You have been to Mont-Saint-Michel and you want to extend the adventure? After the history and architecture, visit the Alligator Bay animal park with a total immersion among animals from the 4 corners of the world! This park is located in Beauvoir, only 5 minutes from Mont-Saint-Michel.
In this article, find all our advices to prepare your visit in the wild world of reptiles.
This opinion is completely independent, based on our experiences. We visited the area anonymously, making our own choices, and paying all our bills in full.
Why visit Alligator Bay Park in Beauvoir?
IsAlligator Bay worth a visit? Our opinion:
Absolutely. Meet the panther chameleons, the Burmese star tortoises but also the spiny-tailed iguanas… So many reasons that make this unusual park contrast with the magical and medieval world of Mont-Saint-Michel and also worth a visit!
We loved this surprising but fascinating experience, we had fun like children.
Why isAlligator Bay famous?
Because it is the largest reptile farm in Europe. For almost 30 years, the Alligator Bay animal park located in Beauvoir, near Mont-Saint-Michel, has presented more than 700 animals from 5 continents. It was created by a reptile lover, Jean-Pierre Macé. Nearly 115,000 visitors come to see it each year.
To be sure to visit, book your time in advance!
Alligator Bay: extend the magic of Mont-Saint-Michel in another way
Between dragons, myths and dinosaurs… Walking around theAlligator Bay, we really felt like we were exploring another beautiful setting. We go from the medieval world of kings, knights and monks to a wild and unusual animal world… But it also appeals to our imagination. You will see animals that you would not have thought to come across near the Mont-Saint-Michel!
Our favorite moment: the 1001 colors of the labyrinth of dragons
The steps of the visit will be detailed later in this article. But we couldn’t help but share our best moment with you right now: the dragon maze!
Beyond its name, we liked this surprising space for several reasons:
- The multitudes of lizards and snakes that, for some, really stare you in the eye.
- The colors of their scales, epidermis and carapaces are more original than the others.
- The very educational explanations around each species.
Practical advice: Alligator Bay Park near Mont-Saint-Michel
Where is Alligator Bay Park
The Alligator Bay Wildlife Park is located in the village of Beauvoir, 5 minutes from the Mont-Saint-Michel parking lots along the main road.
There is a big sign that you can’t miss! The exact address is 62 route du Mont-Saint-Michel in Beauvoir (50170) in Normandy.
How to get there?
This park is not very accessible by public transportation so the easiest way is to drive. Indeed, you will be able to park your car easily.
- Driving time from Mont-Saint-Michel: 5min.
- Driving time from Avranches : 25min.
- Driving time from Caen: 1h20.
- Driving time from Bayeux: 1h20.
- Driving time from Rennes: 1 hour.
OUR ADVICE FOR RENTING A CAR IN Normandy
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- Choose a car that is comfortable enough (distances can be long) but compact (some parking lots and villages are narrow).
- Think of thecomplete insurance (some roads are tortuous and narrow).
- There is a lot of demand, book it early.
You can park right next toAlligator Bay at the entrance to the park. A dedicated parking lot located behind the buildings is open to visitors. A sign indicates how to get there from the road.
Best time to visit the park
There is really no better time to visitAlligator Bay. If you don’t like the crowds, avoid the high season. See the opening hours further down in this article. In fact, they change depending on the time of year.
Visit Alligator Bay Park: tips + map
Alligator Bay is accessible to the disabled from the parking lot and with ramps throughout the tour.
A snack area is open all year round to allow you to have a snack during your visit. In July and August, you will have the chance to taste also sandwiches, pancakes, French fries, salads or crepes. And of course, prepared with fresh local products!
The park is separated into 3 areas with animals and an outdoor area. Here is a map of the park to give you an idea:
Alligator Bay with children
Alligator Bay is a nice place for a family walk. You will be as amazed as your children at the originality of the place! Especially since the explanations along the way are very educational and instructive for children and adults alike.
In addition, a playground is set up just before the park exit!
If you are visiting this wildlife park with small children, stroller travel should be easy with the many ramps along the tour route.
Also, the toilets have a changing area for babies.
