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Most Picturesque Town within 30 Min Drive Mont St-Michel?

Most Picturesque Town within 30 Min Drive Mont St-Michel?

Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 06:22 PM
  #1  
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Most Picturesque Town within 30 Min Drive Mont St-Michel?

Just beginning to plan. Is there a super-charming base within 30 minute drive of Mont St.Michelle? Were thinking of St. Malo, but it's a little farther than we want for this little leg of the trip. Thoughts??
kawh is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 07:31 PM
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Cancale-but not sure re the 30 minutes
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Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 09:04 PM
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Cancale is really nice. 51 km, 57 minutes when the roads are empty, according to www.viamichelin.com. Granville isn't bad either. 49 km, 55 minutes.

Are you talking about during tourist season or out of tourist season? That would be the main thing that increases travel time.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 09:43 PM
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kja
 
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I was a bit disappointed in St. Malo -- nice enough, I suppose, but certainly NOT super-charming IMO.

I thought Dinan stunningly charming, but its outside your 30 minute range. And I really enjoyed Rennes, but I think it's closer to an hour away.

It might help if we knew your purpose....
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 04:33 AM
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Everyone says stay IN MSM for the best experience of seeing the city--after the tourists have left.
And yes, what are you trying to do overall.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 10:01 PM
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just beginning to begin to plan this trip....

we are driving from paris and felt that we would be a bit tired to see MSM that day, so thought we would stay nearby for 2 nights and visit the 2nd day. wanted someplace very close so that we could go in a couple of times...
but perhaps Gretchen is right and we should just stay in MSM. if so, anything charming and at 100 E or less come to mind?? thanks.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 10:14 PM
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kja
 
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I was very glad I decided to stay on Mont St. Michel -- it was a delight to walk around after day-trippers left, and it was especially magical at night, IMO.

I got there during the late afternoon and wondered what madness had inspired my choice -- it was wall-to-wall people! But I found a quiet corner away from the crowds and stayed put there until the tide came in. (I was there for a spring tide -- awesome!) By then, all day-trippers had long since left, and I was free to roam in comfort.

The next morning, I saw the monastery before most day trippers arrived. By the time I left, the place was jam-packed -- quite unpleasantly so.

I would NOT have wanted to "go in a couple of times" -- no way!

I should add: I visited while the causeway was still in place. I'm not sure if it has been dismantled yet....

Hope that helps!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 10:53 PM
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yes! now i am remembering carcassonne all those years ago, and how wonderful it was at night.

for sure... must stay on the island... even if it's above budget.

any recommendations for particular rooms/hotels appreciated.
thanks.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 12:13 AM
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Cancale is okay if you like oysters.

I stayed near Dol de Bretagne a few years ago and found it delightful.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 01:50 AM
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We really like Cancale. North of Cancale is an area called La Pointe Du Grouin. One of my favorite spot in France, wear a sturdy shoes to walk, it is so beautiful. Nature at its best.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 03:32 AM
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<i>anything charming and at 100 E or less come to mind??</i>

There is a big hotel zone on the mainland where the obligatory car park is now located. The hotels there are in every price range with the shuttles running to the Mont about every 20 minutes until 1 a.m. I think it is plenty convenient for being able to see the Mont at night when there is nobody there.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 03:35 AM
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I should add that the night time view of Mont Saint Michel from the mainland there is absolutely spectacular and is much better than the night time view from the Mont itself, which is mostly spoiled by having floodlights in your face. Not that there is anything to see -- just darkness with a few coastal lights far away.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 04:32 AM
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I liked Dinan very much, just under an hour from Mount St. Michel.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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We had lunch in Dinan and then drove to Avranches, checked in, dropped our stuff and went to Mt. St. Michel in the late afternoon and evening. I'm not sure if the town was charming or not, because, for us, it was just a night stop before going on to the Normandy Beaches. It was very convenient.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for all...kerouac adds a good point on the night view OF m.s.m.and now thinking either on island or nearby w view...IF shuttles do run until after midnight....
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 05:25 PM
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kja
 
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"I should add that the night time view of Mont Saint Michel ... is much better than the night time view from the Mont itself, which is mostly spoiled by having floodlights in your face."

When I visited Mont St. Michel, back in the causeway days, I walked out the causeway a bit at night and had a truly spectacular view of the Mont, lit, but without light in my face. Maybe that is no longer an option?
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 07:50 PM
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I too have stayed overnight on MSM and agree that all you had to do was walk about 200 meters from the Mont to get a spectacular, detailed lit up night time view, which I far preferred to seeing it from the mainland where it was a blurry blip on the horizon. I'm sure that can still be done now with the new bridge too. And being able to step out the back door of my hotel onto the ramparts at 2AM and stroll around with a bottle of wine (or several), find a great terrace with a view over the bay and party with good friends was pretty cool too. Sorry K.

But anyway, to the OP, if you only have two days to spend in the area then I wouldn't base at the Mont anyway. I would make that a visit of a few hours and spend the rest of the time exploring the area. I think if you'll give up on the 30 minute driving radius and extend that a bit further you'd be better situated to visiting other sites in the area. If you don't need a lot of services in town then Saint-Suliac is one of France's Plus Beaux Villages and is a 45 minute drive from MSM. It's a beautiful harbor town on the Rance River and is centrally located for exploring that area. You'd be in good proximity to MSM, Saint-Malo, Dinard, Dinan, Cancale (and nearby scenic coastline), Jugon-les-Lacs, Combourg and Fougères.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 08:57 PM
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Even if you stay on the Mont, your car is going to stay back in the hotel zone on the mainland. That's just the way it is now.
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Old Jun 24th, 2015, 11:04 PM
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franch mystique... you are a few steps ahead of me. we have a week to 10 days to explore brittany and normandy... this was just the first place i was looking into, as we plan to go there first... which maybe isn't the best plan. i guess i am looking at it first, because it's the place i've wished to go for the longest!! will ask for more suggestions on the whole area soon!!
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 03:44 AM
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Here is the trip I made a year and a half ago: http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com...t-michel-night
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