When should you visit a historic site? Historic sites are locations where pieces of political, cultural, or social history have been preserved. Often due to their cultural value. Historic sites can be temples, whole cities, pyramids, castles, churches or any other kind of buildings.
Everything on the Mount is influenced by the tides and the weather. In contrast to Mont St. Michel the island is surrounded by the sea and accessible by feet for a time frame of roughly 3-4 hours. It’s one of the most popular and iconic landmarks in Cornwall with roughly 300.000 paying visitors at the Mount plus many more, so crowds can spoil this exceptional experience. If you spend a couple of days in the Penzance area, come here twice. Notice it’s closed on Saturdays and even boat transfer is not offered. Usually, the island and the castle remain closed from late December until mid-February! Continue reading to get all insights for an unforgettable visit at St. Michaels Mount.
Each season is special and worth a visit. If possible try to experience St. Michaels Mont during high and low tide. It’s outstanding waiting on the cobblestone walkway for the incoming tide and the first waves. The exposed causeway to the island is approx. 2 hours before until 2 hours after low tide accessible. Usually, once a day and once in the night. Therefore, check the tide times first. Tide Times The Mount
Time of Day for Photography
Come here in the evening for a perfect shot of the Mount with the sunset in the back.
Crowds and Weather by Season
Most tourists come here from April to September the “driest” months of the year. However, it’s often misty at the Mount. If possible, come on a sunny day. During the day the Mount gets overrun at low tide. If you are not a National Trust member, you have to queue for tickets for the castle. Avoid late morning and midday when the guided bus tours arrive, and people queue in the entire town of Marazion for a boat ferry at high tide. The same can happen when you want to leave the Mount. During high tide, the boat transfer for 2 £ and kids 1 £ one way is offered. Take your time at the Mount; visit the garden and the castle and walk back on the ancient cobblestone pathway at low tide.
This time of the year gives you the opportunity to experience the unique atmosphere of the Mount. March and April are quieter while more tourists visit Cornwall from May onwards. However, May is still bearable, and the weather may be good as well. March is still pretty cold on average 10°C at daytime and in May around 14°C but can be warmer as well.
June is busier while July and August are the worst time of the year. You almost can’t avoid crowds except late in the evening and early morning. It’s quite difficult to enjoy this unique place with so many people taking pictures. On the opposite, the weather can be gorgeous and warm.
September is similar to May and a pleasant month as well with daily temps on average around 17°C. The crowds thin out in October and November is pretty quiet, but therefore it rains often. You can enjoy the special atmosphere that exists at the Mount.
December is also a good month to avoid the crowds except after Christmas. But check first if the castle is open. The opening times change each year. The castle and the island can be closed from late December to mid-February. There is a huge amount of precipitation, and daily temps are chilly below 10°C.
3 Top Tips to Avoid the Crowds
- Come early morning before the tour buses arrive.
- Another option is the afternoon; stay until the evening, but check tides and boat transfer first.
- If you don’t want to visit the castle just the Mount; come on a Saturday. This is the quietest day of the week.
Accommodations in Marazion and Cornwall
We spent 10 days in Cornwall. To get the most out of our stay with less driving, we’d booked two cottages on different locations — the reason that we visited the Mount twice; once in the morning for a couple of hours and again in the evening when most of the people had left the Mount and the castle was already closed. This was a magic moment with a memorable sunset. Check out the hotels and cottages in Marazion, Penzance or in St. Yves. For St. Yves check out if parking nearby is available. Bookmark the link and get the best prices for your stay in Cornwall.
Boat and Amphicraft Rides
You get to the Mount always during high tide from three different landing points in Marazion. Depending on the time of the day you may queue pretty long either going to the Mount or back to Marazion although there are a fleet of boats for your transport, often six and even more.
The sea is often rough during winter. An amphicraft was built in 2002 and is used instead from the slipway in Marazion carpark for 3 £. This is quite an experience with space for 46 guests.
Opening Times Castle
The opening times change pretty often. In between the castle remains closed for a week. From late December to mid-February the castle and island are closed in 2019! Saturdays are also closed. It usually opens at 10.30 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. except for summer; closure at 5.30 p.m. Last admission is 45 minutes before closing. Check the opening hours first if you like to have a look into the castle. Closures can happen due to a bad weather forecast as well. Opening Times Castle
Opening Times Garden
The castle’s garden is not often open to the public. It’s open from mid-April until late September. During the flower season until the end of June from Monday to Friday. All other months on Thursdays and Fridays only. Last admission 45 minutes before closure. If the garden is open one of the gardeners gives detailed information about the garden and plants at 1 p.m.
Guided village and harbour tours are offered daily at 11.30 a.m., 1.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. except for Saturday.
The best time to visit Mont Saint Michel with pleasant weather is from May to October. However, exceptional is the highest tidal range here of entire Europe with roughly 15 meters. This makes a visit during spring tide a unique experience; only then the island is surrounded by the sea and not accessible.
Update: Next Spring tide in 2020 on March 11. However, the day before and after the sea-level is also above 14 meters. Mont Saint Michel is surrounded by the sea for three days in March. April 8-10 will be amazing, too and then again in September.
Mont Saint Michel the most visited destination in the Normandy with an estimated three million visitors and pilgrims each year. The island is situated 600 meters from the mainland with its own microclimate. Mont Saint Michel is 78 meters / 256 feet high.
Tides at Mont-Saint-Michel
If possible, visit Mont St. Michel during low tide. Spend a couple of hours on the island and the Abbey and wait for the incoming high tide. Ask at the information centre close to the parking and opposite the shuttle bus stop when the first wave may come. After visiting the Abbey, instead of leaving it walk back to the west terrace, especially if a spring tide is expected. You can also leave the Abbey at the entrance afterwards. Alternatively, visit the Abbey half an hour before the first wave, the tidal bore is predicted. Bear in mind that you may queue for a ticket depending on the season and time of the day. This ensures that you are in time at the west terrace to get a good place for watching a spectacular show of the incoming tide. You can visit Mont Saint Michel also during high tide but not when a spring tide occurs. The door is closed for roughly 1.5 h during this occasion when the entire island is surrounded by the sea.
Pretty busy on the West Terrace
The sea flows out 15 km during spring tides and comes back with an immense Tidal bore. You already hear the sea coming back from far away with 30 km/h / 18.64 mph. It’s an extraordinary experience to witness the power of the tides.
Most impressive is the first wave; the tidal bore
The spring tides occur 36 -48 hours after the full and new moon; in a total round about 20 times a year. Mont Saint Michel becomes an island with a water level of 12.85 m and higher. The strongest spring tides happen in March and September with a sea-level above 14 m. To get the most out of your visit, check the tides first. If the spring tide is in the night, you can watch it, but you can't get a good shot. If a spring tide is forecasted for the evening; the Abbey closes around 10 pm. Mont St. Michel is not accessible roughly for 1.5 hours during the highest water level. We experienced this outstanding spring tide in September 2018. Tidal times for Mont Saint-Michel
Visitors are waiting for the spring tide.
Visitor Centre Opening Times
It’s open from 9 am to 7 pm from Easter until the end of September and the rest of the year from 10 am to 6 pm. Only closed on Christmas Day the 25.12. and New Year 1.1.
Abbey Opening Times
- Closed on 1st January, 1st May and 25th December
- 2nd May until 31st August from 9 am to 7 pm, last admission one hour before
- 1st September until 30th April 9.30 am to 6 pm, last admission one hour before
- Exceptions: During July and August also open from 7.30 pm until 11 pm except Sunday with a special program and illumination. An additional or combined ticket is necessary for it. Roughly four evenings each year during spring tide in the evening open at least until 10 pm
Peak Season and Crowds
The main street "Grand Rue" is less crowded during the evening.
With three million visitors each year it’s almost always crowded but summer months are the worst. You even have to queue for the restrooms and for paying your parking ticket at the ticket machine. Most of the guided bus tours come here during the day and already leave the outstanding place in the afternoon. If you want to avoid the crowds; come here for the sunrise or in the afternoon. Experience the village in the evening when most of the shops are closed, and the narrow alleys are almost without any people.
Mont St. Michel has a coastal climate but due to the location, influenced by the tides it has its own microclimate mostly a bit cooler. Rain frequently occurs throughout the year but not much just around 750 mm per year. Less precipitation from June to September. Most sunshine hours from May to September. The summer is the most popular time of the year for a visit with pleasant temps and plenty of sunshine. Temps in summer are on average around 20°C but can climb up to 25°C as well. October and May are similar to an average daily temp of 16°C, and the lowest is 10°C. December to February expect one-digit temps. Anyhow, it’s pretty chilly during winter due to the high humidity. The water temp is below 20°C, even in the summer.