The animations of theAlligator Bay
Depending on the day of your visit, you will have the chance to enjoy the animations:
- In the alligator greenhouse, the crocodile meal every Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 pm,
- In the turtle farm, the exhibition “the legend of the dragons” in the animation room every day during opening hours; and the turtle meal every day at 2:30 pm,
- In the labyrinth of the dragons: the meal of the herbivores every day at 11:30 am and the meal of the lizards or snakes every day at 3:30 pm.
How long to visit and main difficulties
Allow 1 to 2 hours depending on your passion for all these creatures! You have the possibility to go around the course at least twice during the same visit.
Schedules and prices
TheAlligator Bay is open:
- Every Sunday and holiday, except December 25 and January 1.
- From 10am to 6pm every day during the school vacations of February, March, October, November and the Christmas vacations.
- From 10am to 7pm every day from April to September.
- From 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm the first week of February, the last four weeks of March, in October outside of school vacations and the second week of November.
- 15 € per adult (over 12 years old).
- 10 € per child between 3 and 12 years old.
- Free admission for children under 3 years old.
Remember to reserve your seats now by clicking here.
Group rates are also available directly on theAlligator Bay website.
The park is closed every year from mid-November to mid-December and then all of January. Be sure to check the officialAlligator Bay website for any updates to schedules or rates.
Lodgings in the vicinity
On the Mont-Saint-Michel, in the countryside or in a neighboring town, you will find your happiness to lodge without worry. Here is our advice and our selection according to your tastes and your desires.
WHERE TO SLEEP AT Mont-Saint-Michel
Choose one of the 7 hotels on the mountain, within the city limits – see our article
- The historic Auberge Saint-Pierre Hotel – see prices, photos and availability
Or sleep in the part called La Caserne which is between the parking lots and the footbridge to Mont-Saint-Michel.
- Mercure 4 starhotel – see prices, pictures and availability
And if you are looking for luxury, check out our article dedicated to luxury hotels near Mont-Saint-Michel.
- The charming guest house Clos de Gilles – see prices, photos and availability
The Normandy countryside is very green and inspiring. At the bend in the forest or in the fields, pretty villages with beautiful buildings transport you to another world, or even another era.
- Hotel Ermitage at 5min – see prices, pictures and availability
- Château de Boucéel at 30min – see prices, pictures and availability
To eat, you will have the embarrassment of choice! On the Mount (intramural), at the Barracks or in the nearby communities, there is a good supply of restaurants.
To decide which place will be the best for you, find all our advices on the 12 best restaurants to eat in Mont-Saint-Michel and its surroundings.
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Start of the tour atAlligator Bay: the turtle farm
Let’s start with the turtle farm. Species of all kinds and sizes were walking around in front of us. And apparently it was mating season at the turtle farm as several of them showed affection and mated.
Throughout the visit, we learn a lot about the different species: red turtles, Florida turtles, turtles… We had a lot of fun!
This space counts more than 400 turtles: aquatic, terrestrial, herbivorous and… Carnivores! And yes, there are carnivorous turtles. These are the alligator and snapping turtles, they feed mainly on ducks and fish.
We particularly liked the Burmese turtles, a protected species in danger of extinction. It is mainly found in Myanmar (ex-Burma) and it can measure up to 29cm when adult. There is also the Indian star tortoise! These herbivorous cousins are easily recognizable by the difference in colors and patterns on their plastron.
We also had the chance to see very close to it turtles criss-crossed. This species of tetrapod vertebrates can reach up to 100 kg as an adult! It is rather found in North Africa, from Mauritania to Eritrea, thus a very vast place of life from west to east! It is the largest turtle in Africa and the third largest turtle in the world after the Galapagos Islands and the Seychelles. It is a protected species which can live until almost… 100 years!
The labyrinth of dragons
More than 200 animals live together in this area of the park. Get up close and personal with rhinoceros iguanas, Montpellier snakes, anacondas, pythons and atlas lizards thanks to the observation pyramids and tunnels installed throughout the area!
Take the time to discover another marvel: the panther chameleon native to Madagascar. With a size of 55cm for the male and up to 35cm for the female, it is one of the largest chameleons in the world! It moves around during the day and tends to prefer shrubs. We were dazzled by its bright colors.
The terrariums, or living quarters for these animals, are bioclimatic atAlligator Bay. The ecosystem in which each species evolves could thus be reconstituted.
