Spain Geography and Climate

What attracts tourists to Spain? Reason number one: the climate. There are very few places on the planet where a person almost always feels comfortable. Spain has dozens of the cleanest beaches, both on the Mediterranean coast and on the Atlantic. The picturesque coastline of the peninsula, the Balearic and Canary Islands allows you to enjoy the delights of sea holidays and water sports. Some of the best ski resorts in Europe are located in Spain in the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. Many natural parks and reserves are scattered throughout Spain. And all this can be enjoyed almost all year round. There are no cold winters in Spain. But there is also no sweltering heat, as in Asian or African deserts. The climate in most of the country is even, warm and fairly dry.

The beach season in the Mediterranean resorts of Spain lasts from June to October. Ski resorts in Spain operate all year round.

The official language is Spanish (Castilian). The Catalan language, which belongs to the Romance group and is closely related to French, is recognized as the second official language used in the media, and all business negotiations and office work are conducted in it. In some regions, Galician, Basque languages, local dialects are used. German, French, Italian are also used.

Geography in Spain

According to top-engineering-schools, Spain is located in southwestern Europe and occupies approximately 85% of the territory of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the Balearic and Pitius Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Two coastal cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla are also part of Spain. Mainland Spain is bordered to the west by Portugal, and to the north by France and Andorra. In the north of Spain it is washed by the Bay of Biscay, in the extreme northwest and southwest by the Atlantic Ocean, and in the east and southeast by the Mediterranean Sea. In the east and south, the country is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, in the west – by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Total area: 504,750 sq. km. land – 499,400 sq. km. water – 5,350 sq. km. Spain is a massive raised Meseta plateau. It is located at an altitude of about 610 m above sea level and has a general slope from northeast to southwest. That is why such large rivers as the Duero, Tagus and Guadiana flow in this direction through the territory of the Meseta to the Atlantic Ocean.

Meseta takes approx. 2/3 of Spain and surrounded by high mountains. In addition, large ridges of the Central Cordillera rise in its central regions (including the Sierra de Guadarrama with the peak of Peñalara, 2430 m, and the Sierra de Gredos with the peak of Almansor, 2592 m).

To the south of New Castile rise the Toledo Mountains (the highest point is Mount Corocho de Rosigaldo, 1447 m). To the south are the plateaus of Extremadura and La Mancha, which are part of the Meseta. The southernmost edge of the Meseta Sierra Morena is raised to a height of about 900 m (the highest point is Mount Estrella, 1299 m). The Sierra Morena drops steeply to the vast Andalusian lowlands. The Guadalquivir River flows into the Gulf of Cadiz, not far from its mouth is the vast wetlands of the Doñana National Park.

In the southeast of Spain the mountains of the Cordillera Penibetica stretch with the highest peak of the country – Mount Mulasen (3482 m), crowned with snowfields and glaciers, which occupy the southernmost position in Western Europe.

The Iberian mountains separate the Meseta from the Aragonese plateau. In places they exceed 2100 m (up to 2313 m in the Sierra del Moncayo). The Ebro River rises in the Cantabrian Mountains, flows southeast and cuts through the Catalan Mountains before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

The low Catalan Mountains (average heights are 900-1200 m, the peak is Mount Caro, 1447 m) follow for 400 km almost parallel to the Mediterranean coast and actually separate the Aragonese plateau from it.

From the north, the Aragonese plateau is bordered by the Pyrenees. They stretch for almost 400 km from the Mediterranean Sea to the Bay of Biscay and form a powerful insurmountable barrier between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe. The highest peak is Aneto Peak (3404 m). The western continuation of the Pyrenees are the Cantabrian mountains, which also have a sublatitudinal strike. The highest point is Mount Peña Prieta (2536 m).

Climate in Spain

Despite the fact that the Iberian Peninsula is surrounded by the sea on almost all sides, in its central part the influence of water masses on climatic conditions is waning. Mountain ranges stretching along almost the entire coastline protect the interior of the peninsula from external influences. Almost throughout Spain (with the exception of mountainous areas), the average monthly temperature is positive. The coldest period is from December to February, the warmest is from June to September.

In general, the country is dominated by a subtropical climate of the Mediterranean type, although in its pure form it can only be stated on the southeastern coast of Spain (Andalusia and Extremadura). Throughout the Mediterranean coast, mild and short winters and dry and hot summers. On the eastern coast of the country, from December to February, the average minimum air temperature is +5: +8, the average maximum is +12: +17. In the period from June to September, the average minimum temperature is +16:+21, the average maximum is +25:+30. The rainiest months are September, October and November. In Catalonia at this time, the monthly rainfall is 75-80 mm, in Valencia 60-70 mm. The least precipitation falls in July and August (in Catalonia about 45 mm, in Valencia even less – only 12-14 mm). It is warmer on the southern and southeastern coasts (Andalusia and Extremadura). In winter, the average minimum air temperature is +8:+10, the average maximum is +16:+17, in the period from June to September the average minimum temperature is +18:+22, the average maximum is +27:+30. In precipitation, two seasons are clearly distinguished here: from October to March, up to 100 mm of precipitation falls per month, from April to September less than 30 mm, and in July and August it rains extremely rarely. The swimming season on the Mediterranean coast begins in June, when the water temperature reaches 19-21 degrees and lasts until October. At this time, the sea is still warm (20-23 degrees). The maximum heating is reached in August, at this time the water temperature is about 25 degrees.

As you move away from the coast, the influence of the sea decreases. On the central plateau, the climate is sharply continental, with cold winters and hot summers. Interdiurnal temperature fluctuations are most pronounced here. In winter, the average minimum temperature is slightly positive (+1:+3), the average maximum temperature is +8:+11. In summer, the nights are cooler than on the coast (+14:+18), during the day the heat reaches +30 degrees. The amount of precipitation during the year is low (40-50 mm), and in July and August it decreases to 11-12 mm.

In the north and northwest of Spain (from Galicia to Catalonia) the climate is maritime. It is formed by the Atlantic. This area is characterized by mild wet winters and moderately warm summers. The average minimum temperature in the period from December to February is +6:+8, the average maximum is +12:+14. During this period, the maximum amount of precipitation falls (120-140 mm per month). In summer (from June to August) the average minimum temperature is +12:+15, the average maximum is +20:+24 degrees. The amount of precipitation in summer decreases to 50 mm, and in the central month of the season it is about 30 mm.

Best time to visit:
The beach season in the Mediterranean resorts of Spain lasts from June to October. Ski resorts in Spain operate all year round.

Spain Geography