Epic sea cliffs: Zakynthos

Photo: Petr Kopka/Shutterstock

Typically formed by marine wave erosion or major debris avalanches, coastal cliffs (like the ones looming over Greece's Navagio Bay in the photo above) can be found all around the world. They're breathtaking to see in person, but since that's not always feasible, here are a few of our favorites to inspire your inner globetrotter.

 
Epic sea cliffs: Cliffs of Moher

Photo: Elzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

One of the world's most famous sea cliffs are Ireland's Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 400 feet above the ocean along the country's western coast. This breathtaking landform receives nearly 1 million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

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Epic sea cliffs: Etretat, France

Photo: Igor Plotnikov/Shutterstock

Étretat, France

The farming commune of Étretat in northwestern France may be small, but it boasts big scenic views. Overlooking the English Channel, these striated white and gray cliffs also feature dramatic natural arches and a needle-like rock that juts out from the deep blue water.

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Epic sea cliffs: Bonifacio

Photo: Stephane Bidouze/Shutterstock

Bonifacio, Corsica, France

The city, perched on the limestone cliffs of southern Corsica, is the site of an old citadel that was founded in the 9th century. Today, it is one of the Mediterranean's most beloved and surreal attractions.

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Epic sea cliffs: Twelve Apostles

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The Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

Located off the shore of Australia's Port Campbell National Park are a set of limestone cliffs and stacks known as the Twelve Apostles. These majestic landforms formed through erosion over many years — first as small caves in the ever-receding headland walls, and then as arches that would later collapse and become 147-foot-high stone stacks. Despite their name, only eight Apostles remain.

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Epic sea cliffs: White cliffs of Dover

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White Cliffs of Dover, England

Situated on the English coastline bordering the Strait of Dover, these cliffs were borne from the ancient calcium carbonate skeletons of planktonic algae that died and sank to the bottom of the ocean during the Cretaceous period.

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Epic sea cliffs: Mizen head

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Mizen Head, County Cork, Ireland

Situated on the most south-westerly point of the Emerald Isle, the rugged cliffs at Mizen Head are one of Cork's major tourist destinations. The natural attraction is home to a lighthouse, weather station and an old signal station, which has been converted into a museum for tourists.

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Epic sea cliffs: Big Sur

Photo: RuthChoi/Shutterstock

Big Sur, California

The gorgeous cliffs and valleys of Big Sur stretch roughly 90 miles along the central coast of California. One of the most notable attractions in this slice of paradise is the Bixby Creek Bridge (pictured above), which is one of the Pacific Coast's most iconic images.

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Epic sea cliffs: Zakynthos

Photo: Ghost of Kuji/Flickr

Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

This vibrant cove features a tiny beach accessible only by boat, clear blue waters and tall, looming cliffs that are popular with BASE jumpers. The beach is also known as Shipwreck Beach — a name that dates back to 1983 when a ship smuggling cigarettes wrecked on the shore.

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Epic sea cliffs: Bunda

Photo: John White Photos/Shutterstock

Bunda Cliffs, South and Western Australia

Bordering the Great Australian Bight for about 62 miles, the Bunda cliffs are part of the longest, uninterrupted stretch of sea cliffs in the world. The cliffs, which reach as high as 393 feet, are made of limestone and date back to the Tertiary Period.

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Epic sea cliffs: Paracas

Photo: hecke61/Shutterstock

Paracas cliffs, Ica, Peru

This desert peninsula is most famous for the Paracas Candelabra — a 600-foot-long prehistoric geoglyph built on the peninsula's north face — but the destination also boasts red sand beaches formed by the erosion of nearby cliffs. The cliffs are located inside Paracas National Reservation, an area designated to protect the unique marine ecosystem and to preserve the local indigenous history and culture.

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.