Tidal Flat Tours and Must-Do Tours from Paris
There are tidal flat tours offered at low tide (It seems they're not being offered in the winter months due to the cold sea. However, the day trip tours from Paris are awesome and it's less busy in the wintertime). If you visit the area for more than one day, it'll be an outstanding experience. In general, it's essential to book a guided tidal flat tour due to quicksand, waterholes and the fast coming tide. Find some of the best tours here at one of the largest and reliable tour provider (GetYourGuide) here: Mont Saint-Michel Tours (Safe Booking!). Alternatively, check the selected tours from the world's largest tour operator: Mont Saint Michel - Things To Do — Viator | TripAdvisor Experience.
Where to Stay
The closest campground is “Camping du Mont Saint-Michel”. It’s just the location next to the walkway to Mont Saint Michel which makes it worth to stay here. The campsites are not big. The facilities are ok, more or less. Anyhow, you can check-in 24 hours at the hotel reception and the staff is friendly. If you plan to stay just for one night, it’s fine, but for a couple of days you better chose “Camping aux Pommiers - Mont Saint Michel”. The facilities are well maintained. Plenty of showers and dishwashing sinks are available. There are an indoor pool and cabins with private bathroom offered as well. The campground is open from the end of March until the beginning of November.
You will love to stay on the island for one night. Enjoy the mystic atmosphere in the narrow alleys when day visitors left the island. Experience the sunrise in front of Mont Saint Michel. The best-rated charming hotel for Mont Saint Michel is the "Auberge Saint Pierre". You'll feel like in Hogwarts from Harry Potter.
Another cheaper option but not in such a magical location is the “Le Relais Saint Michel”. Ask for a room with a Mount St. Michel view. The hotel is situated just next to the walkway.
Alternatively check more options here: Hotels Le Mont Saint Michel - via booking.com
This is our complete travel guide for Angkor Wat in Cambodia, including the 7 top tips! You’ll learn about the best time to see this beautiful historic site, as well as everything else you should know before you go. Especially, tips for each season and month, opening times, how to get there from Siem Reap, the must-visit temples, ticket prices, and more.
The Best Time | Season Overview
Dry season means pleasant weather and crowds. Wet season means less crowds and more rain, but also a gorgeous lush scenery
The best time to visit Angkor Wat in terms of weather is in the dry season from early December until March: You experience pleasant temps and the least rainfall. Temperatures hover around 30°C (86°F). However, that is also the busiest time. It is much quieter in the rainy season from May to October.
Tours we recommend:
Below you’ll find our unique 7 Tips for Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples, a complete season guide, weather details, sunrise and sunset tips, opening times, as well as detailed answers to most of your questions can be found in this article. Just use the quick navigation (table of contents) below. Hint: We usually refer to the main temple as Angkor Wat and say Angkor Archaeological Park when we mean the whole site. We may also call it 'Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples' or 'the temple complex Angkor Wat'.
- Dry Season | Weather - Crowds - Tips
- Shoulder Season | Weather - Crowds - Tips
- Wet Season | Weather - Crowds - Tips
- Time of Day Tips & Opening Hours
- Hotel Deals and Tips
- Tickets and Entrance Fee
- How to Get There | From Siem Reap
- Itinerary | 1 - 3 Days - Tours (Recommended!)
- 10 Must-Visit Temples
- Sunrise vs. Sunset
- 7 Must-Know Tips
Monthly Weather | Temperatures and Rainfall
Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia enjoys a tropical climate which is warm throughout the year with relatively high average temps. This means it’s a great all-year destination in terms of weather, as long as you don’t mind bringing out the umbrella or rain jacket. Between May and October it’s the wet season and you experience a monsoon climate. Although, that doesn’t mean there will be rain every day. Besides, the usual downpour in the morning or afternoon often lasts between one and two hours only. On the other hand you can witness an explosion of a green, vivid landscape and significantly fewer crowds. Another small downside besides the rain during wet season is the higher humidity.
