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15 natural arches to see before it’s too late

Azure window Malta - Luca Travels Around

After the sad news of the Azure Window in Malta collapsed due to natural events, there are still many natural arches to see around the world, but since they formed thousands of years ago, maybe it would be time to go and see them before it’s too late. (yes, it’s another excuse to pack and go!)

Some of them are on the coastline, some of them not, but no matter their location, they still are an incredible proof of what Mother Nature can do and a magic place to visit, especially during sunrise or sunset.

So brace yourself, we’re gonna jump around the world to discover 15 beautiful natural arches to see before it’s too late! (rigorously in alphabetical order)

1 – Azure Arch, MongerbinoArco Azzurro Mongerbino - Luca Travels Around

Also called “Kisses arch” due to the particular shape that resembles the two rocks sticking out in search for a kiss, this natural bridge is famous for an old advertisement with two lovers on it, kissing. It’s near Palermo, in Sicily, in the locality of Mongerbino.

2 – Cape Palinuro, Palinuro

Capo Palinuro - Luca Travels Around

Photo by http://matrioskadventures.com/

In the Cilento region of Campania, Italy, where poet Virgil made his trojan hero Aeneas dock and become the ancestor of Romans, you can spot both via land and sea the Cape Palinuro natural arch, the icing on the cake of an already beautiful region.

3 – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

Delicate Arch Utah - Luca Travels AroundOne of the most famous natural arches in the world, this sandstone arch in the Arches National Park, Utah, poetically seal the view of the over 2000 arches in the entire park, a natural show comparable only to the majesty of Grand Canyon.

4 – Durdle Door, Lulworth

Durdle door - Luca Travels AroundLike the arches in Utah, the likewise famous Jurassic Coast near Lulworth, in England, houses the burly Durdle Door, a privately owned limestone arch big enough to let a good-sized boat sail through it.

5 – El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, Cabo San Lucas

El Arco Cabo San Lucas - Luca Travels AroundOn the southernmost point of Baja California, in Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean, there’s this famous and beautiful natural arch, accessible only by the sea. A place of touristic and naturalistic relevance, due also to the immense underwater canyon nearby.

6 – Elephant Arch, Pantelleria

Arco dell'elefante (964268)
Another Italian arch, located on the volcanic island of Pantelleria, well-known for its sweet wines and the traditional agricultural practice of cultivating the head-trained bush vines, now Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Unesco. This arch’s sturdy shape, looking like an elephant with its proboscis reaching the water, has become a symbol of the island.

7 – Es Pontàs, Satanyi

Es Pontàs Mallorca - Luca Travels AroundSwimming from Pantelleria to Mallorca, we can cross the line under the natural arch of Es Pontàs, in the municipality of Satanyi. Standing alone on the water, it seems the perfect spot for a chequered flag!

8 – Falaise d’Amont, Étretat

Falaise d'Amont - Luca Travels AroundLanding in Normandy remembers woeful historical events, but we have to say that the 90m tall white chalk cliffs are simply stunning. That’s also the reason why several painters, like Monet, portrayed this superb example of a coastal arch, combined with the Needle, that lonely pointed rock featured also in an Arsène Lupin novel.

9 – Green Bridge, Castlemartin

Green Bridge of WalesA very iconic coastal arch, this natural bridge can be seen going north, in Wales. Despite the fact that is located in the Castlemartin Training Area, a military area, it resides in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and can be usually accessed by the public.

10 – Kleftiko beach, Milos

Kleftiko Beach - Luca Travels Around

Photo by https://www.ellines.com/

White cliffs, pristine water, and an island mainly famous for the amazing Venus de Milo displayed at Louvre museum in Paris, Milos has also several arches to show to the world, along the Kleftiko beach, reachable only via boat.

11 – La Portada, Antofagasta

Monumento Nacional La Portada, Antofagasta-Chile

Another solitary beauty among the natural arches in this list, La Portada (the gateway) can be seen 18 km north of the coast of Antofagasta, in Chile. It’s been declared natural monument since 1990.

