September 22, 2021

Here today and gone tomorrow! The destinations cut off from the world, and how to get to them

Now that we're free to get back to exploring the globe, we're all itching to get onto the road and see some beautiful sights.

Whether you're taking a long, well-deserved summer break, or even just a few days away in the autumn months, it's time to appreciate what the world has to offer.

Mixing up our regular view of the home office and discovering brand new locations we've never seen before is a great excuse to head off on holiday.

But whilst you could tread along the beaten path to see iconic views such as Mount Fuji in Japan or the Angel Falls in Venezuela - why not take it up a notch?

Some beautiful locations are so stunning, they're only accessible at certain times of the year.

To help you mix things up on your next getaway, we've listed some of the most inspiring locations - but stick to our findings so you aren't faced with a flooded road in the way!

Analyzing the times of the tide, we have created a handy holidaymaker's guide so you know exactly when and where to go on your travels.
Eilean Tioram - Loch Moidart, Scotland
#eileantoiram 54 Instagram posts
There's nothing better than injecting a bit of history into your travels - but this location isn't always car-friendly.

The tidal island of Eilean Tioram is home to Castle Tioram, a ruined castle.

The ancient fortress belonged to the famous Scottish clan of the MacDonalds who built Castle Tioram in the mid-13th century and even extended it in the 14th century.

You can appreciate all the castle's glory via a stone causeway, but only when the Loch Moidart tides are at their lowest.
Mont Saint-Michel - Normandy, France
#montsaintmichel 531,127 Instagram posts
If you're driving through the scenic landscape of northern France, Mont Saint-Michel has some jaw-dropping wonders to be found.

The tidal island is actually a village with residents, including 44 inhabitants, including the monks and nuns that reside in the Abbey.

It was originally built on the mainland but rising sea levels eventually isolated the abbey, so if you want to be able to appreciate this beautiful location, the best time to visit is between May and October.

Otherwise, you could be caught out by the rising tide.

But don't feel too restrained - the following dates are also a good option to drive down and see it: March 1st and 2nd, March 29th and 30th, April, 28th and 29th, October, 7th and 8th, and November 5th and 6th.
Haji Ali Dargah - Mumbai, India
#hajialidargah 49,035 Instagram posts
India is home to some extraordinary architecture, and if you get the opportunity to drive to the Haji Ali Dargah, it should definitely be a priority.

The Indo-Islamic architecture is often associated with legends about doomed lovers, and the dargah even contains the tomb of Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

However, the narrow, kilometer-long causeway linking the island to the mainland is the only way to visit it. Be careful though, as it is completely submerged at high tide, limiting access to the mosque.

Though the Dargah remains open for around sixteen hours a day, it can only be accessed during low tide.
Koh Nang Yuan - Koh Tao ,Thailand
#kohnangyuan 88,849 Instagram posts
These stunning islands in Thailand can be accessed by boat and even swimming channels when the tide is high.

At high tide, however, the bridge is covered by seawater and three distinct islands appear. Give yourself the best chance of witnessing this rising tide by staying just a 5 minutes walk from the beach at Monkey Flower Villas.

But if you're on four wheels, it might be best to wait for the low tide to reveal stunning natural causeways in the form of a long white sand 'bridge'.
Enoshima - Fujisawa, Japan
#enoshima 519,685 Instagram posts
The Japanese city of Fujisawa wants people to be able to appreciate the beauty of its small tidal island neighbor, Enoshima, so much so that drivers can visit it at any time thanks to a 600 meter-long bridge.

But, if you're ready to give your car a rest and give your legs a stretch, during low tide it is also possible to walk to the island across the newly exposed sandbars.

And it's worth the journey, thanks to the Enoshima Shrine, complete with statues honoring Benzaiten, the Buddhist goddess.

You won't be bored here either, as the Enospa hot springs are open to really relax in, and the 19th-century, English-style Samuel Cocking Garden with its Sea Candle lighthouse is ready to be explore.
Jindo and Modo - South Korea
#jindoandmodo 2 Instagram posts
If you're ready to visit the South Korean islands of Jindo and Modo, you'll have to park your car.

The islands are usually only accessible on foot when extremely low tides reveal a natural causeway connecting the islands to each other.

In fact, it's just twice a year, once in May and once in mid-June when this causeway is revealed.

However, this causeway is a rarity, and when it does show itself, you've got just an hour to use it!
Burgh Island - Devon, England
#burghisland 26,908 Instagram posts
If you've driven to Devon for a stay on Burgh Island, you might be a bit shocked to find the road is non-existent.

