Will the three million visitor mark be exceeded in 2023? The influx of tourists, observed at Mont-Saint-Michel on the Ascension weekend, suggests this. More than 33,000 people thus criss-crossed the alleys of the Norman islet on Friday May 19 alone, barely approaching the record level of August 18, 2022, which until then stood at 36,000 tourists. “In less than four hours, we sold 10,500 entrance tickets for the abbey, which had never happened before,” says Thomas Velter, general manager of the public institution that manages the monument.

The influx was such that the round trips of the shuttles had to be interrupted, from noon, to prevent a complete congestion of the site. This did not prevent holidaymakers and pilgrims from waiting on site for up to two hours before being able to enter. The authorities have, at the same time, multiplied the messages inviting visitors to postpone their arrival. “Today we have to think about a way to stem these big waves”, adds Thomas Velter, who is currently talking with the prefect of the Channel to find a solution to this problem. “It’s about the safety of tourists,” he justifies.

��Due to the very high attendance this day and during this weekend of the ascent, we advise you to delay your arrival at the

To prevent quotas from being introduced, an option that is all the more difficult since the island is home to a municipality, the public establishment has already adopted a pricing policy intended to smooth flows. “In other words, we have increased parking prices in the summer and lowered them in the winter by introducing intermediate pricing during school holidays,” explains Thomas Velter.

Will this be enough to better spread out the arrival of tourists? The year 2023 promises to be exceptional because of the celebrations that surround this year the millennium of the laying of the first stone of the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel. The high equinox tides that restore the site’s island character have drawn impressive crowds this spring. The eclectic program offered in the coming months should not see the flow of visitors dry up.

A way to celebrate the anniversary of Mont-Saint-Michel in style and boost attendance at the site which, even if it exceeds 3 million visitors this year, will still be lower than that of the Palace of Versailles (7 million tourists last year) or the Eiffel Tower (5.9 million tickets sold in 2022).

The Norman building is, for its part, the most visited of the 100 sites of the network of centers of national monuments (CMN). Far ahead of the Arc de Triomphe (1.7 million tickets sold) and the Sainte-Chapelle (1.2 million) in Paris, which however saw their attendance triple in 2022 compared to the previous year.