Destination Information Spain

Your stay abroad in Spain

Destination information

Spain

Explore the most diverse country in Europe – Spain. Experience wonderful nature and beautiful beaches, which will make your journey to an unforgettable adventure.

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Geography

Geography

The Kingdom of Spain is situated in southern Europe and shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal, the princedom of Andorra and Gibraltar. Spain covers most of the Iberian Peninsula, though. The state is divided into 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities. The state territory does also include the Baleares in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the cities Ceuta and Melilla on the north African coast. The exclave Llívia and some of the islands along the Moroccan coastline doe belong to the Spanish territory. The total land area of Spain does cover 505.990 km², which makes it the third largest country in Europe. The main capital of Spain is Madrid.

With an average of 600 altitude difference the Spanish territory has one of the highest values in Europe, about 50% of the country are situated on an elevated plain. The landscape in Spain has many different forms.

The six-massive mountain ranges do have a strong influence on the regional arrangement. Five of the six mountain ranges follow west-east direction.

These are the Pyrenees in the North, the parallel to the northern shoreline and west of the Pyrenees situated Cantabarian Mountain, the Castilian Mountains, the Sierra Morena and the Cordilleras Béticas. From Northwest to south east the Cordillera Central is crossing the country. The five main river systems run between the mountain ranges.

The central of the Iberian Peninsula is dominated by a wide elevated plain. The depressions lie much lower and are crossed by the two rivers Guadalquivir and Ebro.


Flora & fauna

Flora and fauna in Spain

Especially pine trees, oak trees and eucalyptus are typical vegetation in Spain. The mountain regions are home to coniferous woodland and beech trees. Oak trees and beech trees are often found in the wet regions of Spain. In lower areas chestnut, ash-tree, linden, hazelnut, and maple trees are growing. Fern, broom, and different heather species are also widely spread. In the dry southern parts of Spain many palm trees can be seen. The parts of the country which are dominated by mediterranean vegetation are covered with lavender, myrtle, and laurel plants

 

The Spanish fauna is very diverse. Around 2.500 wolves live in Spain. The population of Iberian wolves is therewith one of the largest and most stable ones in Western Europe. Next to the wolves around 200 brown bears are domestic in the country. Also, the very rare Iberian lynx can be found in Spain. With less than 300 animals the species is highly endangered. The usually only in Africa living small spotted genet can as well be found in Spain. Next to these rather rare animals the Ichneumon, the Spanish ibex or the pyrenes chamois are characteristic for the Spanish fauna. Many animal species from Germany are also domesticated in Spain like the deer, rabbit, wild boar, badger, or fox. There are also many different bird species: Flamingos in wetland areas, eagles, buzzards, vultures, and pheasants. Lizards, geckos, snakes, and turtles belong to the different reptile species which can be seen in Spain.


Climate

Climate in Spain

Spain can be separated in different climate zones:

The weather in norther spain is influenced by the Atlantic. Sommer and Winter month are rather mild, and especially during winter times it can rain regularly. The northern eats parts are dominated by the pyrenes mountains and have a classical mountain climate. During the winter, there can be a lot of snow and cold climate, and even in summer it can be relatively cold.

The central region of spain are ruled by a continental climate. During the summer months, it can be very warm and dry, while during winter it gets cold and with a lot of snow.

Fall and spring in southern spain are high of precipitation due to a Mediterranean climate with cold winters and hot and dry summer months.

Along the Mediterranean coast and the Baleares, the winters get very mild with hot summers while during fall there can be a lot of rainfall.

A subtropical climate dominates the Canary Islands, with 18 to 24 degrees over the whole year.


Social geography

Social Geography

Population

There are 46,4 Million inhabitants in Spain. The average life expectancy of a Spaniard reaches 82,5 years, which is place number one in the European union.

Language

The official language in Spain is Spanish (Castellano). In the autonomous communities Valencia, Catalonia, Galicia, and Baekeland the regional dialects and languages have an official rank. Among these are Aragonian, Aranic, Asturian, Basque, Galician and Catalan.

Religion

The majority of the population is roman catholic.

Economy

The main economy sectors in Spain are tourism and agriculture. Spain has the largest area of grape cultivation in the world.

Political Situation

Spain is a constitutional monarchy. Since 19th June 2014 King Felipe VI is the head of state.


Travel Tips and Trivia

Time Zone

  • UTC +1 (central european time)
  • Adjustment to summer time: Yes

Currency

The currency of Spain is the Euro.

Unity

The metric unities apply in Spain.

Power

The supply coltage in Spain is 230 Volt alternating current, like in the other European countries. The German and Austrian plugs fit with the spanish plug socket.

Transportation

The roads and highways in Spain are very well developed. There are different ferry connections between the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands. The train and bus system also have a very good coverage. The cities Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla and Palma de Mallorca have an underground and metro system. There is also a tram system in Alicante, Bilbao, Tenerife, Madrid and Barcelona. Spain is investing more and more in the construction of bicycle routes. The bigger cites also offer rental stations for bicycles.

National holidays

  • 1 January: New Years
  • 6 January: Holy three Kings
  • 1 May: Labor Day
  • 12 October: National holiday
  • 1 November: All Saints` day
  • 8 December: Conception of Mary
  • 25 December: Christmas

Mobile Holidays: Good Friday, Assumption Day

There are many more regional and local holidays

Dos and Don'ts

Do

  • Be prepared for late dinner and drinking. Most of the spanish people start eating dinner at around 10 PM.
  • You should give a tip in bars and restaurants
  • Use the public transportation system. It is cheap and very well organized.

Don't

  • Do not expect punctuality.

Highlights Must-see places in Spain

Our top recommendations for you

Highlights

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park covers an area of 15.608 hectare and is spread over five communities in Spain. The park is situated in the Spanish Pyrenees in the province of Huersca and is the oldest national park in the Pyrenees. The 3.355 m high Monte Perdido was called a UNESCO world heritage and is within the national park. There is a unique flora and fauna, like brown bears and Egyptian vulture, which are extinct in most parts of Europe. In the Ordesa National Park you can find the deepest canyons of the continent with fascinating rock formations.

Valencia

Valencia is situated on the east coast of Spain and is one of the most important cities of the country. Next to a beautiful historic city center and modern architecture you can find fantastic gastronomy and wide beaches in Valencia.

Baleares and the Canary Islands

Spain is famous for its beautiful islands. Especially the Baleares and the Canary Islands offer wonderful beaches and landscape – perfect places to escape the daily routine.

Sagrada Familia

The construction of the famous roman catholic Basilica in Barcelona is still incomplete and will be finished by 2026. The cathedral shows the architectural style of Gaudí and belongs to the UNESCO world heritage since 2005.

Cathedral von Santiago de Compostela

This impressive church is a world heritage site since 1985. The church is the finish of the well-known pilgrimage route from the sanctuary of St. James

Alhambra bei Granada

On top of the Sabikah-Hill of Granada you can find the old city castle Alhambra. The castle is a world heritage site since 1984. If you would like to visit the old palace we would recommend you to book a ticket in advance as only a limited number of tickets is sold per day.

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