15 Stunningly Rugged Coastlines


Though sandy, palm-framed beaches dominate the calendar industry and the imaginations of tourists, the world’s rocky, rugged coastlines are no less stunning (though perhaps less inviting for beach-goers).  The scenic coasts on this list come from six different continents and numerous countries. 

Alaska and Nova Scotia

Alaska-Nova Scotia

(images via nbonzey, dbaron, and  dougtone)

Alaska’s long coast has diverse geographical features and boasts some of the most scenic landscapes in the U.S.  Nova Scotia is home to some of the most rugged, rocky stretches in Canada.  The seaside areas of both these places is where the most iconic images of the region are found.

Vietnam and South Africa

Vn - SA

(images via gregw66 and cdngrlnaomi)

Vietnam’s Halong Bay has some of the most recognizable rock formations in the world.  The natural towers draw cruisers and tourists from all over the world.  South Africa’s coast is characterized by similarly grand stones.  This is especially the case along the scenic Cape area at the southern tip of the country.


Chile 2

(image via  erazo-fischer)

Chile’s long coastline is as rugged as any seaside in the world.  In fact, one could be forgiven for looking at a map and thinking that the country is nothing but coastline.  Though that is untrue, it is hard to ignore the rugged, uninhabitable strips of land near the South Pacific Ocean.



(image via Irargerich)

Patagonia, the rugged region that dominates southern Argentina, is home to some of the most otherworldly coastline in this world.  The topography is completely unique, as are many of the creatures that inhabit the seaside.

New Zealand

New Zealand

(image via PhilipC)

New Zealand is an island country.  In the past, the sea has played a major part in the culture and history of the land.  A majority of the population spends much of their time near or on the water.



(image via joshandmelanierosenthal)

Maine boasts some of North America’s most scenic seasides.  Though it does not draw as many tourists as places with more tropical weather, there are a steady stream of visitors intent on getting a taste of the place where the North Atlantic meets North America.

Greece, Malt and Crete


(images via mafue, oscar alexander, and meg zimbeck)

The arid, rocky islands of the Mediterranean have some of the most unusual coastal areas anywhere in the world.  The islands of Crete and Malta sit in the middle of the famous and ancient sea, but there are an uncountable number of islands belonging to Greece that feature similar coastal topography.



(images via mozzercork and colorline)

Norway is a land of impossibly tall cliffs and a virtually endless supply of coastline.  The picturesque fjords are the most notably aspects of the country’s geography.  There is similar green, windswept coastal areas throughout Scandinavia.



(image via navin75)

This island sits under Australia and is the epitome of a natural island.  It boasts coastline that has an untamed feel.  Because it is an island, the sea has always played an important role in Tasmania’s history.

Korea and Hong Kong

Korea Honkers

(images via go4it and bracketing life)

Hong Kong is known for its urban features.  However, much of the territory is actually natural and sparsely inhabited.  These areas feature treeless, windswept coastline.  The Korean peninsula has seaside areas that have been shaped by the rough and windy North Pacific Ocean.