Dry Season | December–January–February–March
Weather-wise, the best time to visit the temple complex Angkor Wat is in the dry season between December and March. During these months, the weather is warm, and rain is almost non-existent.
Typically, maximum dry season temperatures peak in late March, so be prepared for it to be warm, especially in February and March, the latter half of the dry season. Around this time, average maximum temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius (95°F), and only drop to the mid-twenties (75 - 80°F) overnight. If you don’t like the hot weather, December and January are a few degrees cooler.
Crowds/Busy Times: Aside from the heat, the main drawback of visiting Angkor Wat in the dry season is the crowds. The promise of round-the-clock sunshine certainly brings plenty of tourists, and you certainly won’t be lonely at Angkor Wat and the other temples. Avoiding the crowds in the dry season? You can manage the crowds by visiting the popular temples (such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom or Ta Prohm) late in the afternoon when the crowds are at their thinnest. Angkor Wat itself, in particular, is the busiest temple of all in general. While visiting in the late afternoon is great to avoid the crowds, you should still see the sunrise (see our tips below) at Angkor Wat at least on one day, regardless of the crowds. Check out our '3-day itinerary' below.
Special Heat Tip: In the middle of the day in summer, you might actually prefer to head back to your guesthouse to escape the searing midday heat. However, if you’re not scared off by the temperature then it’s a good time to visit the less famous temples (such as Ta Som). Here, you’ll get a much more relaxing – and no less beautiful – experience of the Angkor temples.
Shoulder Season | April – early May and November
The rain usually arrives fairly suddenly in Cambodia, meaning the shoulder season is relatively short. Nonetheless, it does present a great opportunity to enjoy good weather before (or just after) the heavy crowds arrive.
April (after the dry season): The months of April and early May are usually still dry, and very hot, with average temperatures hovering around the mid-30s Celsius (85 - 95°F). April is the hottest month overall. As a result, you’ll probably want to plan your day so that you are exploring early before the sun gets too intense.
November (after the wet season): Already drier than wet season and not as hot as in the dry season. However, visitors report Maximum temperatures are in the low 30s (85 – 90°F). On the other hand, it can rain of course, but it’s usually clearing. Therefore, as long as you don’t mind bringing a rain jacket or umbrella just in case, November can be a great time to travel to Angkor Wat.
Crowds/Busy Times: Unfortunately, shoulder seasons in April or November at Angkor Archaeological Park don’t mean there are no crowds. But still, it’s at least a little less busy - especially at the lesser-known temple complexes - making both shoulder months a great time to visit. Just keep in mind, that April is the hottest month.
Wet Season | May-June-July-August-September-October
Around late May, the monsoon season arrives in Cambodia, bringing humidity and lots of rain. The rain typically arrives quite suddenly. While the number of rainfall days between May and October seems quite even (check our weather chart above), the months of September and October experience the most overall precipitation. In the wet season, temperatures drop a little from the peaks, but still hover around the mid-30s (85 - 95°F). The humidity can also make the temperatures seem more intense, with humidity above 80% a common occurrence.
There are two advantages of visiting in the wet season besides fewer crowds: The truly gorgeous lush green scenery is back and there is more fascinating birdlife to watch.
Crowds/Busy Times: The weather can certainly put a dampener on your travel plans, however, they are also the quietest time to visit. While the Angkor Wat temple itself can still be sort of busy in the wet season, you’ll have much more space to enjoy the intricate beauty of it and the other temples.
Time of Day Tips
The popular temples (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm) are very busy throughout the day, even more in high season (dry season). However, it thins out slightly in the late evening. Keep in mind, that Angkor Wat is also extremely busy in the early morning because everybody wants to experience the stunning sunrise. But still, we recommend being there at least once during sunrise, regardless of the crowds (check our itinerary as well as our sunrise tips below in the main text). Later in the day always means (at least slightly) fewer crowds. The less popular temples are even less crowded in the late evening as well as in the early morning (when everyone watches the sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple). While the temples can only be accessed until 5:30 pm, you can still visit many of them after that time. However, you can’t explore the interior after ‘official closing’ time.
- Ticket Office: 4:30 am – 5:30 pm (Ticket Office Google Maps Location)
- Angkor Wat (+ Srah Srang): 5:00 am – 5:30 pm
- Pre Rup, Phnom Bakheng: 5:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Other Temples: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
The ticket office is open from 4:30 am – 5:30 pm every day. Note that if you buy your ticket after 5 pm, then it will count as valid for the next day rather than the day of purchase.
