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The Bay of Mont Saint Michel is the theatre of the highest tides in continental Europe. This is the guarantee of a splendid aquatic choreography, and as a bonus, the rare phenomenon of a tidal bore.If there is a natural phenomenon that the Mediterranean envies us, it is our tides!
With the Marvel of the Western World, that Victor Hugo called "the marvellous pyramid", as a background, it is a wonderful sight. During spring tides the sea withdraws from the Bay, 15 km from the Mont, uncovering thousands of acres of salt meadows, sediments, sand and rivers. At low tide, pools of water create iridescent reflections on the sand. Then the sea returns "at the speed of a galloping horse", as the local saying goes. It is important to arrive two hours before high water if you wish to see the tide coming in on a day of spring tide. When the tide is especially high, another phenomenon, the tidal bore, occurs. It is only seen in a score of estuaries world-wide, and can be observed from the Mont Saint Michel and at the Pointe du Grouin du Sud, near Vains. A tidal bore is a sudden rise in the water level in a river or an estuary, caused by the wave of the incoming tide during spring tides. Surfers compete in distance races on the wave. By 2015 the project to clear the sand around the Mont should be completed and it will become a true island again, when the spring tides will be even more spectacular. Beware, however! Don't lose sight of the fact that it is very dangerous to venture in the bay alone, including in the vicinity of the Mont-Saint-Michel.... read more