Highlights in Spain
Geography of Spain
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.
Travel Tips and Trivia for Spain
Climate in Spain
Spain can be separated in different climate zones:
The weather in northern 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 is 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.
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.