Mont-Saint-Michel | France Photo Spot

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Mont-Saint-Michel-Photo by Dan Asaki
Mont-Saint-Michel-Photo by Dan Asaki

Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the world’s most stunning photo spots. The medieval commune has the appearance of a fortified castle built out into the English Channel along the coast of France. Easily one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, it attracts millions of visitors each year and is home to roughly 30 inhabitants. Mont-Saint-Michel is incredibly photogenic with its castle-like walls, tall abbey, and medieval appearance.

Mont-Saint-Michel has a long and storied history. It began as a stronghold during the sixth and seventh centuries before falling to the Franks. In 708, the first church was built here by Bishop Aubert in honour of Archangel Michael. From there, a small community sprang up, and the fortifications improved over several centuries. Mont-Saint-Michel became a critical strategic position during the Hundred Years War, as the Kingdom of England made repeated assaults on its fortifications but ultimately failed. After the French Revolution, it became a prison, and by the 1870s was recognized as a national historic treasure. Finally, in WWII, it was conquered by the Germans, who used it as an observation post.

Over its 1,300 year history, Mont-Saint-Michel has undergone many changes. However, one thing has always remained true. It is one of the most beautiful locations on earth. The tides that once drowned foreign invaders now serve to make it one of the best places on earth to take photos.

One of the best ways to take photos of Mont-Saint-Michel is at a distance when the tide is in and surrounds the island with water. Calm waters can add a reflective quality to the image, and early morning mists will add an ethereal touch to your photographs. Be sure to check the weather and tidal tables, and we recommend visiting in the fall season around September before it gets too cold and after most of the tourists have left.

Early mornings and late evenings are the best times of day as the mornings can offer some exciting weather effects, and in the evenings, Mont-Saint-Michel’s lights come on, and there are opportunities to get stunning sunset shots.

One of the most popular places to take photos of Mont-Saint-Michel from is the dam approximately 2-km south on the Coueson. Other popular photo spots include the northwestern edge of the farm fields and the bridge to Mont-Saint-Michel itself. Wherever you choose to shoot from, be aware of the tide and stay back from the water’s edge for your safety.

Bring a tripod with longer lenses, and be sure to dress and protect your kit from the weather. Finally, wear boots that can withstand a bit of wetness, mainly if you come during the lower tides because you may get muddy.

(Mont-Saint-Michel, France)

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