Most of the Angkor temples are open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm every day. However, Angkor Wat itself is one exception! It is open from 5:00 am to 5:30 pm so that guests can watch the sunrise. Srah Srang, Pre Rup and Phnom Bakheng also open at 5:00 am. Special Tip: Even though the temples officially “close” at 5:30 pm, you can still access some of them – and it doesn’t cost you anything!
March - November
Best to visit when the weather is warm to experience the atmosphere in the streets.
This city seems to always have people walking around during the summer months no matter what day of the week it is.
The Visitor Center and Ordensburg Vogelsang are opened year-round from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. In December 24th and 31st open until 2 p.m. It is beautifully situated in the Eifel National Park.
Highlights (Tower, Exhibition, Hike)
The 48 meters high tower is accessible from April until October and closed for the remaining months. Visiting the tower is only possible guided from Monday until Friday at 1 p.m. At weekends and public holidays, every hour from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed in bad weather conditions. This 45 minutes guided tour has an ascent of 172 steps. It’s a 360° scenic view from the top to the whole Vogelsang area, The price is 6 € p.p. Maximum 15 people per tower ascent are allowed.
Don't miss the exhibition of the German History from 1930-45. It gives you an honest view how Hitler planned to create a "master race". It leaves you poignant. The exhibition is an exhortation that it never gets repeated. Audio multimedia guides are offered in different languages.
There is a 16 km hike which can be done all year. We came here in October and enjoyed the fall foliage.
Vogelsang is very popular nowadays and is even more crowded at weekends, bank holidays and summer holidays in July and August. In September 2016 the Vogelsang reconstruction was finished, and two permanent exhibitions were established. Fewer people come here mid-week.
Top Tip - Sites Nearby
If you are into nature, you will love to stay here for a couple of days. Vogelsang is situated in the National Park Eifel at the River Rur Dam.
- It's an excellent location for hiking in the National Park and the nearby Ardennes, High Fens in Belgium. Boardwalks are leading through the bog. Top Hikes in the Ardennes
- Don't miss the historic town Monschau with its half-timbered houses.
- Visit the historic Mustard Mill close to Monschau just half an hour drive from Heimbach. It's a family run manufacture. They are famous for their huge variety of mustard and the restaurant Schnabuleum. Have a closer look and try the different mustards. It's always a perfect present to bring back home.
- Stay in a quiet hotel at the Rur Dam. Enjoy the waterfront views, the local cuisine on a high standard, and the spa. Experience the area in the hotel Der Seehof with included breakfast buffet.
- It's just a 10 minutes drive to the Mariawald Abbey from the hotel Der Seehof and 15 minutes from Vogelsang. The Abbey is the only Trappist Monastery in Germany. It's famous for the home cooked pea soup. Open weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm and weekends from 9 am to 6 pm.
Mesa Verde is always open. We recommend a visit after Labor Day in September. However, the best time to visit depends on what you are looking for. Read on for detailed information about the weather, how to avoid the crowds and the best time for tours:
The best time to avoid the crowds and still enjoy pleasant weather is September after Labor Day, as long as guided tours are offered. School holidays are between the end of May and Labor Day. Around 600,000 visitors come to Mesa Verde annually, most of them in the summer. There are fewer people in the early morning and the late afternoon.
There isn’t much rain. It’s a dry area better known as “Four Corners”. The driest month is June, the "wettest" in August. Thunderstorms occur in summer. In Autumn the temps are still pleasant. Due to the high-elevation snow is common in the winter. Spring starts late, and temps are bearable in the summer with around 30°C / 86°, winter average is 4°C / 39°F. Check road and weather conditions first, as it’s located in high elevation between 7,000 to 8,572 foot / 2.134 to 2.613 meter. During heavy snowfall, roads may be closed. The road to Wetherill Mesa with the Step House and Long House opens to the public depending on the weather conditions (snow and ice) between late April to Mid-May and closure between mid to late October. The road is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in spring and fall and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mesa Verde lookouts are open year-round, even in winter from 8 A.M. until sunset. Visitor Center and Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum are also open throughout the year. Check the Opening hours. Most shops, restaurants, gas station are open from late spring to late fall.