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This Is “Passage du Gois”: The Underwater Road in France

By Orgesta Tolaj


31 October 2023

"Passage du Gois" underwater road in France

© Unknown

France is celebrated for its charming towns, beaches, mountains, and natural beauty, along with a rich history, architecture, and culture. As the famous quote says: “France is a feast for the senses, where every corner tells a story.” Amid this, Le Passage du Gois stands out as a unique and hidden treasure. Situated on the Atlantic coastline, this 2.5-mile road connects Noirmoutier Island and Beauvoir-sur-Mer, offering breathtaking views of mudflats and sandy beaches. Here is everything you need to know about this unique treasure!

“Passage du Gois” Underwater Road in France

Passage du Gois in France is a renowned road known for its unique natural occurrence. This 4.15 km long road vanishes underwater twice daily due to high tide, drawing in curious travelers from around the world who come to witness this extraordinary phenomenon. The origin of the name “Gois” remains a subject of debate, with some suggesting it means a ford, while others propose a connection to the Latin slang word “guazzare,” signifying wallowing or walking with wet feet.

"Passage du Gois" underwater road in France
© Unknown

The unique road connecting the Gulf of Burnёf to the island of Noirmoutier disappears beneath nearly 13 ft of water twice a day due to high tides. However, this vanishing act poses significant dangers for drivers. They must watch out for hidden waves and risk being stranded for hours in case of accidents. To aid those in need, tall emergency towers have been installed for people to climb and await rescue. Once the water recedes, the road becomes covered in slimy seaweed, making it treacherous and slippery to walk on.

Why Is “Passage du Gois,” the Underwater Road in France So Fascinating?

Le Passage du Gois is a captivating road in France, known for a truly remarkable phenomenon. At times, it entirely disappears due to the high tide. This unique road can only be accessed during low tide, for a short window of 1 ½ hours before and after the tide. Additionally, this extraordinary occurrence attracts numerous visitors each year. Some of them come to witness the “miracle” of a vanishing road, while others take advantage of the exposed mudflats to collect clams and oysters.

The road’s unique vanishing act during high tide adds an extra layer of intrigue and adventure to this already picturesque location on the Atlantic coastline of France. It stands as a testament to the marvels of nature and the harmonious coexistence of humans and their environment.

How Does France Deal With the Changes?

Le Passage du Gois has undergone multiple adjustments to accommodate the tides and currents. This makes it an intriguing but troublesome sight. The road vanishes under more than 13 feet of water during high tide, emphasizing the need for caution. Safety information is prominently displayed on both sides of the passage, and rescue points are strategically placed along its length. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Le Passage du Gois is a must-see, but visitors must exercise care. This advice serves as a valuable reminder for travelers planning any adventure, highlighting the importance of safety in all journeys.

Will you be adding this to your must-see list for your next France trip? Let us know below!

You might also want to read: Dubai Plans on Building an Underwater Train to India

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!