324km (201 miles) W of Paris; 129km (80 miles) SW of Caen; 48km (30 miles) E of St-Malo

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont-St-Michel is one of the most alluring spots on France’s northern coast. The fortified island seems to float on a shifting bed of sand and sea. Once a bastion marking the border between Normandy and Brittany, then a place of monastic retreat, this Disney-like castle now attracts 3 million visitors every year. In high summer it’s exceptionally busy, but enthralling nevertheless.