In 1087 William the Conqueror offered the lordship of Vains to the abbey of Saint Etienne which founded a priory around which the village of Saint Léonard was established.
Over the last few centuries the village lived off sea activities. Salt production was harvested in the bay as of the Middle Ages and fishing on foot consisted of setting nets or traps on the shores, to catch salmon, mullet, eels and gray shrimp.
This beautiful rocky outcrop offers an exceptional view of the bay, Mont Saint-Michel and the Tombelaine rock. The bay of Mont Saint Michel is home to the highest tides in Europe that occur with a difference of 15m between low and high tide.
During the highest tides a tidal bore, called the "mascaret" in french, rises up the course of the Sée, the Sélune and the Couesnon rivers creating an impressive wave. One of the best places to observe this phenomenon is at the Pointe du Grouin. Be there at least 2 hours before high tide so as not to miss the show.
During this event you can admire the paddlers and kayakers surfing the wave, and if you are patient enough and look closely you can sometimes see seals out to hunt the mullet that follow the tide in.
It's in this unique setting that your host Luke sets up shop with his mobile café, Café de la Baie, fitted out in his 2cv Citroën van. It's completely autonomous, the fridge and the coffee machine working thanks to a battery powered by solar panels on the roof.
He serves excellent coffees, teas, herbal teas and hot chocolates as well as a wide range of cold drinks, lemonades, iced teas, beers, and ciders, without forgetting our delicious homemade cookies!
Come and taste these delicious locally sourced organic products while admiring this magnificent landscape.
Don't hesitate to visit this fabulous museum housed in an old farmhouse and located on the edge of the salt marshes with an exceptional view of the bay.
It's dedicated to the rich natural and cultural heritage of the bay of Mont Saint-Michel.
An exhibition presents the different techniques of fishing on foot. Witness how salt was made during an old-fashioned demonstration with a salt maker.
Route du Grouin du Sud, Saint-Léonard
In the quaint shop Saint Léna, discover an exceptional collection of fabrics and decorative objects, inspired by the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and manufactured by renowned French know-how.
The image of Mont Saint Michel is presented in an original way on various products ranging from key rings to tablecloths, including bags, cups, cushions, etc.
Adjoined is Un Autre Salon, an elegant and atypical hair salon that Laure invites you to discover.
1 Place de la Chaussée, Saint Léonard
The MLC art Galery exhibits artists it supports and runs an engraving workshop. Come and admire their lithographic press from 1830 and their two intaglio presses from 1870, very beautiful historical machines.
The gallery is run by Martine and Eric, two very interesting, wonderful and very friendly artists. Don't miss out on a visit during a walk in the village.
9, rue des Chevaliers – Saint-Léonard
This old dairy farm has become an educational farm where artisanal caramels are made from milk produced on the farm, as well as cheeses and butter.
The making of the caramels is open to visit and there is an exhibition on milk, butter and cheeses from La Manche.
During your walk you will have the opportunity to meet the farm animals, cows, pigs, chickens and deer.
11 route de Saint-Léonard, VAINS
This charming restaurant in Vains offers excellent crepes, galettes and typical Norman dishes designed with local products, as well as seafood dishes.
At the Crêperie des Grèves you will be very well received and sure to enjoy quality, homemade cuisine.
2 route de la Côte, Vains
Closed tuesdays and wednesdays
In Vains, in a warm family setting, Le Relais Vainquais offers traditional homemade cuisine with meats and fish specialties.
A large, friendly, old-fashioned room with a big open fireplace and a bar/tobacco area and small grocery store.
8 route de la Côte, Vains
Closed mondays and tuesdays