

Friday 06 October | 17h30 to Sunday 08 October | 21h30
Mont Saint-Michel
, Mont Saint-Michel, France

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Additional Information

Coach pick-up point:
Place Schuman
Includes:
trip by 4* coach, on-board drinks and snacks, guided abbey tour, entrance fees Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, 2 nights in 2* hotel (double or twin room), great group of international people, a lifetime memory
Optional:
guided special access abbey tour, guided bay walking tour, visit to Saint Malo, dinner, single room, 2 nights in 3* hotel
Child ticket available:
Please contact us
Comments:
Members please log in before registering., Non-members are welcome to join us., 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.
Practical information for participants:
http://mailchi.mp/9bef3fb84297/trip-info-mont-saint-michel-normandy-1240185
Eileen
Inese
Eppy
Harry
Astrid
Christine
Jasmine
Katarina
Deborah
Lukrecija
Sandra
Denelle
Michael
Brendan
Margareta
Bobbie
Tuija
Pascaline
Andrea
Cathy
Jennifer
Milos
Nikolaos
Margaret
Isabel
Sonia
Tore Jan
Edgar

You can book as long as the “Book now” button still works, even up to an hour before departure. All practical information for participants can be found here.

 

SUPERB WEEKEND PROGRAM – FINAL 2 SPOTS ABBEY TOUR
(we have a few more for the trip without the abbey tour, you can call us at 0495-345144, also for any other information)

✔︎ Afterwork departure on Friday late afternoon
✔︎ Travel by comfortable 4* luxury top-deck coach (larger than usual)
✔︎ Stay in a good 2* or 3* hotel in Bayeux
✔︎ Behind-closed-doors visit to the Mont Saint-Michel abbey

✔︎ Witness the flood wave come in super fast
✔︎ Witness how the water fully encircles the island (rare opportunity)
✔︎ See Mont Saint-Michel by day & night (with the magical lights)
✔︎ See Mont Saint-Michel under (full) moonlit sky

✔︎ Bonus visit to Bayeux
✔︎ Bonus visit to Honfleur
✔︎ Bonus visit to Amiens
✔︎ 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” 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 as we now stay in Bayeux (not Caen), offer the option to travel with us to Saint Malo (exceptional coastal city in Bretagne), and added Honfleur and Amiens to the schedule. Still, you would be able to see the high tide at Mont Saint-Michel at night! Compare it to returning to Wimbledon if you have already been there, but this time to see the Men’s Finals 🙂

For this trip we arranged rooms in good 2* at a few KMs from Bayeux (we arrange taxi rides in the morning) and a 3* hotel at just 5 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 Friday evening at 18h00. 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. 

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The impressive Mont Saint-Michel from a distance

DAY 2 (SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER) – 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 history D-Day landings.

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 close we get, the more impressed you will be with the magic of this centuries old sit of pilgrimage. 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, you can also stay in the bus and continue with us to Saint Malo (read below)

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At Mont Saint-Michel we will be making a special behind-the-scenes guided tour through the mysterious abbey with a professional guide (included). 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. We will also (optionally) make a guided bay walking tour of 1,5 hours during which you can see the island from below and the other side. It is super fun and definitely doable for everyone with a normal (or slightly below normal) condition.

© aterrom - Fotolia.com

Wade knee-deep through the water. Note, mostly you will walk on the sea bottom | © aterrom – Fotolia.com

Guided bay walking tour (optional)
To discover more about the area around the island, and to see the “Mont” from below and the back side (not often seen on photographs), we organise a guided bay walking tour by a licensed expert guide. Venturing out on your own on these mud flats is not only tricky due to the rivers that cross the bay (to find your way), but also dangerous because of the many areas with quick sands and the incredibly fast rising of the tides. That is why we work with an official guide who is in constant contact with rescue services. So no worries, you’re in safe hands!

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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 of this year and we will do the same for our trip in October (included). 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 wonder of this place. We will also hear about the nasty things that happened here, because the abbey was certainly not only used for studies and prayers, and become a prisoner for just a few minutes (a rather unpleasant feeling…).

NOTE AS OF MONDAY 2 OCTOBER THIS TOUR IS FULLY BOOKED. YOU CAN STILL JOIN THE TRIP TO MONT SAINT-MICHEL. HOWEVER, YOU CANNOT JOIN THE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS TOUR. YOU CAN STILL VISIT THE ABBEY, BUT YOU MUST BUY YOUR OWN ENTRANCE TICKET (€10) AND DISCOVER THIS MAGICAL PLACE ON YOUR OWN.

MSM Normandy MSM 03

View on the village walls

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Mont Saint-Michel armour

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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

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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, and 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 7 October we are super lucky as the water reaches a whopping 12,85 meters, enough to flood the road to the island. The wave comes in at 19h14 and the high tide is at 21h14.

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 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, the close at 17h00, so it’s really only for those not joining the bay walking 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. Reservation for dinner (€30, including drinks, wine/water/apple juice/coffee/tea) is required and you can indicate your meal preference during checkout (including vegetarian). This is one of the busiest evenings of the year as many people will stay for 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 structures. We’ll be spending a few hours here to visit attractions like the Aquarium, 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”.

DAY 3 (SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER) – HONFLEUR & AMIENS
This day we return to Brussels, but with so many nice places along the way, we decided to make two extra stops, namely in Honfleur and Amiens. 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.

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.

The lovely city center of Amiens with its impressive Cathedral | © pictarena – Fotolia.com

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.

HOTEL – CAMPANILE BAYEUX
This is a 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 or connecting rooms. 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.

HOTEL – IBIS BUDGET BAYEUX
This 2* hotel has a very high rating of 8.3 on booking.com. 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). Breakfast is included in the price. It is located a few kilometers outside of Bayeux. If you are staying here the bus will drop you here before continuing to the other hotel. In the morning we arrange shared taxi rides to Bayeux where you can meetup with the rest of the group and join us by bus to Mont Saint-Michel. Note that due to EU regulations the driver is not allowed to move the bus until about 10h00, so we organise that you can go to Bayeux in the morning at about 09h00.

ROOM SHARING
If you travel alone you can prevent the single room surcharge by sharing a “twin room” (with 2 single beds) with someone who is in the same position. We offer male or female rooms and we can introduce you to all the other ladies or gentlemen 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 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).
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