Skip to main content

Spain's 7 wonders of the natural world

By Frances Cha, CNN
June 28, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
Gaztelugatxe, a small, rocky island on Spain's northern coast is said to resemble a castle, which could explain why it's suffered numerous attacks over the centuries. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, the island's main highlight is a chapel built in the 11th century in honor of St. John. Gaztelugatxe, a small, rocky island on Spain's northern coast is said to resemble a castle, which could explain why it's suffered numerous attacks over the centuries. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, the island's main highlight is a chapel built in the 11th century in honor of St. John.
HIDE CAPTION
National treasures to visit in Spain
Somiedo Natural Park
Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
Las Medulas
Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park
Fuente De
As Catedrais
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than 82,000 votes were cast to pick new natural wonders in Spain
  • Top destinations include biosphere reserves and a cluster of lakes
  • Campaign's final stage includes hiring a team of "explorers" to go on two-week trip

(CNN) -- Spain didn't get a mention in 2011's hotly debated "New 7 Wonders of Nature" roundup.

So it just went ahead and cooked up its own list.

The 7 Natural Wonders of Spain were announced in early June after a round of votes on the campaign's official website.

More than 82,000 votes were cast to select the top seven out of 20 Spanish destinations.

It's unclear an ancient gold mine counts as a "natural wonders" but the seven finalists make a stunningly scenic alternative itinerary to standard travel lists of heritage sites.

"Probably one of the least-known destinations for international tourists is Gaztelugatxe," campaign representative Sonia Rodriguez told CNN.

MORE: Spain -- things to know before you go

"In the case of Spanish tourists, the least known destinations are Las Medulas or the Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park."

In the final stage of the campaign, organized by travel insurance company Allianz Global Assistance, a team of "explorers" will be picked to officially inaugurate a new tourist route around the sites.

All travel expenses and a "salary" of €1,500 ($2,045) will be provided for each explorer to cover a two-week tour of all seven.

The website will be accepting applications from Spanish speakers until June 30.

The list of natural wonders includes: Gaztelugatxe, a small rocky island; Somiedo Natural Park, a mountain wildlife haven; Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, a volcanic landscape in southern Andalusia; Las Medulas, an ancient gold mine; Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park, a landscape of lakes; Fuente De, a gorge in the Picos de Europa mountains and As Catedrais beach, a stunning spot on Spain's northern coast.

MORE: Spain's Costa Brava goes back to its roots

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
December 8, 2014 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
These statues are awe-inspiring even for the strongest of non-believers.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1659 GMT (0059 HKT)
The Palace of the Parliament, built by former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
25 years after the death of Romania's communist dictator, tourism is helping heal old wounds.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
Photo sharing website names the top 10 destinations for geo-tagged snapshots.
December 3, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
New York may be a paradise of Zagat-rated, Michelin-starred restaurants, but some of its best food can be found on the streets.
December 2, 2014 -- Updated 0601 GMT (1401 HKT)
Guide Lebo behind the wheel of Chobe Game Lodge's first electric game viewing vehicle, at Chobe National Park in Botswana.
Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana ups the eco stakes with what it claims is world's first battery-powered safari fleet.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
ADVERTISEMENT