12 – Pont d’Arc, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc

Pont d'Arc Vallon-Pont-d'Arc - Luca Travels AroundLiterally an arch bridge, this arch has been carved out by the erosion of the French river Ardèche and it measures 60m wide and 54m high. It’s sometimes referred to the entrance gate for the Gorges D’Ardèche, the “European Grand Canyon”, a renowned prehistoric and cultural tourist site.

13 – Praia de Augas Santas, Ribadeio

Höhlen (24991317572)
Probably you know this Spanish beach as the As Catedrais beach (Beach of the Cathedrals) due to the particular formation of the cliffs, with its arches resembling flying buttresses. During low tide is possible to access the beach and visit several caves, small and big, but it could be dangerous to wait too much inside due to the speed the high tide arrives.

14 – Pravčická Gate, Hřensko

Das Prebischtor mit Gasthaus
Located in the middle of Europe, close to the Czech-German border, this natural bridge is a very popular attraction, and also the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe. Next to the arch there’s a hotel, built in the 19th century, and the area can be visited paying a fee.

15 – The Rock of Raouché, Raouché

Raouché 1
Also known as Pigeon Rocks, the arch and the sentinel rock are located off of the westernmost shores of Beirut, in Lebanon. A superb view of those giants can be taken from the coast and from several restaurants on the cliff, provided with panoramic terraces.

What do you think about those natural arches, did you see some of them? Tell me about it in the comment section!

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15 natural arches to see before it's too late - Luca Travels Around

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23 CommentsLeave a comment

  • This is a really cool article; have you actually seen all of these arches? I’d love to see them, I was pretty bummed when I heard about the Malta arch collapse. Of this list, I think the Kleftiko beach arch in Milos might rank highest for me, but possibly because the water around it is so beautiful!

    • Thanks! Unfortunately not, I haven’t seen all of them 🙁
      I agree with you about Milos: I’d like to swim there!

  • Wow this is a great collection. I believe this should be seen as soon as possible. Considering how delicate and beautiful these structures are. I did read about some landslide that happened near Durdle Door.

  • This is an amazing list. The one from Malta reminds me of Game of thrones episode. but I think that place is no more now! Missed it 🙁

  • We haven’t seen any of these arches so we definitely better get on it. I suppose nothing lasts forever and that is the beauty of the natural world. Arches are a simple thing but they are very nice to look at.

  • Such wonders of nature. Sadly I couldn’t visit the Azure Window in time. So, I am going to try and visit as many of these as possible in the next few years. Thanks for the list! I do wish, however, that these wonders never seize to exist

  • All these arches are spectacular examples of the wonder that is nature. The setting of these arches is so surreal, that you cannot believe they exist on this planet. No wonder they are the location for various movies and TV series. Would consider myself lucky if I were able to see at least a few of them.

  • You have created a wonderful list and all these are real marvels of nature. I would love to see at least few of them before they disappear like Azure window. I was really sad to hear about its collapse and wished that I could have seen it before.

    • Thank you!
      Yes, I wish the same, especially the ones in the sea, they are more subject to erosion, we should aim at those first! 🙂

  • We believe ourselves to be lucky one to have visited the Azure only last May and the famed window did not stay till this May. Other than that we have also visited the Etretat which left us in awe. Its great to know that there are many more out there and we hope to visit atleast few of them sometime in future.

  • I actually live very close to the Durdle Door in England and I go there sometimes to enjoy the sunset or have a picnic on the beach. It is always sad to see how people are not respecting the fragility of the arch or the signs telling that it’s forbidden to climb on it. Every time I see people on top of the arch, non caring that their steps are contributing to destroying it.

    • I really get mad when I see those stupids ignoring rules put not only because of their safety but to preserve the place as well. And I don’t think even a casualty could stop them.

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