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Rouen to Mont Saint Michel - Sep 2023

Ballyroebuck

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Rouen to Mt St Michel Jun/23
My desire to make the pilgrimage began with reading Mont Saint Michel and Chartes by Henry Adams. Then from a priest friend, a gift of a framed print of Mont Saint Michel, then I read Derry Brabbs book Pilgrimage, and finally our parish priests recitation of the St Michel prayer, at the conclusion of each Sunday Mass all added up to something I needed to do.

With a friend I made the Rouen to Mont Saint Michel pilgrimage September 6 through the 23rd. For the well experienced pilgrims and readers of the forum, this was my first time making a pilgrimage, so I have nothing to compare it to. That said, it was one of the best things I've done. I found the route well marked, but where I became confused, dropping the routes into the OSM AND mapping app was a huge help. GPX files and a mountain of other support is found here: https://www.lescheminsdumontsaintmichel.com/spip/spip.php?article148&lang=en

For the entire 200 plus miles we didn't see any others on the path and the families we stayed with said for the entire year they hosted 6 to 10 pilgrims. So in my mind the lack of others, implying a uniqueness of the route, made it all the more special. That said, I hope others, many others, make the pilgrimage through beautiful, friendly and welcoming Normandy.IMG_20230913_125238756.jpgIMG_20230923_164010668_HDR.jpgIMG_20230915_132441130_HDR.jpgIMG_20230918_131229288.jpg
 

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Last edited:
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
I loved the route from Cherbourg to Mont Saint Michel! (And then I was heading south to Clisson - which is a dual direction route- north to Mont St Michel, south to Santiago- Clisson is a popular route to MStM) With its own credential to get stamped and a certificate are special too. I loved crossing the bay guided across the sands, and staying on the island.
It's definitely special!!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
I loved the route from Cherbourg to Mont Saint Michel! (And then I was heading south to Clisson - which is a dual direction route- north to Mont St Michel, south to Santiago- Clisson is a popular route to MStM) With its own credential to get stamped and a certificate are special too. I loved crossing the bay guided across the sands, and staying on the island.
It's definitely special!!
Please tell me where I can find out more about the credencial and certificate. Thanks.
 
I have been to the beautiful Mount Saint Michel, but I'd never heard of a walking route at the time.
Your pictures are lovely and after a quick look at the website, it looks like it has a lot of good information to get a person interested.
 
Please tell me where I can find out more about the credencial and certificate. Thanks.


There is an issue on the association's website that in the English version some sections are missing - including the practical info section and accomodation (Hébergement) which are on the French.

The "carnet" (credential/passport) is available, plus special "tampon" (stamps) for the route in many towns in tourism office or mairie(town hall). The certificate is issued by the tourist office or the Siloe bookshop on the Mont.
 
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Great Photos and a wonderful story! Thanks for the inspiration. St Michael is the patron saint of paratroopers, so a pilgrimage to Mont St Michel is on the list.
 
Please tell me where I can find out more about the credential and certificate. Thanks.
roving rufus is right, you'll have to do a little hunting on the website for some of the items or information. Here is the page you're looking for.

 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Dear Ballyroebuck,
Like that name!
Do you have an itinerary that you would be willing to share?
Plan on doing this route in May ‘24. Don’t have quite as much time as you did but I am sure that can be adjusted.
Also do you have your list of lodging and mileage?
Suzanne
 
We walked to MSM from the beaches of Normandy through Caen. Also a beautiful route that has a guide (in French) but little pilgrim support. There are a number of routes supported by that association, each ending in MSM. If you walk, book the pilgrim accommodation on the island itself. “Donativo” with a fixed price 🤔 with a fabulous view of the bay, kitchen facilities, and basic bedding.
 
We walked to MSM from the beaches of Normandy through Caen. Also a beautiful route that has a guide (in French) but little pilgrim support. There are a number of routes supported by that association, each ending in MSM. If you walk, book the pilgrim accommodation on the island itself. “Donativo” with a fixed price 🤔 with a fabulous view of the bay, kitchen facilities, and basic bedding.
That’s the route that caught my eye! How did you find accommodations ?
 
