Disappearing Road

Disappearing Road

A road in France floods twice a day by the high tide and is a fascinating example of the ferocious power of nature.

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Le Passage du Gois, sometimes known as Le Passage de Gôa, is a world-famous natural wonder. Located between Île de Noirmoutier and Beauvoir-sur-Mer in the department of Vendée, France, this passage leads to the picturesque island of Noirmoutier.

However, the passage floods twice every 24 hours, and so can only be driven on a few hours each day before the island is sealed off. More often than not, the Passage du Gois lies hidden beneath 4- to 13-foot thrashing waves.

The length of the road makes it all the more dangerous because, if you’re caught in the floods, it can be very difficult to reach dry land before the entire stretch becomes chest-deep in water.

There are special digital panels that let people know whether the road is passable. These panels are regularly updated with sea level warnings and issue speed limit reminders. But of course, not everyone listens. Despite the signs, there are incidents every year as people become trapped by the quickly rising tide and, occasionally, even deaths.

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