Mother Nature is a wonderful architect, providing incredible spectacles for travellers to feast their eyes upon, and natural arches are one such collection of amazing masterpieces that never fail to amaze.
David Brandt-Erichsen of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society says: "I have found that having an arch as a goal for a trip always takes me to beautiful places, many of which I would never have thought to go to otherwise. The arches are the frosting on a very good cake."
We have spoken to the experts at the Society to compile a list of must-see arches – so enjoy, and get that passport ready!
The longest in the world
What: Fairy Bridge
Special features: It has a span of 122m
This is a pretty special arch. It's the longest in the world by a long shot, and it's not a typical tourist destination. David Brandt-Erichsen says of the arch: "It is far off the beaten tourist track and very few Westerners have seen it. A NABS group staying at a hotel a few hours away in 2010 were the first party of Westerners ever to stay at that hotel!"
What: Aloba Arch
Special features: It's the largest in the Sahara Desert with a height of 122m and span of 76m.
Brandt-Erichsen says of this arch: "Aloba Arch is the largest and grandest in the Sahara Desert. It is truly one of the most magnificent natural arches in the world, but one of the most seldom seen."
What: Pont d'Arc
Where: Southern France
Special features: This is the biggest in Europe, spanning 58m
This bridge crosses the Ardeche River in Southern France and is the largest natural arch in Europe. It is visited often as the river is popular for canoeing and kayaking.
The thinnest arch on Earth
What: Landscape Arch
Special features: The thinnest section is only 2m wide
This skinny arch is located in the Devils Garden section of Arches National Park, Utah and is 290ft long. The Arches National Park is home to a whole host of notable arches, including the Double Arch and Double O Arch.
What: Moon Hill
Special features: Exceptionally beautiful
This arch south of Yangshuo, China may not be the biggest but it certainly is beautiful. David says: "There are many arches in China that are larger than the 34m span, but none are more beautiful.”
The immortal bridge
What: Jiangzhou Immortal Bridge
Special features: A road and river pass under
The Jiangzhou Immortal Bridge claims to be the second biggest in the world, reportedly 104m, but this has not been confirmed.
A remote bridge
What: Forzagha Arch
Special features: There are no roads or trails to this arch
Brandt-Erichsen cites this arch as "the most spectacular in the Akakus Plateau of Libya." It sits near the Algerian border and visitors must hire a guide to visit the area. It spans 32m and has a height of 44m – measured by NABS member Ray Millar with a laser rangefinder.
The big bridge
What: Rainbow Bridge
Special features: Has a span of 74m and height of 75m
This magnificent bridge is made from Navajo sandstone. It is possible to visit this bridge by boat, or by backpacking through trails around the Navajo Mountains.
The scuba spot
What: Azure Window
Where: Gozo, Malta
Special features: You can combine scuba diving with your arch visit
This limestone arch is near Dwejra Bay on Gozo Island, Malta and is a popular spot for scuba diving. The structure was created after two sea caves collapsed. Scientists expect the arch will disintegrate in a few years because pieces of rock have begun to fall from the underside.
The high arch
What: Shipton's Arch
Special features: It has an estimated height of 366m and a span of 65m
This is the highest known natural arch in the world and has been named as such by Guinness World Records.