First it was the new 7 Wonders of the World announced in Lisbon in 2007. Then Portugal was inspired to choose its own seven (man-made) wonders in the country, the 7 Portuguese Wonders of the World, and is currently voting for its seven natural wonders. It’s now arrived at a list of 21 finalists in 7 different categories that range from protected zones to caves which can be voted at www.7maravilhas.sapo.pt. Among the nominees are sites already singled out by UNESCO as World Heritage — the Sintra landscape, the Douro Valley, and Madeira’s Laurissilva forest.
Not on the list are a couple of my personal favorites, the breathtaking scenery of Coa Valley in the north of the country, the mystical Cabo Espichel, and Cabo da Roca which is the Westernmost point in Europe. Still, the ones on the list are all worthy of the distinction.
The winners will be announced in the Azores (itself a natural wonder) on September 11. In the meantime, here are a few illustrated examples of the candidates:
Berlengas Natural Reserve
Arrábida Natural Park
Sete Cidades Lake
Mira D’Aire Caves
Lagoa do Fogo (“The Lake of Fire”)