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    Slovakia: Tatra Mountains. Go Now!

    Slovakia
    The Tatra Mountains (pictured) form the backdrop of this rural country, whose culture is rooted in this beautiful landscape. Go Now!

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    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Portugal!

    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

  • Denmark!

    Denmark: Landscape. Go Now!

    Denmark
    From cities like Copenhagen to islands, beaches, and vast fields (pictured), Denmark offers incredible history, architecture, scenery, and more. Begin Your Journey!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Spain

Geography

Spanish Geography - Coastline
Coastline

Spain is situated on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula in southwest Europe between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Spain borders Portugal (west), France (north), and Andorra (north). Spain also is located very close to Morocco, which is just across the Strait of Gibraltar (Gibraltar however, is governed by the United Kingdom).

Geographically, Spain is quite elevated, but there are only a few true alpine ranges. The tallest mountains are the Pyrenees Mountains, which form the northern border with France. There are also a couple additional ranges of some significance along the northern coast, southeastern coast, and in central Spain. The only low-lying land is in the southwest, which is where many of the rivers that begin in the mountains drain. Much of the rest of the country's interior is at elevation, but not mountainous, while most of the coasts have some space before the mountains begin, encouraging most of the population to settle in these areas.

Weather

Spanish Geography - Field
Field

Spain's weather is difficult to predict as the country is exposed to a number of climatic variations and movements. Due to the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Northern Africa breeze, northern winds, and mountain ranges, Spain has nearly every weather pattern.

Summers tend to be hot and dry in the south as winds off the North Atlantic current or North Africa are pushed into the country, while the north, particularly the mountains, tends to be more humid, but this can change with the wind direction very quickly. In Madrid the daily high during the summer is generally about 90° F (32° C), while further north in Bilbao the daily high may only be about 75° F (24° C), although both places can experience drastic dips at night, down to 15-30° F (8-16° C) cooler.

Winters in Spain are also fairly mild outside the mountains and parts of the country's interior. Other than the mountains, it is rare for the temperature to get and stay below 32° F (0° C) for more than a day or two; both Madrid and Bilbao generally reach the mid-50s (12-13° C) during the winter days.

Springs and falls (autumns) again vary based on the winds and location, but generally remain on the warm and temperate side, with some regions, particularly in the north getting significant amounts of rainfall.

Wildlife

Spanish Geography - Vineyards
Vineyards

Spain is home to wolves, bears, ibex, goats, boar, and deer along with many smaller mammals. The country also boasts an incredible variety of freshwater and saltwater fish as the country is bordered by the Mediterranean and Atlantic.

Spain has an incredibly huge number of bird species, both permanent residents and those migrating both north and south. Many of these species are from Africa and are rarer than many birds that can be found elsewhere in Europe.

This page was last updated: November, 2013