One of the most breathtakingly beautiful creations by Mother Nature are the Sea arches. One has to see it to believe it! So, what are sea arches and how are sea arches formed? Sea arches are natural openings created by collision of waves on the underside of the rock surface, leaving only the top portion intact that resembles an arch. This happens when the softer bottom layers are washed off by the waves that collide with the rocks over a period of time. These sea arches are the result of erosion where most of them will collapse and disappear without warning. As one falls to rubble at the edge of the ocean, another will take its place with the passage of time. Here we take a look at some of the most beautiful and famous sea arches from around the world that are of different ages and structures.

Explore These Beautiful Sea Arches Before They Disappear!

1. Durdle Door, England

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Durdle Door on Jurassic Coast in Dorset, UK.

Set on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, Durdle Door is one of the most favorite spots for nature lovers in Europe. This 140-million year-old huge sea arch is a privately owned property but accessible to the public all year round. The 120-meter (390-foot) long arch is formed by a hard crust layer of limestone. The stunning views of this place makes it one of the most photographed locations on the Jurassic Coast. 

2. Legzira Beach, Morocco

what are sea arches
Legzira beach, Sidi Ifni, Souss-Massa-Draa, Morocco

Legzira Beach located to the South of Agadir in Morocco is one of the most unique beaches in the world. The main highlight is the gigantic sea arches that dot the beach. Wait to catch the arch at its best during sunset when everything turns into a bright red. The red arches are so immense that people standing under them appear like miniatures. There were two arches but unfortunately one collapsed in the year 2016 due to wave action. 

3. Wharariki Beach, New Zealand

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Sunset at Wharariki beach, West coast, South Island, New Zealand.

Wharariki Beach also known as “The Jewel of Tasman” is best known for its Archway Islands. Long walks through forests and over sand dunes brings you to this beautiful patch of paradise. Visitors to this remote beach are less because of the difficult trek to get here. Once you are here you will realize that the effort was totally worth it. The spectacular beaches and sea arches that sit out in the oceans makes it the most beautiful place in the Tasman region of New Zealand.

4. Hopewell Rocks, Canada

how are sea arches formed
The Hopewell Rocks are stone formations in “The Rocks Privincial Park” in New Brunswick, Canada. The rock formations were caused by tidal erosion.

Hopewell Rocks, also called the Flowerpots Rocks, is located on Canada’s Bay of Fundy. People can get close and personal with these sea arches only during the low tide. They can walk through the arches and explore the beaches during low tide. As this bay experiences very high tides (highest tides in the world) the entire sea arch rock gets immersed in water leaving only a part of the top portion exposed during this time. Travelers can paddle across the arches in a canoe or kayak during high tide.

5. El Arco, Mexico

famous sea arches
El Arco, at Land’s End, Cabo San Lucas. Giant rocky outcrops featuring a natural arch, are one of the most famous natural attractions of Mexico.

El Arco is a beautiful yellow-gold colored sea arch formed at the tip of the Baja Peninsula near Cabo San Lucas. The arch is locally known as “El Arco,” which means “the arch” or “Land’s End” in Spanish. El Arco is where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet. This place is frequented by tourists to see the three stories tall arches and the popular gathering area of sea lions. These beautiful sea arches can be seen from anywhere in Cabo, but one has to use a boat to get close to it.

6. Playa de las Catedrales, Spain

best sea arches
Playa las catedrales Catedrais beach in Ribadeo Galicia of Lugo Spain

Playa de las Catedrales, also known as Beach of the Cathedrals is located near Ribadeo, on the northwest coast of Spain. The rock formations of numerous sea arches and caves resemble the spires on cathedrals, hence people also called it Beach of Holy Waters. These beautiful sea arches were formed due to the erosion of lava caves. Some of the arches and caves get submerged during high tide, so it’s possible to walk through the area only during low tide.

7. Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

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view from the cave at cathedral cove beach,coromandel,new zealand

Considered to be the most beautiful place in the Tasman region of New Zealand, Cathedral Cove is one of the main attractions on Coromandel Peninsula. This fairly remote beach can be accessed only by foot or boat. Cathedral cove has two beautiful beaches which are separated by a massive stone arch that gives the whole place a grand appearance. The clean sandy beaches with pohutukawa trees along the coast make the place ideal for swimming and picnics.

8. Azure Window, Malta

Azure Window
The world famous Azure Window in Gozo island – Mediterranean nature wonder in the beautiful Malta

Azure Window is a natural limestone arch with a flat top that’s located on the island of Gozo, Malta. Also known as Tieqa Zerqa, this is one of the most famous sea arches in the world and has been featured in many movies and television shows. The lovely 164 feet limestone arch is surrounded by sparkling water and extraordinary views. Sadly due to erosion, the arch is expected to collapse in a few years’ time. Travelers from around the world visit this place to enjoy exciting water sports and boat rides around the arch.

9. Honopu Arch, Hawaii

tallest sea arch

The tallest arch in Hawaii, Honopu Arch is located at the Na Pali coast of the Kaua’i Island. Its natural bridges, tunnels and beautiful waterfalls have caught the attention of many film production houses. Popular Hollywood movies like, King Kong and Six Days Seven Nights were filmed here. As it’s located in an isolated part of the island, the only way to reach here is by boat. The last few meters to the shore needs some swimming as the boats cannot dock here. But it’s all worth the effort once here!

10. Pigeon Rocks, Lebanon

Pigeon Rocks
Magical sunset on Raouche, Pigeons’ Rock. In Beirut, Lebanon

The Pigeon Rocks, also known as Raouche rock are two gigantic rock formations situated at Beirut’s western-most tip. The beautiful sea arches, pristine water, and clean sand makes this a popular destination for the locals and tourists alike. Do not miss hiking to the lower cliffs of the Pigeon Rocks as it provides an excellent viewing point.

It’s rather heartbreaking to know that these stunning sea arches may not withstand the force of the waves or constant shifting of coastline and collapse someday. However erosion isn’t going anywhere, when one sea arch collapses, another beautiful one will be formed. Come let’s explore these beautiful creations by Mother Nature before it is too late. 

Is a sea arch formed by erosion?

Yes, sea arches are formed when a cave continues to be eroded until it cuts right through a headland. When it’s unable to hold the weight and the roof of the sea arch collapses, a sea stack is formed. 

Why do Sea arches collapse?

The breaking waves erode the supports that form the sea arches. When they can no longer hold the weight of the arch, it collapses under its own weight, leaving behind a pile of rocks known as a sea stack.

Where are sea arches located?

These beautiful natural wonders are located on the coastlines of many countries around the world. 

What is the largest sea arches?

Xianren Bridge, also known as Fairy Bridge, is the world’s largest natural arch that measures 400 feet or 120 meter.

How long it take for sea arches to form?

Sea arches take years to evolve from a relatively smooth mountain ridge into the state that we see today.


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