A good, detailed map of Spain is one that gives you a quick visual image that creates a picture and orientates you to exactly where Spain lies. Also, maps can provide a lot more information if you study their legends and understand how the area you are viewing relates to the rest of the region and its place in the world.
Where on the Globe is Spain?
Spain is located at 40 degrees north and 4 degrees west. It is a part of Europe and makes up the south western part of the continent. To compare it to the United States, Spain would measure only a little more than two times the size of Oregon. It’s total area is 504,782 square kilometres, with that being broken down as 499,542 sq km of land and 5,240 sq km of water.
Spain includes a couple of island chains and two autonomous cities: Melilla and Ceuta. The islands are the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Penon de Alhucemas, Islas Chafarinas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera which are located off the coast of Morocco.
Spain borders on France, Gibraltar, Portugal, and two of Morocco’s communities in different areas. Even with all of these land connections, Spain has almost 5,000 km of coastline and the beaches are a big part of the country’s tourist trade.
Also adding to the tourist attractiveness of Spain is the temperate climate. The coast is most moderate, as the interior regions can get more extreme cold and hot temperatures in the summer and winter.
Spain sits right at sea level in its lowest spot along the Atlantic Ocean. The highest point is located in Tenerife at the Pico de Teide. This peak sits atop the Canary Islands and reaches 3,718 meters.
Key Cities and Regions of Spain
At the southern tip of Spain is the Straight of Gibraltar. This is an important passage from the Mediterranean Sea into the North Atlantic Ocean. The city of Algeciras sits watch over the merchant and tourist trades that pass through.
Along the Mediterranean coast is the Alicante region. This is a popular tourist location for all of Europe, Spain and International visitors from other parts of the world.
Madrid sits in the centre of Spain and is the country’s capital. It is located near the Tagus river which then accesses the North Atlantic Ocean by way of Portugal. Seville sits in the south western part of Spain and is known for its art and culture as well as being a financial centre.
Other major and important cities in Spain are Barcelona and Cartagena both on the Balearic and Mediterranean Seas respectively.
Up in the Bay of Biscay along the coast lie the cities of Gijon and Santander. Also part of the northern coastal cities are A Coruna and Vigo. It is easy to see why Spain is heavily involved in sea life either through fishing, salt harvesting or trade. However, even strategic location has not helped Spain with its relatively high unemployment rate.
Spain still has a strong and dynamic economy. This mostly evolved after the death of its dictator, Francisco Franco who died in 1975. Once Franco was not in power, Spain quickly became a democracy and saw a dramatic modernization of its economy.
Spain is an advocate of world freedom, remaining neutral in World Wars I and II, but fighting today for liberty and ending terrorism.
Spain may not be one of the most visited of European countries by Americans unless you count the Canary Islands. It is a mistake to rule out this beautiful country because of a lack of understanding. The Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca are among the most perfect vacation spots in all of Europe, any time of year.