Unique and magical in an outstanding way, Passage du Gois is one of the magical roads in the world. It is situated on the Atlantic coast and is a natural passage that is 4.3 km long. As much nature gives a chance, it connects the Island of Noirmoutier to the mainland at Beauvoir-sur-Mer for merely a few hours.
Passage du Gois is also called Gôa and is reachable only when the tide is low, for around 3 hours, only 1 ½ hours before the lowest tide and 1 ½ hours afterward. It is a sandbank between the Island of Noirmoutier and the mainland at Beauvoir-sur-Mer.
It was used in the 18th century for the first time and is one of the most wanted tourist spot for people these days who love nature and exceptional places. Owing to numerous kinds of edible sea shells that are a delicious part of French cuisine, this place has been an amazing source for shell seekers. In order to lessen the accident possibilities, which have occurred several times in the past due to rising water, the authorities made a paved road and rescue plies after the 18th century. In case the water rises swiftly, people can easily climb onto the rescue plies.
Besides, panels have also been installed on the both sides of the passage, which directs and advises that the crossing is possible and safe or not. Hence, in this case, you can use the Noirmoutier via the bridge from Fromantine to visit the island in case it is not possible to cross the passage.
Since June 1978, the Passage du Gois welcomes events like the Les Foulées du Gois every year. This event is a running race on foot against to the rising water. It is attended by thousands of runners and nature lovers to have a cherished memory. Astonishingly, professional runners have to be the last to start.
In 1999, the Tour de France bicycle race on stage two was conducted on Passage du Gois. Due to its slippery surface, it was the toughest part of the race. One of the racers even fell and a six- minute split in the finishes was caused because of the crash. Well, it can be said that the passage ended the hopes of many favourite riders to win the race such as Alex Zülle. In 2011, Passage du Gois was once again used by Tour de France as the start point of the first stage.
Many road sign have been installed on both sides of the road by the authorities in order to evade accident possibilities, thereby making it very clear that it is not permissible to park on the pavement and drivers really need to drive very slowly.
Passage du Gois is a must see place for all the tourists who are visiting the area whether the weather is bad or not and is among the most beautiful natural heritages of the world.