There is one 4,5-kilometre road in France, called Passage du Gois, which connects the Island of Noirmoutier to the Mainland. It’s been used as a road in some of the editions of Tour de France. It’s the main road of another annual French competition, Les Foulées du Gois, in which runners should pass the distance from the one end to the other of the road. The quickest participants are lucky enough to get only their feet wet while the rest just get drowned and should swim. Why? Because this road is famous for being dependent on the low and high tides of the ocean and it’s often flooded by the water.
The Island of Noirmoutier is near the French town of Nantes and in order to reach it, one should go to Beauvoir-sul-Mer. Once there, they should hear the warning signals that announce what the tide is and when it’s possible to go along the road. There are also “time-tables” showing the tides, precise “opening hours” and water levels.
At low tides passers-by and enthusiasts could pass it indulging in the extraordinary “ocean” road with small crustaceans, shells and oysters in the dry places. In case of an accident high tide, there are 9 small towers which could give them a shelter. On such occasions, high tides would reach a height of about 4 metres and people are not allowed to walk along the road. .
This “water” road is really absolutely unique and it’s the longest one that is flooded in the world. Because of this, Passage du Gois was declared a historic monument in 1942 and since then it’s been the symbol of Island of Noirmoutier. As to the island itself, it enchants with its great variety of landscapes, beaches, forests and humid zones as well as with its amazing flora and fauna. The second way of reaching it, is through a bridge which is always open.