The country of Spain officially referred to as the Kingdom of Spain, is currently the second largest country in the European continent and is located in the southwestern area. Spain is culturally and geographically shifted, and it is Europe’s fifth-largest nation country in terms of population. The broad spectrum of tourist attractions, the developed economy, and culture, as well as the accessibility of a variety of work possibilities, are among the main reasons for people from all over the world migrating to this nation.
Spain centered on Madrid can be found on the map of the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. The Iberian Peninsula is a piece of land in which, in addition to this country, Portugal and Gibraltar are also located, but Spain’s share is more. This country borders France and Andorra from the northeast, and England is also geographically neighboring Spain.
Following France and Ukraine, Spain is the third-largest nation in Europe. This country is a little smaller than Thailand and a little bigger than Sweden. You can fit the country of Spain 18 times in the United States! The sun sets earlier in Spain than in other European countries, which probably accounts for part of Spain’s vibrant late-night culture. The largest cities of this country are also based on population: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Saragossa.
Geography of Spain
Spain is a peninsula in the southwest of Europe, which is bordered by France and Andorra from the northeast and Portugal from the west, and reaches the water in other parts. The nation is enclosed by the Balearic Sea to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the North Atlantic Ocean to the west and northwest, and the Basque Bay to the north. In the south, this country has a water border with Morocco through the important and strategic Strait of Gibraltar. The area of Spain is about 505,990 square kilometers and in this respect, it is in the 52nd place in the world. In order to have a better picture of this area, assume that this country has an area of about one-third of Iran!
About 50 million people live in Spain. In addition to 50 provinces and several small and big islands, this nation is made up of 17 autonomous regions, the most well-known of which are the Balearic and Canary Islands. The Greenwich Meridian also passes through this country and is near the city of Valencia.
Partition of Spain
Spain generally consists of 17 autonomous regions and these regions are divided into 50 provinces. These departments and their provinces are as follows:
Autonomous divisions of several provinces
- Andalusia: This regional area in southern Spain incorporates the provinces of Seville, Granada, Córdoba, Cadiz, Malaga, Huelva, Jaén, and Almera. The Muslims of Spain ruled this autonomous region for many years.
- Aragon: This autonomous region located in the northeast consists of the three provinces of Zaragoza, Huesca, and Truel, and its people speak the Aragonese language.
- Basque Country: This autonomous region is located at the foot of the Pyrenees and consists of the three provinces of Alaba, Biscay, and Gipuzkoa.
- Castilla-La Mancha: in the westernmost part of Spain, which consists of the five provinces of Cuenca, Albacete, Ciudad Real, Guadalajara, and Toledo.
- Castilla-Leon: a large department comprising the nine provinces of León, Valencia, Burgos, Sevilla, Zamora, Valladolid, Segovia, Salamanca, and Ávila.
- Catalonia: in the easternmost part of Spain and includes the four provinces of Barcelona, Khorna, Lerida, and Tarragona.
- Galicia: in the center of Spain, which includes the provinces of La Coruna, Lugo, Ourense, and Pontevedra.
- Canary Islands: It consists of eight small and large islands and is located in the southeast of Spain.
Autonomous departments of a single province
- Extremadura: It is a province centered on the city of Mérida.
- Cantabria: This part is also in the north and is a separate province whose center is the city of Santander.
- Asturias: This autonomous part of Spain, which is located in the northwest, consists of a province of the same name with the center of the city of Obiedo.
- Balearic Islands: This autonomous part of an archipelago in the east of Spain is a province with the center of Palma de Mallorca.
- La Rioja: It is a province in the center of the city of Logroño.
- Madrid: It is a separate province centered on the city of Madrid and the capital of Spain.
- Murcia: It is a separate province from the center of this city.
- Nabara: It is a separate district to the north of the city center of Pamplona.
- Valencia: It is a province and autonomous region with the center of this city.
Spanish historical background
Spain is known as Hispania in ancient times. Immigrants have migrated to Spain from Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean since the dawn of history. The Phoenicians, who came in the 8th century BC, called this peninsula “Span”. After years of being ruled by various monarchs, Spain became a modern, industrial, and democratic nation in Europe in 1975.
The nationality, religion, and official tongue of Spain
The population of Spain around 500 years ago has continuously increased significantly due to some reasons. With almost 47 million citizens, this nation now holds the 5th largest population in Europe. Spain was the 52nd greatest nation in the globe in 2023, with a size of 506,000 sq km. During the last several years, immigration and residence in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona have increased; in such a way that more than 70% of the population of Spain lives in these mentioned cities.
Regarding religion, it should be said that although Spain is considered secular, most Spaniards are Catholic. It should be emphasized that until the last Moorish ruler came down (in Granada) in 1492, the majority of Spain was Muslim more than three centuries ago.
The official language in this country is Spanish, which is often called Castellano in Spain. With 440 million speakers globally, Spanish is the second most widely used language after English. Of course, many autonomous states of Spain have other official languages. In any case, if you plan to travel to this country, learn some Spanish words, words for greetings, and such because it shows your respect for this country and its culture, and Spanish people appreciate this very much.
The climate of Spain
Contrary to common opinion, Spain is among the mountainous nations of Europe. The nation is more than 500 meters above sea level in three-quarters of its entirety area, and it is higher than one kilometer in one-fourth of its overall size. The most popular mountain ranges in Spain are the Pyrenees and the Sierra Nevada.
One of Europe’s most diversified ecosystems may be found in Spain. The region of Almería in the southeast resembles a desert, while the northwest can experience 20 days of rain each month in winter. Spain has more than 8000 km of shoreline. The coastlines on both the south and the east are ideal for tanning, but several of the most gorgeous shores are in the north. The north is also suitable for surfing. Spain has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.
Because of these factors, be aware that depending on the city and location you select to visit or stay in, the natural scenery and weather in Spain might alter dramatically. While Catalonia and Aragon are quite dry, the Basque Country has moderate temperatures and heavy rains. In contrast, southern cities like Seville have a dry Mediterranean climate. Spain also has peaceful beaches, coastal plains, tropical islands, and the sparkling Pyrenees; so don’t forget the right clothes!
The customs of Spain
Spain’s unusual geographic location—it is encompassed by Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean Sea—is reflected in its culture and civilization. The civil wars and the occupation of this country by different actions have also influenced their culture. Among the most important cultural features of this country, the following can be mentioned:
- A strong sense of belonging to the hometown: Spaniards are very sensitive to their home region and even identify with their own province. Foreign tourists should use caution on this matter.
- Importance to the family: It is said that two important elements of this country’s culture have formed: family and humility. Like many collectivist cultures, Spanish society values belonging to a family, an organization, or a community.
- The importance of Christian traditions: This point is very clear in Spanish culture. The majority of aspects of daily life, including street names, regional festivals, and architectural landmarks, are influenced by religion.
- Emphasis on collective joy and celebrations: local and regional celebrations play an important role in Spanish life and are considered strong elements of national pride and national identity. Throughout the year and in different regions of Spain, there are hundreds of different and famous celebrations, and the locals take them very seriously. From the “Three Kings” Christmas parades in every city of the country to the most diverse ferris (fairs and festivals) and popular celebrations, such as the traditional bullfight in San Fermín in Pamplona or the Tomatina tomato festival in Buñuel. In a word, the Spanish calendar is full of celebration and joy.
The geographic location of Spain and the rich culture and history of this country have made most tourists choose this country. In addition, the north and south of the nation both have amazing beaches, excellent cuisine, and a varied and lovely climate. Of course, economic stability and a culture full of joy and celebration have also been very important in choosing this country to live in.