IN a country saturated with stunning natural landscapes, picking Spain’s top Seven Natural Wonders is no mean feat.
But the much-anticipated list has finally been announced. and the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, in Almeria, is among the select septet of scenic locations. Which is more than can be said for the Sierra Nevada, the Canary Islands or the Balearics, none of which made the cut.
More than 82,000 votes were cast in the selection of the top seven Spanish destinations, from an original shortlist of 20.
The campaign – organised by travel insurance company Allianz Global Assistance – is all about promoting the unknown destinations of Spain.
Check out the full list here. Do you agree? Or is there somewhere special you think should have been included?
1. Gaztelugatxe. The small rocky island on Spain’s northern coast is said to resemble a castle. The main highlight is an 11th century chapel, built in honour of St John.
2. Somiedo Natural Park. Four valleys in northern Spain’s Cantabrian Mountains make up this UNESCO site. It is a haven for some of Spain’s most endangered species, including brown bears, wolves, wild boar and golden eagles.
3. Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park. Another UNESCO site, this natural park is the largest protected coastal area in southern Spain. Its diverse landscape includes wetlands, volcanic cliffs, white beaches and a saltwater lagoon.
4. Las Medulas. These ancient UNESCO-protected gold mines are a spectacular example of Roman technology. They showcase a groundbreaking system of dams and canals which harnessed the power of water to smash and wash away rock.
5. Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park. This group of 15 interconnected lakes encompasses 4,000 hectares. The Park is home to a wide variety of birds and fish and the Cave of Montesinos, mentioned in Don Quixote.
6. Fuente De. This spectacular gorge in the Picos de Europa mountain range can only be reached by cable car. In peak season, tourists form long queues to enjoy the sensational views.
7. As Catedrais. The unusual rock formations, reminiscent of vaults and arches, have earned this natural wonder the nickname ‘Beach of the cathedrals’. It also ranks among Europe’s most beautiful beaches.