You will also see the spiny-tailed iguana and learn a lot about the lifestyle of this small Mexican lizard thanks to the explanatory panels placed along the route.
Do you dream of seeing all these reptiles in real life? Reserve your slot now by clicking here!
For example, admire above the sumptuous yellow-orange shades of this snake. A taste of the 1001 colors that await you at the Dragon Maze! It was our favorite place atAlligator Bay!
The dinosaur plain (yes, you read that right!)
Between the turtle farm and the alligator greenhouse, an outdoor area is set up with reproductions of tyrannosaurus, triceratops, diplodocus, stegosaurus… Almost life-size!
There was even a reproduction of the largest crocodile that lived on Earth more than 112 million years ago: the Sarchosuchus. The head of this fearsome predator could exceed the size of an adult!
One of the dinosaurs was in motion during our visit, all the adults were glued to this amazing show! We were really bluffed and we did not expect this staging at all!
Finally: the alligator greenhouse
Finally, the tour ends with a visit to the alligator greenhouse. These fascinating animals are descended directly from dinosaurs, just like birds.
First immersed in a forest and then in the middle of an oasis, we were amazed by all the caimans, alligators and other crocodiles that wandered in front of us. We almost felt like we were in Indiana Jones’ boots in the middle of the waterfalls and suspension bridges. Just like in the movies!
In this greenhouse, we met, among others, a new protected species and unfortunately already endangered: the Siamese crocodile. Often confused with the saltwater crocodile for its color and scales, it prefers rainforests and swamps in Southeast Asia. The males can measure up to 3.5m long and the females 2m.
Our top 3 things to do at Mont-Saint-Michel
Walk to the mount
Many people rush inside the Mont. They get out of their car, get on the shuttle and follow the people inside. But, in our opinion, choosing to walk there from the parking lots is the best option.
The path is flat and easy. Count 40min to 50min of walking.
Enjoy the sea air and the changing landscape as you approach the mountain; with the dam, fields, sand…
The anticipation makes the experience even better!
Visit the Abbey
The jewel of Mont-Saint-Michel is of course the abbey built over the centuries on top of this rocky island.
It is a marvel of architecture and history.
It is particularly known for its cloister built in the 13th century, as if suspended between sky and sea.
Be careful, there are a lot of stairs to visit it.
And you have to book your visit before – bookhere
See all our tips
Explore the ramparts
In addition to the main street and the abbey, do not miss the ramparts.
We recommend that when you arrive at Mont-Saint-Michel, you go up to the abbey by the ramparts and come back down by the main street or other alleys.
Going up the covered way offers you views of the village, the roofs, the abbey and the bay. Probably our favorite part of the visit to the Mont outside the abbey.
And to learn more:
Our complete selection of 21 things to do in Mont-Saint-Michel
- If you are visiting the region, find all our advices to choose the museums to visit in Mont-Saint-Michel and around.
- Mont-Saint-Michel is also home to a true architectural feat and a cultural symbol: its abbey. We have explored it for you. Need to prepare your visit to the Wonder of the West? It’s over here.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO Normandy
- Where to stay in Normandy – best places and hotels
- See our tips for renting a car at CDG airport, Orly airport, Beauvais airport, Caen, Rouen, Bayeux…
Frequently asked questions
Are there crocodiles in the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay?
No, there are no crocodiles in the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. You can observe crocodiles, caimans, alligators and other reptiles at Alligator Bay Wildlife Park in Beauvoir, a 5-minute drive from Le Mont. On the other hand, on the bay, you can see sheep, horses and several species of birds flying over it. Among the marine mammals, a few seals and dolphins sometimes venture into the bay at high tide.
How much does the biggest turtle at Alligator Bay Animal Park weigh?
The biggest turtle in Alligator Bay is a giant turtle, it weighs 250 kg.
Are there crocodiles in the wild in France?
No, there are no crocodiles in the wild in France. The only crocodiles that you will be able to observe will be in animal parks like theAlligator Bay not far from the Mont-Saint-Michel for example.
What is the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
The crocodile and the alligator are part of the reptile family, they are both oviparous and carnivorous. However, the crocodile has a thinner and longer snout unlike the alligator and the caiman which have a wider jaw.