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General Information about Spain

18 April 2009

Travelling to Spain

Spain is located on the south-west of Europe. The climate of Spain is rather favourable because as it borders the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The country is situated between Portugal and France. The total area is about 505,957 sq. km.

The coastline of the country is about 4,964 km. Spain consists of 17 administrative regions, 15 of which are on mainland Spain. Spain occupies four-fifths of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a land of immense geographical diversity. Tourists can find much to do here. Spain's coastline is magnetical for visitors but during the recent years more and more people want to spend holidas, exploring cultural Spain, away from the sea and sand. Spain has everything from lush, green forests and mountain ranges, to endless plains and long, sandy beaches.

Spain is mountainous. The country has a long coastline which borders the Atlantic and the Mediterranean . Its largest rivers are the Ebro, Duero, Guadalquivir, Guadiana and Tagus . The climate is varied, with snow in the mountains and extremes of heat and cold in the central region. Drought is a particular problem in many areas. This feature of Spain climate is typical for Western Europe . To the south lies dry Spain which makes up two-thirds of Spain . Here there is scarce rainfall with almost constant, hot sun. When it rains it is often with thunderstorms.

The capital of Spain is Madrid . The climatic conditions here are similar to the climate of Spain as a whole. Other important cities are Barcelona, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada and Valencia. The flora of the country may be called the reflection of the landscapes and climate of the country. Among Spain's trees are pines, cork-oak trees and beech trees; flowers include orchids, gentians, lavender and rosemary. Spain 's native animals: deer, ibex, tortoises, bats, snakes and other, a small number of bears, wolves and lynxes remain. The native birds are vultures, eagles, kites, bustards, storks, flamingos. Many other species migrate here.

The population of Spain is about 40,341,462 (July 2005 est.) The population is very homogeneous: Gypsies are an ethnic minority. Major ethnic groups here are Basques, Catalans, Galicians, Andalusians, Valencians, Asturians, Navarrese, and Aragonese. Also small number of Gypsies. Ethnonationalistic sentiment and commitment to the ethnic homeland varied among and within ethnic communities. Nationalist and separatist sentiment ran deepest among Basques.

Most Spaniards are Roman Catholics. 1 percent mostly other Christian faiths. There is also a Small Jewish community here. Castilian Spanish is an official language and dominant in usage here, especially in formal settings, but one of four Spanish citizens has different mother tongue. New 1978 Constitution allows for other languages to be "co-official" within respective autonomous communities. Catalan, Galician, Euskera (the Basque language), Valencian, and Majorcan had such status by 1988.

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