Few geographical features on Earth are more fascinating than coast. The history of how they have developed – over the course of thousands, and even millions, of years – is always captivating. The clash of land and water, as well as the surrounding plants, are mesmerizing. From odd and astonishing natural formations to spectacular manmade embellishments, the coasts on the following list, in no particular order, will make you want to get out there and see them for yourself.
Don’t let its creepy name turn you off. Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is so beautiful it’s haunting. It takes its name from the ships that have sunk there along its rocky Atlantic coast. They now act as fascinating diving destinations. The coast is also a top, and maybe surprising, surfing destination, even though it’s hard to reach and restrictions on access points were placed.
Located on Ireland’s southwest Atlantic coast, Dingle Peninsula is known for its craggy cliffs. You can walk, run, cycle, ride, surf climb or swim pretty much anywhere you wish – on the beach, in the sea, on the roads, or in the hills and mountains. A popular activity is going on a dolphin boat trip.
The gorgeous coast is known for, among other sights, the Giant’s Causeway, a natural wonder on the northern coast. It features 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which came from a volcanic eruption. The Dunluce Castle, an iconic Medieval Irish castle on the Antrim Coast, is a must-see.
The 340 miles long Malabar Coast, consisting of a continuous belt of sand dunes, faces Oman's Sea and the Laccadives Islands. It is lined by “backwater,” a network of canals which link together the many lagoons there, according to Easy Voyage. A string of fishermen's villages, marked by straw huts, lines the coast.
One of the most beautiful parts of Turkey, the Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast, is a popular destination in the Mediterranean for sailors, and everyone who loves beach life. The region in southwest Turkey encompasses the provinces of Antalya, Mugla, Aydın, southern Izmir and western Mersin.
This group of islands within the Arctic Circle is a postcard-perfect fisherman’s little paradise on Earth. Reine, for example, is one of the most isolated small communities in Europe. The beautiful village will take your breath away with its natural splendor. Camping under the stars on beaches is a favorite activity.
If you’re traveling through France, don’t pass over the chance to spend time in the northwest region of Normandy. The island of Mont Saint-Michel is a must-see. History buffs will love the northern region as well. They’ll get to see World War Two beachheads, including Omaha Beach, the site of the famous D-Day landing.
Famous for the 1,000-ft. tall seaside cliffs, called the Giants, this beach town is also very affordable for Western Europe. Los Gigantes has a beautiful black sand beach. The sand is from the ancient volcano that formed the famous cliffs millions of years ago.
The famous coastline in Brazil runs from Itaguai in Rio de Janeiro state, to Santos in Sao Paulo state. Cosa Verde has it all - from mountains covered in velvet green to idyllic beaches. Stop by Ilha Grande, which is an island where the only motorized transport is the boat, if you’re not afraid of snakes, of course.
This is the largest of the British Virgin Islands. As is the case with most places in the Caribbean, you will see plenty of powdery and secluded white-sand beaches, lush mountains, luxury resorts, and hidden yacht-filled harbors. Smuggler’s Cove is a popular attraction. If you’re into surfing, head to Cane Garden Bay.
The rocky stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon is a stunning place to visit. Make it a part of a once in a lifetime road trip if you have an extra day. Drive Big Sur’s length via twisting Highway One.
This stretch of forested, coastal area extends from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth. Apart from being a stunning part of the country, this driving route is also home to many outdoor adventures you can stop at and enjoy along the way – surfing, canoeing, horse-riding, diving, boating, and kloofing (canyoning).
The stretch Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is famous for the preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city, perched on top of a white-sand beach. As home to the world’s second largest coral reef, Riviera Maya is a top spot for snorkelers and divers in search of an unrivaled underwater landscape. Adventures include snorkeling along a cenote (or underground river), and forest zip lining.
The Indonesian archipelago off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua comprises many jungle-covered isles. The Raja Ampat Islands are among the most colorful places on Earth. They are heralded for having an unparalleled array of species, including a wide variety of coral, fish and mollusks.
The 40-mile stretch is on the African coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Cap Blanc is located at the tip of the peninsula. You can see there endangered and rare monk seal.
This secluded beach is accessible by boat. Enjoy the incredible scenery, calm waters and amazing sunsets. Tip: There are a variety of tours to choose from, climb to the lagoon, go rock climbing and diving.
The strait is in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southern tip of South America. The channel is about 150 miles long and 3 to 8 miles wide, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. At its western end the channel splits into two branches that encircle Isla Gordon. The Beagle Channel was named for the British ship Beagle, in which Charles Darwin explored the area.
The landscape spans mountains and beaches on the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California. The region, the northernmost and westernmost of the country, includes famous cities like Tijuana, is one of the most adventurous Spring Break destinations. Kayak by day and camp on the beach by night; you’ll find yourself surrounded by an abundance of wildlife.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site puts explorative kayakers amidst striking limestone islands, rugged rock formations and low caves. The bay in the Gulf of Tonkin includes 1,600 islands and islets. Most of them are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. But other factors are destroying it. Visit before it disappears.
Drawing in travelers with breathtaking coastal views, lively ports and thriving nightlife, the Dalmatian Coast is no longer a well-kept secret. Once a low key getaway for those in-the-know, it is now a top summer travel hotspot and it’s not hard to see why. Sailing and yachting is top-notch on the Dalmatian Coast, nightlife is buzzing and the coastline is among the best in Europe.
Legzira Beach was once home to two rock archways, each extending from the beach into the water of the North Atlantic. In late 2016, the smaller of the two arches collapsed due to erosion. The beach itself is famous for sunsets, and the remaining arch is only accessible on foot during low tide.
The Algarve is one of the most well-known regions in Portugal. It’s famous for its incredible beaches, jaw-dropping mountains, historical interior and splendid nature. Try cliff diving if you have the courage. Swim in the ocean and through caves, but beware of the rock formations and unknown waters.
The 4,000-foot tall cliffs along the Napali coastline are some of the most dramatic in the world. The best way to explore the coast is by kayak, regardless of the fact that you can’t access the area by car. You’ll see dolphins, seals, sea turtles, sea caves, mangoes, waterfalls, and many stunning and secluded beaches.
They are the absolute most famous symbol of the Channel port in Kent. They are perhaps the most remarkable national feature in all of England. The soft, white chalk is a very pure form of limestone. Don’t just see the cliffs from the water. You can walk on the cliff’s top paths and enjoy the unique flora.
They are estimated to be 319 million years old. The cliffs, which are about 5 miles long, rise sharply—up to 702 feet above sea level—and are a breeding ground and safe haven for more than 30,000 seabirds. Europe’s westernmost point are a famous filming location, appearing in “The Princess Bride” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
Formed by glaciers, earthquakes and ocean storms, Kenai Fjords National Park stretches across 607,805 acres of unspoiled wilderness on the southeast coast of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. This is where you will see the largest ice field within U.S. borders. Take a hike or boat tour to explore this unspoiled remnant of the ice age.
The Twelve Apostles are the iconic rock stacks along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. They have separated from nearby limestone cliffs, and began eroding away from the caves approximately 10 to 20 million years ago. The wind and water continue to corrode them at an average of 0.75 inches a year.
Also called Côte d'Azur, this is Mediterranean coast of southeastern France, which includes Nice, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Toulon, the independent microstate of Monaco, to name a few. This is a major yachting and cruising area with many marinas along the coast.