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Passage du Gois in France

Do you dare to meet the hour of driving on one of the world's most dangerous roads?

Passage du Gois
Passage du Gois

Passage du Gois was discovered in 1701 and is presented as a natural passage of silt deposits which is flooded twice a day by high tide. The causeway is located between Beauvoir-sur-Mer and Île de Noirmoutier, and the length of the track is over 4 km.

Being slippery the road is submerged 1.5-4 m under water most of the day, but you don't have to wonder when exactly the tide will roll in, as the signs on both ends of the Passage alert travellers if the road is fit for traffic.

The passage ride lasts for about an hour. You are always travelling at your own risk. Drivers are warned to make no sudden stops and drive slowly. Parking is strictly forbidden.

The road is deemed to be accessible for an hour and a half before and likewise after the tide is the lowest. In case you get trapped, there are towers placed all along the way. You can find your temporary shelter by climbing on one of those towers and wait until you get rescued or the tide goes down. However, the car might be less lucky escaping.

Practical info

When is the best time to travel on Passage du Gois?

The schedule of the tide should be consulted before crossing the Passage du Gois, as it is only accessible an hour and a half before and after the tide is at its lowest point. The tide-permitting schedules can be found on many online resources. Show more

Where can I find the towers along Passage du Gois?

Temporary shelters for trapped travellers and information about the tide can be found at the towers along Passage du Gois. These towers are identified by a warning sign at the top and can be located on maps of the area. Show more

What are the recommended speed limits when driving on the causeway?

To prevent accidents, it is important to follow the strict speed limit rules on Passage du Gois. The highest allowed speed is 50 mph and should be lowered on narrow stretches to avoid damaging or sinking the vehicle. It is strongly recommended not to stop suddenly, especially on slippery surfaces where traction can suddenly change. Show more

What are the available rescue options for trapped travellers?

When trapped by the tide, travellers are responsible for rescuing themselves by climbing towers and calling the assistance hotline, where they will be provided with instructions. If the vehicle is damaged, a towing service must be contacted. The cost for these services may vary depending on the time of day and distance required. Show more

How should I prepare my vehicle for the challenging ride on Passage du Gois?

Before the trip, make sure to inspect the tyres, brakes and fuel level, and remove any unnecessary load from the vehicle. Deflating the tyres to their lowest limit is the best way to ensure better traction on the slippery surface. By following the rules and regulations, you can make your trip on Passage du Gois safer and more comfortable. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin