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15 December, 2011

Tourist Attractions: 10 Notable Natural Arches around the World

Nature never ceases to amaze me. If we have a close look at the nature, we surely can learn a lot from it. All of us must have seen huge flyovers and bridges all over our country, but how about knowing some of the natural arches around the world. Natural arches, what are they? A natural geological rock formation that has an opening below is termed as a natural arch; many of these natural arches serve as a narrow bridge. Take a look at these 10 notable natural arches around the world.

  1. Azure Window, Gozo, Malta
Azure Window, Gozo Island
Azure Window is a famous natural arch in a Gozo island. This natural arch looks like a table. This famous landmark of Malta is situated near two other famous landmarks of Malta; the Inland Sea and Dwejra Bay. This is a very popular site for scuba diving. The height of this natural arch is 22.54 m. It is believed that this arch will very soon disappear as the disintegrated rocks are falling one after the other. If you are planning to visit Malta, do not forget to visit this soon-to-disappear natural wonder of the world. This natural arch will be renamed as Arch Pinnacle once the entire form disintegrates.

  1. El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (A natural arch made of granite rock)

Image via wikimedia
The arch is actually called as El Arco by the local people of Cabo San Lucas; this arch lies in a place where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. This is a 200 foot high granite rock; it is believed that this natural arch was formed due to strong ocean currents. This place is famous for sea lions. El Arco is a perfect tourist or travel destination if you are an adventure traveller who is always ready with a backpack.

  1. Durdle Door, Dorset, England
Durdle Door, A natural limestone arch
It is a privately owned natural limestone arch; it is open for public even though a privately owned property of the Welds. Why is it called Durdle? There was an old word in English called “thirl” meaning bore or drill and this is how Durdle Door got its name. This natural arch is found on the Jurassic coast near Lulworth. This natural limestone arch has been cut by the sea through the almost vertical Purbeck Caps and the top of the Portland Freestone. It is definitely one of the most impressive natural arches.

  1. Percé Rock, Quebec, Canada
Perce Rock or the Pierced Rock, Major attraction of Gaspesie region

Image courtesey: Wikimedia
Percé Rock is a French word meaning pierced rock. This natural arch is called by other names such as le rocher percé, Pierced Rock, and Split Rock. When you see this rock from a distance it will look like a ship under sail, wow. Percé Rock is one among the longest natural arches in the world and a major attraction of the Gaspesie region. The park where Percé Rock is situated is the second largest migratory bird sanctuary and one can witness lots of northern gannets here. This is one of the best places to watch blue whale, humpback whale, razorbills, and kittiwakes.

  1. Pont d’Arc, France
Pont d'Arc, France.
Pont means bridge in French; Pont d’Arc is a natural arch carved out by Ardéche River. This is situated near a small town called Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. If you are thinking of canoeing or kayaking in France, Pont d’Arc is the best place. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France. You can also find lots of caves near Pont d’Arc, of which one of the famous caves with cave paintings is Chauvet Cave.

  1. Pravčická brána, Czech Republic
Pravacicka brana, natural sandstone arch in Europe

Image courtesy: wikimedia
Pravčická brána is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Europe and one of the most beautiful rock formations in Bohemian Switzerland; it is a natural monument of Czech Republic. This is a very narrow natural arch. There are several divergent paths and stairs that lead to the observation platforms; from here one can enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding area.

  1. Shipton’s Arch, Xinjiang, China
Shipton's arch, tallest natural arch in the world.

Image source: wikimedia
Shipton’s arch is probably the tallest natural arch in the world. Shipton’s arch is also called as Tushuk Tash in the local language, which mean “Heavenly Gate” and is a conglomerate natural arch. Eric Shipton, a British mountaineer was the first person to report about this arch and hence called the Shipton’s arch. According to the National Geographic team, the height of this natural arch is 1200 feet, which is as high as the Empire State Building in the USA. This arch was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for some time, but later dropped it as they were not able to locate the exact location of the arch. It was in the year 2000, a team from National Geographic re-found this arch and made an excellent documentary about it.

  1. The Green Bridge of Wales, Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom
The Green Bridge of Wales, Limestone arch, Pembrokshire.

Image courtesy: Wikimedia
The Green Bridge of Wales is a spectacular natural arch in the coast of Pembrokeshire. This natural arch was formed by the erosion of the sea or in other words, marine erosion. This is a limestone arch and is considered one of the biggest natural arches in the world. It is believed that due to coastal erosion, this natural arch may collapse in the long run. It has a rugged picturesque and the views are amazing. It is a place for many caves and natural formations.

  1. The Eye of Burroo Rock, United Kingdom
The Eye of Burroo Rock, largest natural arch, island of Burroo

Image courtesy: wikimedia
The Eye of Burroo Rock is the largest natural arch in the small island of Burroo. It is called the Eye of Burroo as one can notice a large hole in the Burroo when they are miles away; this large hole is what is termed as “The Eye.”

  1. Aloba Arch, Chad
Aloba Arch, longest natural arch outside the US, Ennedi Range

Image courtesy: Naturalarches
Aloba Arch is considered the longest natural arch outside the United States spanning an area of 250 feet. This natural arch is made of sandstone and is located in the Ennedi Range; this range is located within the Sahara Desert. This arch is 394 feet tall and is one among the tallest natural arches of the world.

These natural arches are definitely a must visit tourist attraction. Take a break from the regular routine and visit these breathtaking natural arches around the world.


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