Reading and lounging
Your host passionately loves history and classical culture. If you ask him he will be happy to let you consult and read the numerous and rare books that fill the libraries throughout the house.
Our libraries contain a variety of works about national and Norman cultural inheritance, architecture, painting and sculpture, regionalism, the Norman ways and customs, art books and a selection of better classical French fiction and historian’s works.
The bed furnishings are custom made for your reading comfort.
In the Neighbourhood
A variety of services are available in our village of Genêts. The village is crossed by the little river “le Lerre” which flows through the stone quays of what used to be the very busy ancient little medieval harbour of Genêts.
Right nearby the house there are:
• a beautiful Roman Catholic church and its lovely quiet garden in the back,
• a little grocery store that sells a fair variety of newspapers,
• our local bakery which also produces chocolates and pastries
• a charming tea room/restaurant
On the beautiful main place of the village where is located the town hall and which has a superb view on the Mont Saint Michel there are :
• a general practitioner
• a good restaurant « Chez François » (you need to make reservations two weeks in advance) http://www.chezfrancois.fr/ Tel : 02 33 70 83 98
• a tobacconist (in the restaurant)
On the main street there are:
• A nurse’s practice
• A post office
• Two mechanic garages
• A nice “crêperie”
Your hostess will be delighted to help you make reservations. It is preferable to make reservations for the following activities well in advance and for some of them the tides have to be taken in account.
Ian, François, Christophe and Romain, “our” qualified guides, can take you out on private and/or spiritual crossings of the Bay towards the Mount and its sister island Tombelaine.
Ian Wood: http://www.seakayak-fr.com/ 06 08 77 04 37 firstname.lastname@example.org
François Lamotte d’Argy (can also take you out fowl hunting in his “gabion” ) 06 46 17 75 13
Romain Pilon: http://www.labaiecderomain.fr/
Daniel and Michel can take you across to the Mount and Tombelaine on horse back (for riders with some experience).
Michel also organises beautiful rides on the beach on his trustworthy, healthy horses and ponies for riders of all levels and ages. Please specify your level(s) and bring adapted horse boots or low horse boots with a little heel (we do not advise sneakers for security reasons), riding hats can be provided by Michel (or these supplies can be bought in the sports and hunting store near Avranches).
Claire teaches children on her ponies in her pony club and takes them out to the beach as well.
Estelle will be able to teach adults and children (dressage and jumping) and take them out around her more inland located club.
All these “horsy people” are personal acquaintances and friends, tried and selected by your hostess for their professional concern with rider safety and horse well being. Your hostess, an English speaking horse nut might be able to accompany you in your horse adventures if you do not feel confident enough with your French.
Ian Wood (an Englishman!) will also take you out to sea kayak and visit the oyster parks around Chausey, the beautiful nearest Channel Island http://www.seakayak-fr.com/
In the next village up the coast (Dragey) you can fly a ULA with Didier, a very experienced pilot, to circle the Mount or otherwise discover this utterly scenic area “from above”.
Tips for a good Bay crossing
If you want to cross the Bay please keep the following in mind: the bay is a changing moving world on its own where quick sands still claim their victims (help by helicopter is the only possibility but the Bay is so vast that one needs to be able to call the rescue teams who do not patrol on a regular basis). Crossing or even wandering in the Bay without a professional guide is not advisable at all. The quicksand patches are tricky and really difficult to detect for those who are not highly familiar with them. Even with a guide you might find yourself on all fours crawling in the mud before you know it, better not wear your camera or cellular around your neck unless they are waterproof or protected from water.
Most hikers and pilgrims prefer taking off their shoes after a while. The marine clay mud (“tangue” in French) is excellent for your health and barefoot one treads it much more easily. It is a good idea to bring a plastic bag to wrap your shoes before you tuck them away in your back pack: they will most probably already bear some marine mud stains when you will decide to take them off. Before one enters the soft sand and clay, one has to walk in the “herbus”, the grassy lands. They do not feel as nice to the bare feet as the “tangue”, which is why most people keep their shoes on for a while at least. During the winter season knee high rubber boots are needed. When the weather is cold, neoprene shoes and shorties are a good choice, especially since one might have to wade across shallow rivers (shorts or bathing suit bottoms are a good choice whatever the weather may be). In any case, bring a change of clothes, a small towel, bottled water, healthy snacks, sun protection and warm layered clothes as you will be as exposed to the elements as you would be at sea. All of your paraphernalia will have to fit in a back pack; you will need both hands free. Now you are ready for a memorable and highly enjoyable adventure in the Bay of the Mont Saint Michel!