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That’s the route that caught my eye! How did you find accommodations ?

It wasn’t easy! Happy to supply more info if you PM me, but I’ll say that we mostly used booking.com and Google maps to locate places near the route to stop. The MSM pilgrim group does have a guide for this route but it is all in French, takes awhile to ship internationally, and didn’t provide accommodation names. We stayed in a variety of gitês, guest rooms, Airbnb, hotels, inns, and even a gypsy wagon. I’d recommend each place we stayed so that’s a start, but sometimes there were better places that we wanted that were already booked or closed for the season (mid-October).

Contact me if you’d like to discuss this more as I don’t want to hijack this thread.
 
That’s the route that caught my eye! How did you find accommodations ?
Les Chemins du Mont-Saint-Michel sent me a list of possible accommodations with families along the route. Due to many of them being located well off the path, I primarily stayed in hotels, and rental apartments I found on Booking.com.
 
Dear Ballyroebuck,
Like that name!
Do you have an itinerary that you would be willing to share?
Plan on doing this route in May ‘24. Don’t have quite as much time as you did but I am sure that can be adjusted.
Also do you have your list of lodging and mileage?
Suzanne
Suzanne,

I downloaded the GPX files for each leg from this page:

Then I emailed the files to myself and uploaded them to the OsmAnd offline mapping app (download the Normandy map to OsmAnd first). It really worked well.

Here is the mileage.
STAGES
Following correspondence with The Association, I received a list of possible accommodations, most of which are commercial, but included a few home stays. I did pretty well using Booking.com and other vacation rental sites.
 
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It wasn’t easy! Happy to supply more info if you PM me, but I’ll say that we mostly used booking.com and Google maps to locate places near the route to stop. The MSM pilgrim group does have a guide for this route but it is all in French, takes awhile to ship internationally, and didn’t provide accommodation names. We stayed in a variety of gitês, guest rooms, Airbnb, hotels, inns, and even a gypsy wagon. I’d recommend each place we stayed so that’s a start, but sometimes there were better places that we wanted that were already booked or closed for the season (mid-October).

Contact me if you’d like to discuss this more as I don’t want to hijack this thread.
@Ballyroebuck Thank you both so much! Something to dream about this winter!
 
Suzanne,

I downloaded the GPX files for each leg from this page:

Then I emailed the files to myself and uploaded them to the OsmAnd offline mapping app (download the Normandy map to OsmAnd first). It really worked well.

Here is the mileage.
STAGES
Following correspondence with The Association, I received a list of possible accommodations, most of which are commercial, but included a few home stays. I did pretty well using Booking.com and other vacation rental sites.
Fabulous, merci. along with VacaJoes itinerary and yours I have a great base to start. Suzanne
 
It wasn’t easy! Happy to supply more info if you PM me, but I’ll say that we mostly used booking.com and Google maps to locate places near the route to stop. The MSM pilgrim group does have a guide for this route but it is all in French, takes awhile to ship internationally, and didn’t provide accommodation names. We stayed in a variety of gitês, guest rooms, Airbnb, hotels, inns, and even a gypsy wagon. I’d recommend each place we stayed so that’s a start, but sometimes there were better places that we wanted that were already booked or closed for the season (mid-October).

Contact me if you’d like to discuss this more as I don’t want to hijack this thread.
I walked from Mont Saint Michel south to mark my retirement from serving the Queen, and obtaining accommodation was a challenge. Usually my innkeeper or the owner of the gîte would dig someone up for me and call them to reserve me a place but I soon found that the mairie in the little villages, or even patrolling police (!) would be very helpful. The French are wonderfully (if not uniformly) hospitable and helpful and you will have a great time. Note that the water in cemetery taps is potable.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.


There is an issue on the association's website that in the English version some sections are missing - including the practical info section and accomodation (Hébergement) which are on the French.

