Travelling often throws up incredible sights. And some of the most impressive are the arches you’ll find in the natural world. We all know about the red rock arches in the Arches National Park, Utah, but what other amazing arches are there around the world?
El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Otherwise known as the ‘Arch of Cabo San Lucas’, this gorgeous arch sits right at the tip of the Baja Peninsula and is an iconic image of the city of Cabo. Tourists and locals flock regularly to this spot to take photos, engage in water sports and watch the resident sea lions lazing about.
Moon Hill, China
You probably recognise this archway in China, commonly called Moon Hill. The remnants of a limestone cave, this arch is a popular tourist attraction near Yangshuo and when viewed front on, looks like the moon. Keep in mind that if you’re keen to step through the arch itself, you’ll need to walk up around 1,000 steps!
Arch at Praia da Marinha, Portugal
This postcard-perfect rock-surrounded beach is truly a slice of paradise on the southern Portuguese coast. And it’s here that you’ll find not one natural arch, but two! A boat ride is a great way to get up close with these beauties, and afterwards you can snorkel in the waters and check out the colourful marine life.
Pravčická brána, Czech Republic
According to most, this is the largest natural arch in the whole of Europe, spanning 8 metres. You’ll find Pravčická brána in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in the northern Bohemian part of the country (just near the border with Germany).
Pont d’Arc, France
Part bridge, part arch, this natural creation can be found in the south of France stretching across the Ardèche River. It’s bigger than it looks too, with the arch reaching 54 metres in height. You’ll find this arch just a short jump from the town of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc.
Arches at Étretat, France
France seems to be full of arches! The three famed archways of Étretat actually make up part of the stunning white cliffs of Normandy and they’re so striking that Claude Monet even featured them in his works. As you might’ve guessed, the arches all have names too – Porte d’Aval, the Porte d’Amont and Manneporte (the biggest).
La Portada Arch, Chile
Carved by the wind and sea over thousands of years, this beautiful sea-dwelling arch sits out on the Pacific Ocean just a short drive north from Antofagasta.
At 42 metres high and 70 metres long, it is gigantic. It’s ancient too, with fossils in the arch going back around 35 million years.
Like many arches around the world, its best viewing times are at sunrise or sunset.
Durdle Door, England
If you happen to have your sights set on Dorset on the Jurassic Coast, make sure you take a moment to stop by Durdle Door. This limestone arch sticks out from the beach like a grand entrance and the only way to get to it is down the steep path that stretches from Lulworth Cove. Although it’s open to the public, this is one of the few arches in the world that is privately owned – imagine that!
Arches in Arches National Park, US
And finally, we come to perhaps the most famous arches in the world – the red rock arches of the Arches National Park in eastern Utah.
Here, you’ll find over 2,000 sandstone arches, the most well-known of which is Delicate Arch (the 2002 Winter Olympic torch passed through this one!).
There’s lots to do here in addition to arch-viewing, including camping, hiking, scenic driving, rock climbing and canyoneering.