Spaniards select their own top 7 natural wonders

Editor’s Note: The article was originally published in June 2014.

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 2014 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 destinations in Spain. 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.

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

The list of natural wonders

1. Gaztelugatxe, a small rocky island.

2. Somiedo Natural Park, a mountain wildlife haven.

3. Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, a volcanic landscape in southern Andalusia.

4. Las Medulas, an ancient gold mine.

5. Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park, a landscape of lakes.

6. Fuente De, a gorge in the Picos de Europa mountains.

7. As Catedrais beach, a stunning spot on Spain’s northern coast.