I visited Mont Saint-Michel completely unprepared, photographically speaking, and my experience was very different from Étretat.
Honestly only one thing was the same. The weather. It’s cold in Normandy! Coming from Sweden I expected to find a relatively good weather, instead it was challenging. At sunrise the temperature was around 0 °C and it was windy throughout the day.
While visiting Mont Saint-Michel I found out that this was not a coincidence, weather in Normandy is known to be pretty bad, so much that they even make fun of it in the postcards!
Accessing Mont Saint-Michel is a bit challenging, it’s definitely not photographer friendly. The road closes around 2-3 km from the town and you need a permit to go forward, or you need to have a reservation in a hotel or restaurant ahead. The free bus runs quite frequently, but even at 7 in the morning in November is completely full. And there is no free parking in a radius of 4-5 kilometers.
So for a casual photoshoot at sunrise or sunset it’s a bit annoying to go through all of this.
The fact that the place is completely full of tourists even in November is a bit uninspiring in my opinion. You certainly don’t get the same connection that you get in “wilder” place like Étretat. Also, most of the landscape spots I would say are outside the burgh. From inside the town I was mostly interested in the reflections on the sand exposed by the low tide.
The photos below are some of my favorites of that day.