The hotel is open to tourists and sits on the island which's connected to the small village of Bigbury-on-Sea by a wide sandbank.
St. Michael's Mount - Marazion, England
#stmichaelsmount 122,700 Instagram posts
This beautiful hilly island is just off the coast and only accessible for four hours either side of low water (depending on tides and weather conditions, of course).

And it's definitely worth the visit. Park your car, walk across the manmade causeway to explore the castle, and grab a quick bite to eat at the island's only cafe.

Be careful though, as at high tide, the sea covers the causeway and the Mount is inaccessible on foot; so you'll need to grab a boat back if you stay too long.
Holy Island of Lindisfarne - Berwick-upon-Tweed, England
#holyislandoflindisfarne 7,487 Instagram posts
If you're in the north of England, this island is situated off the Northumberland coast in the northeast of England, just a few miles south of the border with Scotland.

It's linked to the mainland by a causeway which is covered by the tide twice a day and is a valuable road for the 180 people living in the island's small village. Times do change, but an approximate 16-hour window in the morning and then later in the afternoon to the evening is usually the best time to travel here.

However, if you fancy sticking to your four wheels, there are risks drivers must consider. If you try to cross after the tide begins rising, you can easily get stuck.

We want to warn you as our findings showed around once a month a driver attempts to 'race the tide' and gets stuck with their vehicle being written off and an expensive rescue launched.
Gugh, Isles of Scilly - England
#gugh1,918 Instagram posts
We recommend leaving your car on the mainland if you're visiting the island of Gugh. It's often included in the island of St. Agnes, thanks to its sandbar connection to the island.

However, the tiny 0.62-long and 0.31-mile wide island is only connected for two hours on either side of the low tide.

But it's worth catching it at the right time, as the island is home to a stunning Bronze Age nine-foot-tall menhir, or standing stone, locally called The Old Man of Gugh.
Cramond Island - Edinburgh, Scotland
#cramondisland 14,355 Instagram posts
Located in the Firth of Forth off Edinburgh's coastline, Cramond Island is connected to the mainland by a one-mile-long causeway, walkable at low tide.

But do be careful if this location is on your travel bucket list, as the local tide comes in at such speed that people have been known to become stranded on the island.

If you do stick to the lifeguard's advice though, you'll be able to explore the lovely beaches and panoramic views of the North Sea.
Minister's Island - New Brunswick, Canada
#ministersisland 2,729 Instagram posts
For all drivers out there, Minister's Island is for you.

Hidden away in Passamaquoddy Bay in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, the Canadian island is unique in that it is connected to the mainland, not by a fragile sand bar, but a gravel strait strong enough to allow vehicles to pass across at low tide.

And it's perfect for hiking, biking, and even spotting the odd bit of wildlife.

Be careful though, as the 500-acre wild island is only safely accessible for five hours during low tide.
Worm's Head - Wales
#wormshead 28,256 Instagram posts
Worm's Head Island in Wales might not sound too appealing, but the views are astounding.

You'll have to leave your car behind for this one, but don't write it off as the hike is unforgettable. The causeway itself is a rocky outcrop with a section called Devil's Bridge, making it more of an adventure than a walk.

And you'll need to be quick about it too, we found that the causeway is only open for 2.5 hours either side of low tide, and the waters are not suitable for swimming to it.
Curio Bay - The Kaitlins, New Zealand
#curiobay 8,296 Instagram posts
If you're after a unique travel location, New Zealand's Curio Bay should be at the top of your list. It's home to the site of a petrified forest that's over 180 million years old, as well as a yellow-eyed penguin colony, one of the rarest penguin species.

But it won't be a simple journey.

There is a designated walkway to the island that is only available at low tide. However, low tide is only in four-hour increments, so keep an eye out for any rising water!

Of course, all of these locations aren't nearly as easy to get to, especially if you're used to cruising around paved roads in your car. However, that shouldn't stop you.
Now that you've got our guide, don't miss your opportunity to see these scenic wonders!

Besides, your usual go-to holiday destination will be there year-round, but who knows how long we'll have to see these stunning landscapes?

Aleksandrs Buraks

Head of Growth at DiscoverCars.com
Aleksandrs has over 10 years of experience in marketing with a focus on creating stellar content that provides topical insights using data. Having taken five road trips across Europe and one in the U.S., he is passionate about traveling by car. His favorite countries to visit are Denmark and Thailand. You can find him on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.