Travel Guide

                                                           Spain Espana

                                                   Alhambra Spain  Alhambra

The quick travel guide to Spain and Madrid


Spain is located in south west Europe with long coastlines on the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean Sea. Spain is the second largest country in the EU, after France, - it covers 504,780 sq km of territory. Apart from the coasts Spain has borders with France and Andorra to the north and Portugal to the west; the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar lies on the south coast of Spain. 

The Spanish population is around 39 million, some 3.1 million of whom live in the capital, Madrid. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco. There a number of ethic groups within the Spanish population, these are; Castilian Spanish 72%, Catalan 16%, Galician 8%, and Basque 2%. Spain is a member of the United Nations, European Union, NATO, OECD, and WTO.


The majority of Spain's peninsular region consists of the Meseta Central, a highland plateau rimmed and dissected by mountain ranges. The capital Madrid lies to the south of this region. Other landforms include narrow coastal plains and some lowland river valleys, the most prominent of which is the Andalusian Plain in the southwest. The country can be divided into ten natural regions or subregions: the dominant Meseta Central, the Cantabrian Mountains and the northwest region, the Ibérico region, the Pyrenees, the Penibético region in the southeast, the Andalusian Plain, the Ebro Basin, the coastal plains, the Balearic Islands, and the Canary Islands. These are commonly grouped into four types: the Meseta Central and associated mountains, other mountainous regions, lowland regions, and islands.

Mainland Spain is dominated by high plateaus and mountain ranges, such as the Pyrenees in the north and Sierra Nevada in the south. The highest point on the  Spanish mainland is Mulhacen at 3,478 mteres which is in the Sierra Nevada. However the highest point in Spain is actually Teide, on Tenerife, which rises to 3,718 meters. Teide is a actually a dormant volcano. 

Running from the mountain heights are several major rivers such as the Tagus, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir. 

The climate of Spain is very diverse; walm in the north, sub tropical in the south and cold in the mountain regions.  

Balearic Islands

The largest island in the Balearic group is Majorca which is around 200 kilometres from the mainland. It has a population of around 846,000; next is Ibiza with 114,000 and Menorca with 87,000. 

Canary Islands

In terms of population the largest of the Canary Islands is Tenerife with 886,000 people, Gran Canaria with 829,000, Lanzarote with 132,000 and Fuerteventure with 95,000. 

After the capital Madrid the next largest cities in Spain are; Barcelona with 1,582,738, Valencia with 797,654,  Seville - 709,975 Zaragoza - 626,081 and Málaga - 547,105. 


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