Strolls, Visits and Beaches
We’ll lend you a detailed map of the surroundings. Two bicycles, a tennis table, a badminton set, garden seats and two tables are at your disposal in the park.
Just out the front gate, down our quaint little street one comes to the shore foot path. Stunning views (and sunsets) on the Bay of the Mont Saint Michel will entice you to go further left or right but make sure you have waterproof boots, stay on the shore and do not wander off towards the Mount or its sister island “Tombelaine” without a professional guide: there is real danger of running into quick sands.
To your right the shore path leads to the Bec d’Andaine and its large beach, to your left to the Groin du Sud with more incredible views and landscapes to take in. Here, at certain times of the year a spectacular tidal wave, the “mascaret”, can be seen rushing up the Sée river.
Right across from our house there is a fine artist’s pottery work shop and at the other end of the village a good aquarellist. (ceramique.terres-d-andaine.genets.over-blog.fr/ )
There are a lot of nice walks on the beach, the dunes or on the heights of the cliffs between Genêts and Saint Jean le Thomas.
We will be happy to show you our favourite nearby hidden spots for sunning and swimming and give you a tidal time-table.
A walk on the ancient «chemin des douaniers » on top of the cliffs of Champeaux and Carolles offers breathtaking views of the Bay and, around the small cape, of the beaches all the way up to Granville.
Hikers, runners and mountain bikers will be happy to discover the “Vallée du Lude” trails and “Cabane Vauban” fortifications.
Swimming in the sea is possible at almost any time of the day, regardless of the tides, on the beaches that go from Carolles to Granville. Nautical sports can also be practised in Jullouville and Granville.
For those who are really passionate horse lovers or racing aficionados early morning visits of the brand new top level obstacle race training track in Sartilly or the older track in the dunes can be organised by your hostess.
Day trips, Golf, Thermal therapy and Casinos
For those who like sea kayak : Ian (an Englishman!)will take you out on his professional oyster barge to visit the oyster parks around Chausey, the beautiful nearest channel island (plan on bringing a picnic) http://www.seakayak-fr.com/
The Casino of Granville http://www.casino-granville.com/index.php
In Granville, the lovely Jardin Christian Dior, its museum and stunning views on the sea
Thermal therapy in Granville
Golf of Granville
Visit the Channel Islands with ferry boats on departure from Granville and Saint Malo.
One day ferry boat trips to Chausey (the nearest and smallest Channel Island)
Deauville’s world famous Race horse auctions and shopping
Flat and obstacle racing at Deauville and Clairefontaine.
Casino of Deauville :
Golfs of Deauville :
Museums, Châteaux, Abbeys
The grand abbey church of the Mont Saint Michel and its enchanting Roman Catholic offices for the day http://www.abbaye-montsaintmichel.com/
The « Ecomusée de la Baie » of Saint Léonard shows all about the ancient Salt makers, the various workers of the sea of old, birds and flowers in the Bay.
The museum of Avranches
http://www.musees-basse-normandie.fr/musees-normandie-musees/musees-musees-normandie-actualites.php?idm=42 , Avranche’s botanical garden and its old Palais de Justice are of interest.
The very recommendable Scriptorial museum of Avranches hosts a permanent display of medieval manuscripts of the Mont Saint Michel. It tells also about their making and storage techniques, http://www.scriptorial.fr/
The Abbey of La Lucerne d’Outremer can be visited with or without a guide (make reservations) and holds traditional Roman Catholic Mass on Sunday (except in winter). It is surrounded by a beautiful forest.
We will be pleased to advise you about the lovely small country churches that can be visited in this area.
The Château de Fougères http://www.chateau-fougeres.com/ (02 99 99 79 59)
The Château de Vitré (02 99 74 58 59)
The Château de Combourg (02 99 73 22 95) www.chateau–combourg.com/
The Château de Pirou http://www.chateau-pirou.org/ (02 33 46 34 71)
The Abbey of Lessay and its concerts
Bricquebec (Hostellerie : 02 33 52 24 49)
Port Racine, the smallest sea port of France
Archeological excursions with the « Société d’Archéologie d’Avranches, Mortain et Granville » (in French, to be arranged with your host, no excursions during the summer months)
in Villedieu les Poeles (45 minute lovely drive on the Route de la Liberation, visit an ancient church bell foundry http://www.manchetourisme.com/fr/syndication/visites-techniques-gastronomie-et-terroir/detail/PCUNOR050FS0014N/VILLEDIEU-LES-POELES/
In Bayeux go and admire the world famous gigantic tapestries and the beautiful cathedral
In Valognes some fine 17 & 18th century private hotels and mansions can be admired
The famous national « Haras du Pin» the horse’s Versailles…