Whether next to the coast or in mountainous regions, few things make for more dramatic and awe inspiring sights than cliffs. Natural erosion and weathering, along with the different sedimentary rocks that form cliffs ensure that few of these natural wonders look the same. Some offer near vertical drops while others provide a great vantage point for viewing their beautiful surroundings, but all of the following cliffs are worth the trip to see.
1. Etretat, France
Photo source: Brigitte Chanson
Towering over the Atlantic Ocean in Upper Normandy are the white chalk cliffs of Etretat. These beautiful cliffs are famous for its natural arches and served as inspiration for the paintings of many artists, including Claude Monet.
2. Ronda, Spain
Photo source: sanigolos
The cliffs of Ronda are not only beautiful because of the Guadalevin River that runs between them, but also due to the old town perched precariously on top of them. It is a sight that has inspired many poets and writers, including Ernest Hemingway.
3. Seven Sisters/Beachy Head, UK
Photo source: Steve Evans
Next to the English Channel are a series of beautiful chalk cliffs, called the Seven Sisters. These dramatic white cliffs are caused by the erosion and will be a familiar sight to Windows 7 users as a photo was included as one of the default wallpapers. Beachy Head is found to the immediate east of the Seven Sisters and is the highest chalk sea cliff in all of Britain.
Photo source: Green Explorer (Tom)
4. Meteora, Greece
The Meteora cliffs in Greece are another great example of natural beauty coupled with human perseverance. Perched on top of these high cliffs are numerous monasteries, accessible by staircases that have been cut into the rock formations. Thankfully, visitors have it easier than the original inhabitants who had to use long ladders or large nets to get up the cliffs.
5. Mohar, Ireland
Stretching for five miles along the Atlantic coast, the Cliffs of Moher offer great views of the Aran Islands as well as Twelve Pins mountain ranges. The cliffs are 702 feet tall at their highest point and their beauty make them one of the most visited natural attractions in Ireland.
6. The Storr, Scotland
Photo source: john mcsporran
The cliffs of The Store, along with the area in front of them are amongst the most photographed landscapes in Scotland, and with good reason. In addition to the incredible views of the cliff face there are also numerous interesting rock structures dotting the landscape.
Photo source: FrankWinkler
7. Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
Photo source: Kavanagh Family
Sunset Cliffs, famous for its beautiful sunset vistas, also offer spectacular views of the rugged coastline. The sheer cliffs border the ocean and offer trails that can be enjoyed by adventurous visitors. There are also swimming beaches and surfing spots below these remarkable cliffs.
8.Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona
Photo source: Bureau of Land Management
The striking colors of the Vermillion Cliffs are due to the red iron oxide and bluish manganese found in the silt. The cliffs are not only beautiful, but offer a great view of the spectacular landscapes.
9. Bunda Cliffs, Australia
The Bunda Cliffs are remarkable for their beauty and the fact that they are part of the longest uninterrupted sea cliffs found on earth. They are composed of fossiliferous limestone and several viewing points are set up along the Eyre Highway to provide vantage points for looking out over the cliffs.
10. Trolltunga, Norway
Photo source: Eskil Digernes
The cliffs of Troltunga, which literally means Troll’s tongue, features a scenic ledge that is 2,300 feet above the waters below. The trip is definitely not for the faint of heart, but offers a once in a lifetime view of the surrounding area.
Photo source: Zygimantas Savickas
11. White Cliffs of Dover, England
Photo source: Yocee64
The White Cliffs of Dover can be found along the coastline of England, facing France. In areas the cliff face, which is composed mostly of chalk, reaches heights of up to 350 feet. Ice-age floods are said to have formed the cliffs at the same time as the Strait of Dover.
12. East Cliff – Petra, Jordan
Photo source: Michelle Rousell
The East Cliff of Jebel al-Madhbah in Jordon offer breathtaking views for a couple of reasons. The natural beauty of the cliffs are enhanced by the fact that they hold the Royal Tombs of Petra. These structures are carved directly into the cliffs and are amongst the most amazing sights in the area.
13. Svalbard Cliffs, Norway
Photo source: albedo20
Although rather remote, the archipelago of Svalbard features some spectacular cliffs. Featuring high cliffs with steep drops into the sea, the cliffs are not only magnificent, but also home to a large number of birds that nest in the area.
14. Na Pali Cliffs, Hawaii
Photo source Jeff Kubina
There are a couple of beautiful cliffs in Hawaii, but the towering cliffs of Na Pali on the island of Kauai are amongst the most breathtaking. These 3 000 foot cliffs have featured in numerous Hollywood movies, including Jurassic Park and King Kong.
15. Dingli Cliffs, Malta
Photo source Michele Solmi
The cliffs of Dingli are located on the Western coast of Malta and at about 253 meters above sea level they are the highest point of the Maltese Islands. The views from the top are amazing, but the cliffs look just as awe inspiring when viewed from a boat. Buskett Gardens and Verdala Palace are both visible from the cliffs.
16. Pictured Rocks, Michigan
Photo source: manuel Secher
With a name like Pictured Rocks it is unsurprising that these colorful sandstone cliffs make for beautiful photos. The minerals in the rocks provides the cliff with its colorful appearance and it also features shallow caves along with other natural formations.
17. Preikestolen, Norway
Photo source: Piyush Bedi
The steep cliff of Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock as it is known in English, rises 1982 feet above Lysefjorden in Norway. The angular shape of the cliff was formed during the ice age and the green valleys of the Ryfylke region are visible from the top.
18. Angels Landing, Utah
Photo source: Tim Sackton
The stunning cliffs of Angels Landing make for great views and one of the most thrilling hikes in the area. A trail leads to the top where hikers can take in the spectacular views of Zion Canyon, but the sheer cliffs are not recommended for anyone who suffers from vertigo.
19. Tasman Cliffs, Australia
Photo source Carl Joseph
The rugged coastline of the Tasman Peninsula is the site of numerous shipwrecks, but also beautiful cliffs. These cliffs, which rises 980 feet above the Tasman Sea in some places are amongst the highest in the southern hemisphere.
Photo source Russelll Charters
20. Yosemite, California
Photo source: Jeff Krause
There are a few beautiful cliffs to be found in Yosemite National Park, but one of the most famous is El Capitan. This vertical rock formation is about 3,000 feet from the base to its summit and its granite cliffs are a favorite amongst rock climbers.