Top tip: The rain in Spain hardly ever falls on the plain
Spain shares the Iberian Peninsula with its neighbour Portugal and is bordered to the north by the Pyrenees mountains in France. The Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) southeast of Barcelona, and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean are part of Spain, as well as Ceuta and Melilla, small enclaves in North Africa.
Spain enjoys a warm climate, which varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. Mid-summer (July to August) can be excessively hot throughout the country except in the coastal regions. Madrid is best in late spring/autumn. The central plateau can be bitterly cold in winter. The Balearic islands enjoy a temperate, Mediterranean climate. The maximum temperatures are not excessive, even in high summer. The climate during the winter is mild and dry and temperatures below zero are particularly unknown. The climate in the northern islands of the Canaries is subtropical; the south of the islands tend to be hotter and drier, although rainfall is generally low throughout the islands.
Facts and Figures
|Area||504,782 sq km (194,897 sq miles).|
|Capital||Madrid – population 3,273,049 (2010)|
|Language||Spanish (Castillian), Catalan, Galician, Basque|
|Religion||Roman Catholic majority.|
|Time||Mainland Spain/Balearics GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from the last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).The Canary Islands: GMT (GMT + 1 from the last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).|
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