World's Most Breathtaking Natural Bridges

After seeing these natural wonders, you'll be compelled to visit.
Visitors enjoy the Fairy Bridge natural arch in China, a natural wonder rarely visited by Westerners
Fairy Bridge, China © Gunter Welz
By Lukas Pilz and Alison Mann

Mother Nature is an amazing architect. All around the world, travelers can find natural bridges that are often more magnificent than even the best man-made constructions. According to David Brandt-Erichsen of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society, seeking these bridges out can lead to once-in-a-lifetime journeys.

"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," he says. "The arches are the frosting on a very good cake."

We've spoken to the experts at the society to compile a list of must-see arches — so enjoy, and get your passport ready.

The longest bridge

What: Fairy Bridge
Where: China
Special features: It spans 400 feet.

This arch (seen above) is pretty special. It's the longest in the world by a long shot, and it's not a typical tourist destination.

"It is far off the beaten tourist track and very few Westerners have seen it," Brandt-Erichsen says. "A NABS group staying at a hotel a few hours away in 2010 were the first party of Westerners ever to stay there!"

Aloba Arch natural bridge in Chad is the largest natural arch in the Sahara Desert
Aloba Arch, Chad © DEA/C.Sappa/Getty Images

The desert arch

What: Aloba Arch
Where: Chad
Special features: It's the largest in the Sahara Desert with a height of 400 feet and span of 250 feet.

"Aloba Arch is the largest and grandest [bridge] in the Sahara Desert," Brandt-Erichsen says. "It is truly one of the most magnificent natural arches in the world, but one of the most seldom seen."

Pont d'Arc natural arch spans the Ardeche River in the Ardeche region of France and is Europe's largest
Pont d’Arc, France © sack/Getty Images

The European gem

What: Pont d'Arc
Where: Southern France
Special features: This is the biggest natural bridge in Europe, spanning 190 feet.

This bridge crosses the Ardeche River in Southern France and is the largest natural arch in Europe. It is visited often as the Ardeche is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking.

The thinnest natural arch in the world is in Arches National Park, Utah, USA
The thinnest arch in the world is in Utah © bpperry/Getty Images

The thinnest arch

What: Landscape Arch
Where: Utah
Special features: The thinnest section is only 7 feet wide.

This skinny arch is located in the Devil's Garden section of Arches National Park, Utah, and is 290 feet long. The Arches National Park is home to a whole host of notable arches, including the Double Arch and Double O Arch.

Moon Hill, China is one of the most beautiful natural bridges in the world
Moon Hill, China © Sean Pavone/Getty Images

The fairy tale bridge

What: Moon Hill
Where: China
Special features: It's exceptionally beautiful.

This arch south of Yangshuo, China, may not be the biggest, but it certainly is beautiful. "There are many arches in China that are larger than the 112-foot span, but none are more beautiful," Brandt-Erichsen says.

Jiangzhou Immortal bridge, China is the second biggest in the world and has road running under it
The Immortal Bridge, China © Ray Millar/

The immortal bridge

What: Jiangzhou Immortal Bridge
Where: China
Special features: A road and river pass under this bridge.

The Jiangzhou Immortal Bridge claims to be the second biggest in the world, reportedly 341 feet long. The distance, however, has yet to be confirmed.

The Forzhaga Arch natural arch in Libya is very remote as there is no road or trail in the area to reach it
Forzhaga Arch, Libya © Ray Millar/

The remote bridge

What: Forzagha Arch
Where: Libya
Special features: There are no roads or trails leading 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 105 feet and has a height of 144 feet — measured by NABS member Ray Millar with a laser rangefinder.

Rainbow Bridge natural arch in the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, a region famous for the natural features
Rainbow Bridge, Utah © Danita Delimont/Getty Images

The big bridge

What: Rainbow Bridge
Where: Utah
Special features: It has a span of 243 feet and height of 246 feet.

This magnificent bridge is made from Navajo sandstone. It's possible to visit this bridge by boat or by backpacking through trails around the Navajo Mountains.

The Azure Window natural sea arch on the Mediterranean island of Malta is a popular scuba diving location
The Azure Window, Malta © DavorLovincic/Getty Images

The scuba spot

What: Azure Window
Where: Gozo, Malta
Special features: You can scuba dive while visiting this arch.

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 to disintegrate in a few years as pieces of rock have begun to fall from its underside.

A climber on an arch in the Taklimakan Desert, China, the world's tallest natural arch
An arch in the Taklimakan Desert © Gordon Wiltsie/Getty Images

The high arch

What: Shipton's Arch
Where: China
Special features: It has an estimated height of 1,200 feet and a span of 213 feet.

This is the highest known natural arch in the world — a mark confirmed by Guinness World Records.

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