The Unique Feudal Abbey of Mont Saint Michel

The Unique Feudal Abbey of Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is often called the Wonder of the West. During high tides, its slender towers and sky-scraping turrets, encircled by stout ramparts and battlements, appear to rise out of the middle of the bay. In addition to being home to the abbey that is its namesake, this feudal town once served as an impenetrable fortification and jail.

First consecrated in 706 A.D., and under construction for over six centuries, this amazingly preserved island now has only 50 permanent residents. Located in Normandy, it is a French icon receiving millions of visitors  every year.

The Bay of Mont Saint Michel is at its most spectacular twice a month, during the highest tides. It is worth trying to time your visit to these days, when the water completely surrounds the town. The tidal difference here can reach 49 feet, which is the highest tide in Europe and second only to the Bay of Fundy in Canada.

The closest airport to Mont Saint Michel is Rennes-Saint-Jacques. Though it’s a regional airport, it’s possible to fly there with miles. It’s a great option if you want to explore Brittany and Normandy in addition to Mont Saint Michel.

You can also fly to Paris and take a day trip to the abbey using the high-speed TGV train to Rennes or Pontorson, and then a bus to the island. The total journey takes about five hours. But flying directly to Rennes-Saint-Jacques airport cuts this time by at least three hours.

Mont Saint Michel, Normandy, Bretagne, France
The cloister in the abbey of Mont Saint Michel

An award flight to Rennes-Saint-Jacques airport is only possible with Delta SkyMiles. Typically, your best options will be:

  • Delta via Paris
  • Air France via Paris or London
  • Virgin Atlantic via Paris or London

You will pay 60,000 miles for economy and 125,000 miles for business, roundtrip. First class tickets can’t be purchased with SkyMiles.

Of course, flying to Paris gives you a lot more options.

AAdvantage Miles and the oneworld alliance

The following oneworld alliance members fly to Paris:

  • American Airlines via Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami and New York, and seasonally from Boston
  • US Airways via Philadelphia, and seasonally from Charlotte
  • British Airways via London
  • Finnair via Helsinki
  • Niki via Vienna

View to Mount St Michel with sheep in Normandy, France
Mont St Michel

Round-trip tickets cost:

  • 40,000 off-peak in economy
  • 60,000 in economy
  • 100,000 in business
  • 125,000 in first

MileagePlus Miles and the Star Alliance

The following Star Alliance members fly to Paris:

  • United Airlines via Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
  • Adria Airways via Ljubljana and Tirana
  • Aegan Airlines via Athens and Larnaca, and seasonally from Corfu, Kalamata, Heraklion, Rhodes and Thessaloniki
  • Air Canada via Montreal and Toronto
  • Brussels Airlines via Brussels
  • Croatia Airlines via Zagreb, and seasonally from Dubrovnik, Pula, Split and Zadar
  • LOT Polish Airlines via Warsaw
  • Lufthansa via Frankfurt or Munich
  • SAS via Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, and seasonally from Stavanger and Tromsø
  • Swiss via Zurich
  • Turkish Airlines via Istanbul and Ankara

Visit a beautiful island Mont Saint Michel in France
Sunset at Mont Saint Michel

Round-trip tickets cost:

  • 60,000 in economy
  • 115,000 to 140,000 in business
  • 160,000 in first

SkyMiles and the SkyTeam

The following SkyTeam members fly to Paris:

  • Delta via Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle, and seasonally from Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
  • Air France via Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
  • Aeroflot via Moscow
  • Air Europa via Malaga and Valencia
  • Alitalia via Milan and Rome
  • Czech Airlines via Prague
  • KLM via Amsterdam

Round-trip tickets cost:

  • 60,000 in economy
  • 125,000 in business

If you can schedule your trip during American Airlines’ off-peak dates, you’ll get the most value for your miles. You’ll save 20,000 miles on economy tickets to Paris between October 15 and May 15. During the rest of the year, you can fly coach on any of the alliances, and to either airport, for the same price. American also offers the best business and first class rates.

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