The world offers thousands of exciting and thrilling experiences for people who love the outdoors. Some of the hidden gems of the world are natural bridges which are not as common as many other natural attractions. Natural bridges are geological features which are formed through the process of erosion and weathering of subterranean rocks to form a natural arch. There are some natural bridges found around the world whose beauty is breathtaking making prime tourist attractions.
7. Pravcicka Brana, Czechia
Pravcicka Brana is a natural stone bridge located in Bohemian Switzerland, also known as Czech Switzerland. The bridge’s name “Pravcicka Brana” translates to “Pravcice Sandstone Gate.” The natural bridge is the largest natural stone bridge in Europe and the most beautiful natural bridge in the world. The dimensions of the natural bridge are mind-boggling, with the bridge spanning a length of 26.5 meters and a height of 16 meters. Pravcicka Brana is 8 meters at its widest point. One cannot help but wonder how nature is capable of the formation of a bridge of that scale. Located in the renowned Bohemian Switzerland, Pravcicka Brana is a prime tourist attraction in the region and attracts thousands of visitors who visit the natural bridge for the thrilling experience that comes with crossing the bridge. There are numerous well-maintained hiking trails which lead up to the bridge. For less confident visitors, several lookout points are surrounding the natural bridge from where visitors can observe Pravcicka Brana from afar.
6. Natural Bridge of Rockbridge County, Virginia
Rockbridge County is home to the most beautiful natural bridge in Virginia which is simply known as Natural Bridge. Natural Bridge is located on a natural arch which stretches 90 feet long and 215 feet high. This natural bridge is situated in a mountainous region whose rock structure is made up of limestone. The formation of the natural bridge is not conclusively known but geologists have proposed some theories. The widely accepted theory is from Edgar W. Spencer who believes that the natural bridge is a remnant of the roof of an ancient underground river. According to Edgar, continuous weathering of the limestone-rock ultimately led to the disappearance of the underground river and surrounding rocks leaving the arch. Natural Bridge is under the protection of the state of Virginia and was the main reason behind the establishment of the Natural Bridge State Park. The natural bridge was also selected as a National Historic Landmark and was also designated as a Virginia Historic Landmark.
5. Natural Bridge of Koraka, Cyprus
Cyprus is home to one of Europe’s most beautiful natural bridges. The Natural Bridge of Koraka which lies several miles from Cape Greco is locally known as “Kamara tou Koraka.” The Kamara tou Koraka stretches 15 meters in length and has a height of 7 meters. The bridge is a key tourist attraction in the region and is visited by many tourists each year.
4. Rogue Gorge and Natural Bridge, Oregon
Within the depths of the lush forests in the state of Oregon lies a hidden gem; the Rogue Gorge and Natural Bridge. The natural bridge in Oregon is distinct from many other natural bridges in the world as it lies on top of a river, the Rogue River which flows underground through a lava tube lying under the natural bridge. The Natural Bridge can be accessed through hiking on a looping trail which stretches 2.4 miles and provides excellent views of the bridge as well as those of the Rogue River.
3. Wadi Rum natural bridge, Jordan
Wadi Rum is an expansive wadi located in the Aqaba region of Jordan which occupies an area of 278 square miles. The valley was named Wadi Rum in the early Byzantine era, with the Arabic term “wadi rum” being translated to mean “valley of the Rum.” The Rum was the name given to ancient Greeks who settled in the region. The valley’s geology is characterized by sandstone and granite features, one of which being the Jebel Burdah or the Wadi Rum Natural Bridge. The Jebel Burdah is the tallest natural arch in Wadi Rum and is the most picturesque in the entire country. The natural bridge is a popular attraction for thrill seekers who ascend to the top of the arch through hiking and rock climbing.
2. Great Bridge of Wales, Wales
The Green Bridge of Wales is a large natural arch situated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The Green Bridge lies on rocks which are made up of Carboniferous limestone as well as limited amounts of chert. The Green Bridge of Wales has a span of over 66 feet and a height of 80 feet. The natural arch is believed to have been formed through erosion and weathering after the continued battering of the limestone rocks by storm winds, waves, and pebbles emanating from the nearby sea. The original limestone layer beneath the natural arch bridge was also eroded away through chemical erosion. The continuous erosion led to the formation of caves beneath the present-day arch which expanded in size over many centuries until they meet, forming the natural arch. Green Bridge of Wales is commonly referred to as “the most spectacular natural arch in the United Kingdom” and is the most beautiful natural bridge in the country. The Green Bridge of Wales is accessible to the public through the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, despite lying in the eastern sector of the Castlemartin military training area, and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
1. Owachomo Bridge, Utah
The geology of Utah is one of a kind and makes it possible for the formation of geological features not seen in many regions of the United States. One of these geological features is natural bridges which are present in the state. There are three such bridges found near each other in Blanding, Utah. One of these is known as Owachomo Bridge which is recognized as a National Monument. “Owachomo” is a Hopi word which loosely translats to “rock mound.” The natural bridge was given the name by William Douglas in 1908 and was previously known as “Little Bridge” or “Edwin.” The Owachomo Bridge is the smallest of the three natural bridges in the region, with a length spanning 180 feet and a height of 106 feet, but it is the most popular and is thought to be the most ancient. The natural bridge is also the thinnest of the three bridges, with a thickness of 9 feet which makes Owachomo Bridge the most fragile of the three natural bridges. Visitors can access the natural bridge through the Owachomo Bridge Trail which is about 0.8 miles in length.