Spain Review

Spain Review

located in southwestern Europe, Spain occupies the majority of the Iberian Peninsula, sharing its borders with Portugal to the west and France to the northeast. It is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the east and south, and by the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest and southwest. Spain also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and several small enclaves in North Africa.



Spain’s climate varies widely due to its diverse geography, ranging from Mediterranean in the south to maritime in the north and continental in the interior. Coastal regions experience mild winters and hot, dry summers, while inland areas have greater temperature variations, with colder winters and hotter summers. The southern regions, including Andalusia, enjoy over 300 days of sunshine per year.


Spain is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including mammals such as deer, wild boar, and Iberian lynx, as well as numerous bird species like eagles, vultures, and flamingos. The country’s national parks and nature reserves, such as Doñana National Park and Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, provide habitats for these animals and contribute to conservation efforts.

Longest Rivers

The longest river in Spain is the Tagus (Tajo), which flows for approximately 1,007 kilometers (626 miles) through central Spain and Portugal before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Other major rivers include the Ebro, which flows through northeastern Spain into the Mediterranean Sea, and the Guadalquivir, which traverses Andalusia.

Highest Mountains

Spain is home to several mountain ranges, with the highest peaks located in the Pyrenees in the north and the Sierra Nevada in the south. The highest mountain in Spain is Mount Teide, an active volcano on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, which rises to an elevation of 3,718 meters (12,198 feet) above sea level. Other notable peaks include Mulhacén in the Sierra Nevada and Aneto in the Pyrenees.



Spain has a rich archaeological heritage dating back to prehistoric times, with evidence of human habitation found in caves such as Altamira and Lascaux. The Iberian Peninsula was inhabited by various ancient civilizations, including the Iberians, Celts, and Phoenicians, who left behind traces of their cultures in the form of artifacts and monuments.

Roman Hispania

Spain was conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BCE and became part of the Roman Empire as the province of Hispania. Roman rule brought about significant cultural and economic development, with the construction of roads, aqueducts, and cities such as Tarraco (modern-day Tarragona) and Emerita Augusta (modern-day Mérida).

Muslim Rule and Reconquista

In the 8th century CE, Muslim forces from North Africa invaded Spain and established the Umayyad Caliphate, ushering in a period of Islamic rule known as Al-Andalus. Over the centuries, Christian kingdoms in the north gradually reconquered territory from the Muslims in a process known as the Reconquista. The Reconquista culminated in 1492 with the fall of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold, and the completion of the Christian reconquest of Spain.

Spanish Empire

The 15th and 16th centuries saw the rise of Spain as a global superpower with the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus and the subsequent colonization of vast territories in the New World. Spain’s empire spanned continents, encompassing territories in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia, and ushering in a golden age of exploration, trade, and cultural exchange.

Modern Age and Democratic Transition

Spain experienced political upheaval in the 20th century, including the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and nearly four decades of dictatorship under General Francisco Franco. Following Franco’s death in 1975, Spain transitioned to democracy and embarked on a path of modernization and integration into the European Union. Today, Spain is a parliamentary monarchy with a vibrant democracy and a strong economy.


Spain has a population of approximately 47 million people, making it the sixth most populous country in Europe. The population is ethnically diverse, with a mix of indigenous Spanish people, as well as immigrants from other European countries, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The majority of the population identifies as Roman Catholic, although there is religious diversity, including minority Muslim, Jewish, and Protestant communities.

Administrative Divisions

Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities, each with its own government and administrative structure. Here are the administrative divisions along with their respective populations:

  1. Andalusia – Population: 8.4 million
  2. Aragon – Population: 1.3 million
  3. Asturias – Population: 1 million
  4. Balearic Islands – Population: 1.2 million
  5. Basque Country – Population: 2.2 million
  6. Canary Islands – Population: 2.2 million
  7. Cantabria – Population: 580,000
  8. Castile and León – Population: 2.4 million
  9. Castilla-La Mancha – Population: 2 million
  10. Catalonia – Population: 7.6 million
  11. Extremadura – Population: 1 million
  12. Galicia – Population: 2.7 million
  13. La Rioja – Population: 310,000
  14. Madrid – Population: 6.7 million
  15. Murcia – Population: 1.5 million
  16. Navarre – Population: 650,000
  17. Valencian Community – Population: 5 million

10 Largest Cities by Population

The largest cities in Spain by population are:

  1. Madrid – Population: 3.3 million
  2. Barcelona – Population: 1.6 million
  3. Valencia – Population: 800,000
  4. Seville – Population: 690,000
  5. Zaragoza – Population: 660,000
  6. Málaga – Population: 570,000
  7. Murcia – Population: 450,000
  8. Palma – Population: 420,000
  9. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – Population: 380,000
  10. Bilbao – Population: 350,000

Education Systems

Education in Spain is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 16, and is provided by the state as well as private institutions. The country has a well-developed educational system, with a network of schools, colleges, and universities offering a wide range of programs and degrees. Spain is home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Barcelona, Complutense University of Madrid, and University of Granada, which rank among the top institutions in Europe.



Spain has a comprehensive network of airports, with several major international airports serving as hubs for domestic and international flights. The busiest airports include Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, Barcelona-El Prat Airport, and Palma de Mallorca Airport.


Spain has a high-speed rail network operated by Renfe, connecting major cities and regions across the country. The AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) trains travel at speeds of up to 310 kilometers per hour (193 miles per hour) and serve routes such as Madrid-Barcelona and Madrid-Seville.


Spain has an extensive network of highways and expressways, including the Autopista and Autovía systems, which connect cities and regions across the country. The major highways include the A-1 (Autovía del Norte) running from Madrid to the French border, and the AP-7 (Autopista del Mediterráneo) along the Mediterranean coast.


Spain has several major ports along its coastline, including the Port of Algeciras, which is one of the busiest ports in Europe. Other significant ports include the Port of Barcelona, the Port of Valencia, the Port of Bilbao, and the Port of Las Palmas.

Country Facts

  • Population: 47 million
  • Capital: Madrid
  • Language: Spanish (official), Catalan, Basque, Galician
  • Religion: Roman Catholicism
  • Ethnicity: Spanish (predominantly), diverse immigrant communities
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • ISO Country Code: ES
  • International Calling Code: +34
  • Top-Level Domain: .es