Spain is a country located in the southwest of Europe. It occupies most of the territory of the Iberian Peninsula. See Spain abbreviations.
The state has a border with Portugal in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, in the north with France and Andorra, in northern Africa with Morocco and with Gibraltar in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
In the west and north, Spain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, in the east and south by the Mediterranean Sea.
The area of the state reaches 504,750 km². A significant part of the country’s territory is located at an altitude of about 700 m above sea level. Spain is considered the second highest country after Switzerland. The relief of Spain consists mainly of high plateaus and mountain ranges. A large part of the territory is occupied by the most extensive high plateau in Europe – Meseta. The country’s highest points on its mainland are Pico de Aneto (3404m) in the Pyrenees and Mulasen (3478m) in the Sierra Nevada.
The capital of the state – Madrid – is located in the geographical center of the country.
Spain ‘s main river is the Guadalquivir, the only navigable river in the country. Other major rivers of the country: Dueto, Tagus, Mico and Guadiana. Most of the country’s major rivers empty into the Atlantic Ocean.
Spain also has groups of islands: the Canaries and the Balearic Islands. The Canary Islands are considered unique in terms of climatic conditions.
According to 800zipcodes, the climate of Spain is considered one of the warmest in Western Europe. There are about 260-280 sunny days here per year.
The dominant type of climate in the country is Mediterranean. However, in its pure form, the subtropical Mediterranean climate is found only in the east and south of the country. The average temperature of the Mediterranean coast in winter is +17… +19 °С, in summer the temperature fluctuates around +32 °С.
In the capital of the country the climate is continental with colder winters than on the Mediterranean coast (average temperature +2…+4 °C). Summer in Madrid is quite warm (average temperature +22…+27 °С).
The highlands of Spain are characterized by heavy rainfall in winter, which is often accompanied by frost. This allows many ski resorts to operate.
The climate of the islands of the Canary archipelago is mild and warm, it is considered very favorable for recreation. The average annual temperature here is +20 °C, the water warms up all year round.
Popular beach and island resorts in Spain: Costa Brava, Costa del Maresme, Costa del Garraf, Costa Dorada, f, Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz, Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, etc.) and the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Ibiza).
Famous ski resorts in Spain: Sierra Nevada, Baqueira Beret, Massella, Formigal.
Major excursion centers: Madrid, Seville, Granada, Santiago de Compostela, Cordoba, Toledo.
Spanish cuisine is one of the main attractions of the country; it pleases tourists with an extraordinary variety of dishes and consistently high quality products.
A distinctive feature of the local cuisine is cooking in olive oil or lard.
The main foods used in the cuisines of Spain are vegetables, fruits, onions, garlic, rice, seafood, olives, cheese and poultry.
Traditionally, a meal in Spain opens with a salad dressed with olive oil. Then the soup is served. The most famous Spanish recipe is gazpacho. This is a vegetable soup that is consumed cold, sometimes even with the addition of ice.
One of the most famous Spanish national dishes is paella. It is prepared from rice and seafood, poultry, white wine, herbs and spices, and in some places from beans.
Various sausages are widely represented in Spanish cuisine. Eating jamón, a traditional cured ham, is a whole ritual. Sausage is prepared raw smoked, blood, minced pork, etc.
For dessert, caramel pudding and very sweet almond cream pies are popular.
Since enough time often passes between meals, the Spaniards satisfy their hunger with snacks ( tapas ), served with beer and wine. These are olives, sandwiches, seafood, pies with various fillings, etc.
The abundance of crops in the country has led to a variety of culinary traditions in different regions of Spain. There are about eight gastronomic zones.
The northern regions of the country are famous for their variety of fish and meat dishes. Seasonal cuisine is popular in the Basque Country, based on family recipes, such as marmitaco (potatoes with mackerel) or changurro (combination of shellfish and crabs).
Asturian chefs will delight tourists with fabada – a bean dish with pork or sausage. In Cantabria, ” Santander-style rice ” with salmon is famous.
Galician cuisine can offer poté, boiled octopus, whiting fish, as well as various dairy products and desserts.
Aragon, La Rioja and Navarra will spoil those who wish with desserts based on cheeses or cottage cheese, as well as fresh fruits in chocolate and high-quality rolls.
The cuisine of Valencia is peculiar, which combines Mediterranean dishes (fish, vegetables and fruits) with the cuisine of the Meseta Central Plateau (stewed vegetables and game), and is also famous for rice dishes. Sweets are similar to Arabic ones (halvah and ice cream).
In the Balearic Islands, fish roasts and pork rolls, sausages, and goat and sheep cheese are prepared. Many dishes are seasoned with the famous mayonnaise, which is the birthplace of this region. The signature dish of the local smithy is roast calf, goat or piglet.
Catalan cuisine deserves special attention. Most of the dishes are based on sofrito, samfaina, picada and ali oli sauces. They cook monkfish soup and fried pork sausages with white beans, as well as pig’s head stew.
Among the alcoholic drinks in Spain, liquor, sherry and wine can be distinguished, which is common in almost all regional cuisines. One of the best is wine from Rioja.
The national alcoholic drink is sangria, a sweetened dry red wine with the addition of spices and fruits, mostly citrus fruits.
Other alcoholic beverages include cider (5-6% alcohol) and high-quality beer, mostly light.
As for soft drinks, tea and coffee are widely consumed in Spain, as well as juices, frozen and regular. A kind of drink – horchata, prepared from ground, almond nuts.