27 Breathtaking Cliffs to See in Your Lifetime
Collected by Danielle Walsh, AFAR Contributor
There's nothing more epic than standing high above the ocean on a cliff. Here are 27 places to experience that feeling around the world.
Ka Lae Rd, Naalehu, HI 96772, USA
South Point on the Big Island is the most southern point in the United States. The cliffs were ancient mooring places for canoes belonging to the first settlers on the Big Island. Fishermen still use this place to cast their lines, and adventurous...
China, Beijing Shi, Yanqing Qu, 010 County Rd, 张山营镇东门营村北
About 55 miles northwest of Beijing lies the impressive ancient cave dwelling site of Guyaju. The complex, which resembles stone apartment buildings, is believed to have been carved from the cliff faces by the Xiyi ethnic minority during the Tang...
Lighthouse Rd, Port Antonio, Jamaica
There's a reason Blue Cave Castle (affectionately dubbed "BCC" by return visitors) has a following. Designed in the shape of a castle, it's impossible to miss this dominating blue structure on Negril's cliff side. Tower rooms offer dramatic views...
Horn Head, Largatreany, Co. Donegal, Ireland
This short 13km drive is worth taking for the panoramic views of the northwest coast, stretching from the Rosguill Peninsula to the Bloody Foreland, and out to Tory Island to the north. There’s plenty of seabird life on the cliff ledges, with...
Fort MacLeod, AB T0L 0Z0, Canada
From a distance, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump looks like any other Canadian Rockies foothill area, but closer inspection reveals a UNESCO World Heritage site that holds 6,000 years of First Nations (native peoples') history beneath its grassy...
Cionn Fhánada, Eara Thíre na Binne, Baile Láir, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, F92YC03, Ireland
On the north coast of Donegal, take a drive on part of the Wild Atlantic Way around the Fanad Peninsula and Rosguill Peninsula for some spectacular coastal scenery. There’s a mix of golden beaches, rolling farmland, and dramatic...
589 Ohara, 大原 いすみ市 千葉県 298-0004, Japan
Don’t get me wrong—I love Tokyo and wouldn’t trade it for any other city in world. But sometimes you’ve just got to get out and decompress by dropping the pace several notches with an overnight stay somewhere beyond the borders of the urban...
Marwick Head, Orkney KW17 2NB, UK
After picking up a fantastic batch of fresh haggis to go with our fish and chips in Stromness we made our way north to Marwick Head. Upon reaching Marwick Head - a beautiful tower situated atop impressive cliffs - we walked along the cliff tops in...
Lung-tung Fishing Harbor, Taiwan
Longdong (otherwise known as Lung-tung) is situated along the largest bay on the northeast coast of Taiwan. People head on out to Longdong due to its beautiful scenery, clear water, and fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. The more...
1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA
A historic New York state resort, Mohonk Mountain House first opened in 1869 in the Hudson Valley, about 90 miles from New York City. This Victorian castle has welcomed five U.S. presidents (including Bill Clinton) in addition to countless...
-34.088639, 18.359575, Noordhoek, Cape Town, 7979, South Africa
Cape Town already feels like it’s at the tip of the world, and at Tintswalo Atlantic that sensation is magnified as guests get cozy in a suite just a few meters from the ocean. Park in the lot just off the famed Chapmans Peak Drive and...
1090 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
San Francisco's seven hills and extensive coastline offer plenty of impressive views; why not enjoy them with a delicious meal or bubbly drink? The Burger Bar on the top floor of Macy’s and the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus overlook Union Square....
Montezuma Castle Rd, Camp Verde, AZ, USA
As Anglo settlers arrived in the 19th century, several sites throughout the Southwest desert were named, erroneously, for the Aztec emperor Montezuma (Moctezuma). The most famous one—and the one to keep this name officially—is Montezuma Castle...
Jungmun-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
The Giant's Causeway in Ireland is perhaps the most well-known example of seaside columnar basalt cliffs...and here on this green volcanic island on the other side of the world is a less well-known locale where you can find this geologic...
47900 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Described by devotees as the most luxurious, one-of-a-kind lodging experience in all of California, the Post Ranch Inn was purpose-built to blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains. Opened in 1992, and designed by famed Big Sur architect Mickey...
Route des Sanguinaires, 20000 Ajaccio, France
Young and poor, but frequent-flier-mile rich, my wife and I were able to go to Corsica for our first anniversary...Staying with friends always helps...They lived in Ajaccio, (birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte), and at sunset one evening, they took...
Maria Island, Tasmania 7190, Australia
A national park off the east coast of Tasmania, Maria Island offers an unparalleled combination of wildlife, scenery, and history. The Maria Island Walk is the only outfitter that leads trips across the island and offers tent cabins and gourmet...
Carretera Federal & Cancún - Chetumal Km 230 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
While not as large as other ancient Mayan cities in the region, Tulum draws in visitors for its stunning setting of centuries-old temples perched on a cliff by the Caribbean Sea. You’ll pass a large market with souvenirs, a casual Mexican...
Hilo, HI, HI, USA
Living in Honolulu, nothing feels better than to leave the City for a few days; even if it means heading to the North Shore of Oahu or another island for a short reprieve. On this particular occasion, I booked a ticket to the Big Island of Hawaii;...
San Diego, CA, USA
Just a short drive north from downtown San Diego, the 2,000-acre Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offers an idea of what Southern California looked like before its coastlines were developed. Experience the area by taking a short walk from the...
Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Fancy yourself a brave one, do ye? Aye, aye, then the Cliffs of Moher are right up your alley. Ireland's most popular tourist destination does not disappoint, though visiting during the middle of the day means you're going to have to share the...
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