No top seven list of anything is going to meet with universal approval. But Spain was so outraged not to get a mention in 2014’s New Seven Wonders of the World, it went right ahead and composed a list of its own. And just to make sure everyone knew exactly how difficult it was selecting only seven marvels from a country which only lags behind China and Italy for UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Spanish added another five for good measure.
But even with 12 Treasures of Spain, the surface was barely scratched, hundreds of legends didn’t make the cut and thousands more weren’t even in the running. So here twelve of the unsung heroes to add to your own must-see list of Spanish wonders. They’re not entirely unknown, but should be mostly crowd-free, for now.
The precariously perched village of Ronda in Andalusia is awash with tour buses all summer long. But equally teetering and remarkable Castellfollit de la Roca is its Catalan counterpart, no less dramatic and barely busy at all, even in high season.
This tiny medieval marvel clings to the edge of sheer basalt cliffs above La Garrotxa and it’s an unforgettable first sight. But prepare to linger a little and just go with the time-stood-still enchantment of slow-ticking church clocks, shady squares, sleepy cobbled streets and higgledy-piggledy houses.
Where to find Castellfollit de la Roca
Castellfollit is 40 minutes drive from historic Girona, known for its hauntingly lovely medieval quarter and the Roman ruins of Forҫa Vella.