Let’s be clear: it’s almost impossible to botch photography at Mont Saint Michel. This is the place that inspired the castle from Tangled, for crying out loud!
That said, there are a few places that you’ll definitely want to hit on your day trip to this fabulous Normandy heritage site.
The road in
Of all the lovely, compelling places we stopped for photos, this may be my favorite. Mont Saint Michel cuts an iconic silhouette against the landscape, and is something of a travel photography staple. But that doesn’t make it any less breathtaking to shoot!
The walk up to the city is chock full of incredible photo ops. We probably stopped every few hundred feet, convinced this place couldn’t possible look cooler – until it did. Perhaps the best part of this particular piece is that you get an amazing experience to accompany that lovely view. Now, every time I look back at the photos we took on our walk up, I can appreciate the view – but I also remember vividly how lovely the air smelled, how uneven some of the terrain was, and how nice the breeze felt.
On the “street”
If you’re a student of crowds – avid people-watcher, street photographer, that sort of thing – you’ll get your fill if you go to Mont Saint Michel, particularly in the summer months. The “streets” (purely for pedestrians) are usually packed with people from all walks of life, speaking tons of different languages, and all trying to figure out where they want to eat, rest, or explore.
You’ll get shots of people sunning themselves, enjoying ice cream, scolding their little ones, or perusing shops. It’s a compressed study in humanity, for sure!
From the top ramparts near the church
It’ll take you a bit of a hike – and paying the entrance fee to get here. But this is another spot where you’ll be hard-pressed to take a crappy shot. Look at that sky and those low-tide beaches! You can also snap some lovely architectural shots of the church facade and some top-down shots of the abbey, as a whole.
Staircases, walkways, and random doors and windows
As you walk around – before and after the abbey tour – you may notice that there are little architectural features everywhere. Arches, doorways, gargoyles, stairways (even a few roped off or gated off stairways to nowhere) are all in abundant supply and are great subjects for lovely photos.
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Also published on Medium.