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Passage du Gois

I live near Noirmoutier, a popular island off the coast of France – apart from boat and a bridge to get to the island there is also a road that is uncovered at low tide.

Noirmoutier - le Passage du Gois by Raphaël Toussaint.

As the roadway is only uncovered at low tide, every year there are people who get caught unawares and get trapped by the incoming tide. There are some posts along the “passage du Gois” where people can climb if they get caught out, but their vehicles take a seawater bath.

The roadway is over 4 km long, and when it is low tide lots of people go out on the sand to dig for shellfish.

There is also a famous race that is held in summer - les foulées du gois - the day starts with the childrens races at low tide, then the adult races and finally the professional runners. They have to run faster than the incoming tide and are followed by boats as it's not easy to run with the tide coming in.

The Tour de France has also used the Passage du Gois - the last time was in 2011. It was scheduled in 2018, but the Tour was postponed because of the World cup and as the tides were then not at the right times, the riders had to use the bridge.

Here are a couple of links to photos and films that are taken on the roadway by a local photographer.

They are really lovely, why not take a look.


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