The "carnet" (credential/passport) is available, plus special "tampon" (stamps) for the route in many towns in tourism office or mairie(town hall). The certificate is issued by the tourist office or the Siloe bookshop on the Mont.
Thank you so much for that. I did not realise that the problem was only on the english language option. And I actually speak french best. I spend months searching usefull information about St. Michael's Way, and they all came to that website, with its flaws. Only yestarday, after reading your message, I could finnaly switch to french and get a lot of good information there!
 
My desire to make the pilgrimage began with reading Mont Saint Michel and Chartes by Henry Adams. Then from a priest friend, a gift of a framed print of Mont Saint Michel, then I read Derry Brabbs book Pilgrimage, and finally our parish priests recitation of the St Michel prayer, at the conclusion of each Sunday Mass all added up to something I needed to do.

With a friend I made the Rouen to Mont Saint Michel pilgrimage September 6 through the 23rd. For the well experienced pilgrims and readers of the forum, this was my first time making a pilgrimage, so I have nothing to compare it to. That said, it was one of the best things I've done. I found the route well marked, but where I became confused, dropping the routes into the OSM AND mapping app was a huge help. GPX files and a mountain of other support is found here: https://www.lescheminsdumontsaintmichel.com/spip/spip.php?article148&lang=en

For the entire 200 plus miles we didn't see any others on the path and the families we stayed with said for the entire year they hosted 6 to 10 pilgrims. So in my mind the lack of others, implying a uniqueness of the route, made it all the more special. That said, I hope others, many others, make the pilgrimage through beautiful, friendly and welcoming Normandy.View attachment 160722View attachment 160723View attachment 160785View attachment 160786
Thank you for sharing the experience. I'm seriously thinking about walking Rouen to Mont-Saint-Michel in 2025. As every pilgrimage, I know that there are a lots of itinerarys. I have not decided myself yet. For now, though, I think about this one (Rouen). Others important competing options are Voiei de Chartres (but it would take more days than I dispose now), voie de Paris (too long, also), voie des Plantagenêts. The good thing about Rouen is that the pilgrim would walk through all 5 departments from Normandy. Plus, I have an emotional conection with Caminos and Rouen: it was in may-2017, when I spend a day in Rouen, that a saw a Saint-Jacques-shell in front of the Cathedral, and that image stuck in my mind. A few months later, it turn into a plan, to walk Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostella, wich I did in april-may 2018. Then Camino Portugués february 2019, and Camino Primitivo october 2021. But after further readings, I think that the symbol that I saw in Rouen was probably not the plain mark of Camino de Santiago. It was more likely the michelot symbol, with the shell in from of a sillouette of Mont-Saint-Michel. So now I really want to do this walk!
 
My desire to make the pilgrimage began with reading Mont Saint Michel and Chartes by Henry Adams. Then from a priest friend, a gift of a framed print of Mont Saint Michel, then I read Derry Brabbs book Pilgrimage, and finally our parish priests recitation of the St Michel prayer, at the conclusion of each Sunday Mass all added up to something I needed to do.

With a friend I made the Rouen to Mont Saint Michel pilgrimage September 6 through the 23rd. For the well experienced pilgrims and readers of the forum, this was my first time making a pilgrimage, so I have nothing to compare it to. That said, it was one of the best things I've done. I found the route well marked, but where I became confused, dropping the routes into the OSM AND mapping app was a huge help. GPX files and a mountain of other support is found here: https://www.lescheminsdumontsaintmichel.com/spip/spip.php?article148&lang=en

For the entire 200 plus miles we didn't see any others on the path and the families we stayed with said for the entire year they hosted 6 to 10 pilgrims. So in my mind the lack of others, implying a uniqueness of the route, made it all the more special. That said, I hope others, many others, make the pilgrimage through beautiful, friendly and welcoming Normandy.View attachment 160722View attachment 160723View attachment 160785View attachment 160786
Have you always slept in family houses ("chambre d'hôtes", or in "accueil miquelots")? In my others experiences, mostly through Spain and Portugal, I used to stay in albergues municipales or albergues paroquiales. I think family houses will offer a rich experience, especially in a route with few or even none pilgrims. Was it easy to find houses available? Did you always called in avance for booking? The houses usually had to option to dinner with the owners?
 
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