All around the world, arch monuments are among the most celebrated landmarks. These are beauty and perfection at their best, with great intricacy and symmetry, and mankind is proud of these architectural achievements. But, whatever man does, Nature has already done it – better and with greater finesse. That is why, when we lay our eyes upon the stunning natural arches in the world, the man-made ones look rather artificial, and even their perfection seems kind of ordinary. Here is a list of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Natural Arches in the World.
10. Natural Arches National Park in Utah
Utah has not just one natural arch, but an entire National Park spread across 76,679 acres, with over 2000 natural landscape arches. It was established in 1929, and has since had many tourists, driving and walking between the arches. The most famous attraction in the park is the Delicate Arch. Other famous arches are Kolob Arch, Double Arch, Landscape Arch, etc. mostly carved due to erosion.
9. Spectacle Arches
The Algarve Coast is a spectacle of Southern Portugal. One of the most favourite areas here is the Praia da Marinha between Carvoeiro and Albufeira. The most visited landmark here is the double-arch called the Spectacle Arches, off the shore, formed when waves eroded the coastal sedimentary rock, amnily sandstone. The best view can be enjoyed by taking a boat trip along the coast in Lagoa.
8. Pont d’Arc
The Pont d’Arc is located near the town of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc in Southern France, and is one of the most beautiful natural arches in the world. It is carved by the Ardèche River, and, along with the section of the river, the arch is hugely popular with tourists, not only because it forms a natural entrance to the Ardèche Canyon, but also because it is a popular canoeing and kayaking area.
7. El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
The El Arco de Cabo San Lucas is a sea arch, located at the southernmost tip of Baja California Peninsula, in the city of Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico. It is also referred to as Land’s End, since it is located such that the South Pole and the arch would be collinear if a line were to be drawn. This golden-coloured sea arch is seen from Cabo. This is where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.
6. La Portada
The La Portada is one of the most amazing natural arches in the world, located on the coast of Chile. “The Gateway” stands in the Pacific Ocean, in the Antofagasta region, and is not too far from the shore, and is a popular spot among travellers, as well as photographers. Made of andesite stone, sedimentary rock, sandstone and fossils, it is one of the protected natural monuments of country.
5. Durdle Door
The Durdle Door is an arch located in a privately owned land, projecting from Jurassic Coast of Dorset in England, and is attached to the mainland by a 390 foot isthmus. The natural limestone arch is open to public, and is accessible by foot. Despite the steep path with steps from Lulworth Cove, hikers often choose to do it anyway. The 140 million year old arch is a popular photography spot.
4. Azure Window
The Azure Window is a limestone arch, located on the Gozo Island, which is a part of Malta. It was formed from the collapsing of two caves of limestone, as a result of sea erosion. In fact, even now, rock parts fall from under the arch. Experts believe that the condition of this arch is such that it is likely to collapse at any time within a few years. Currently, though, tourists like to swim around it.
3. Moon Hill
Located outside Yangshuo in China, the Moon Hill is a natural arch set atop a hill that is 750 feet high. The arch, itself, is an excellent view from far away. Travellers can reach it following a 20 minute climb, and then walk through the arch. Some also prefer to take a longer walk by climbing all the way to the top of the arch, from where it is possible to enjoy an excellent view of the surroundings.
2. Shipton’s Arch
The Shipton’s Arch is named after English mountaineer Eric Shipton who first discovered it in 1947. It is also called the Tushuk Tash, which means Hole in Heaven. It is located in China, northwest of Kashgar in the Xinjiang Province, and was familiar to locals only. Situated on a pile of rubble, this rocky arch, at a staggering height of 1,200 feet, is the tallest natural arch, and has a span of 212 feet.
1. Aloba Arch
At a length of 250 feet, Aloba Arch in the landlocked country of Chad in Central Africa is the longest natural arch in the world. It is also the world’s second tallest. It is one of the most unfrequented ones, owing to its remote location. It appears to have two stages. While the upper half is like a buttress at the end of a sandstone slab, the lowers section of softer stone was eroded by stream.
These amazing natural arches in the world are formed in rocks, and there are many more all over the world, like China, France, Utah, etc. Some of them are on beaches, near the sea, while some are parts of cliffs or on cliffs. Some of them are attached to some other natural formation, while others stand isolated. They all offer a great view, and remind us what an excellent architect Nature is, having created some of the most spectacular phenomena, and given us a beautiful world to live in.