According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Spain is a kingdom in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The history of Spain goes back to prehistoric times. In this period the first people came from Africa to present-day Spain. Remains of the first settlement of Spain can still be found in the Cave of Altamira in northern Spain. The oldest remains of a settlement have been found near the city of Almeria. In the centuries that followed, the land or parts of it has been in the hands of Phoenicians, Greeks and the Celtiberians. After this, much of the country became part of the Roman Empire. Cities such as Seville, Cordoba and Léon were founded during this period.
In the eighth century AD, the Moors invaded the country. These would rule much of Spain for more than six centuries. The Moors made Spain a Muslim state and one of the most important economies in the world. There are still many remnants of the Moorish rule in Spain. This mainly in the southeastern part of Spain. After the Moors were defeated, several states were formed that merged into a united Spain. This is the forerunner of today’s Spain. During this period, Spain became one of the most important superpowers in the world, conquering large parts of the world through voyages of discovery. The Spanish Empire included large parts of America, parts of Africa, parts of Europe including the Netherlands and parts of Asia and Oceania.
Today Spain is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Europe. On average, more than fifty million tourists visit the country every year, including about one million Dutch. It is not for nothing that there is a lot of search for interesting Spain offers on holiday sites. In addition to hotels, Dutch tourists also like to choose apartments and campsites in Spain. Most of the tourists stay in one of the seaside resorts on the Spanish costa’s or one of the big cities such as Barcelona or Madrid. Outside of these well-known tourist attractions, the country has a lot of hidden treasures.
There are countless places of interest in Spain and it is impossible to give a short description without feeling that you are doing the country short. In particular, the special history of Spain, the different kingdoms and the multiple rulers have ensured that there are many and very diverse sights in Spain. One of the most beautiful remains of this is the Alhambra in Andalusia. This beautiful medieval palace was built by the Moorish rulers near the city of Granada. The remains of the former kingdom of Asturias can be admired in the city of Oviedo. Some of the most famous buildings in Spain were built by the architect Antoni Gaudí. His most famous legacy is the Sagrada Familia on which this beautiful cathedral is still being built. Other famous buildings in Spain are the Palacio de Comunicaciones in Madrid, the Alcázar in Seville, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències in Valencia and the Cathedral La Seu in Palma de Mallorca.
The first thing people think of when they think of Spain are the costas. These are also the most popular holiday destinations for most Dutch people. The beaches here are beautiful and are packed with tourists every summer. The most famous costa’s are the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca and the Costa Brava. However, if you never get further than the coast of Spain, you are missing an important part of authentic Spain.
In 2012, there were a total of forty-three inscriptions in Spain on the UNESCO World Heritage List and this number will only continue to increase in the coming years. Some of the registrations in Spain must share the country with neighboring countries Portugal and France. There is even one registration that is partly located in Slovenia. This concerns the mercury heritage in the places of Almadén (Spain) and Idrija (Slovenia). The very first entry on the list was in 1984 when, among other things, the historic center of Córdoba, the Alhambra, Burgos Cathedral and the works of Antoni Gaudí were credited. In the years that followed, the most beautiful and special parts of the country were included on this list. The most famous inscriptions are Santiago de Compostela, the historic cities of Salamanca, Toledo and Ávila, the architecture of Aregon and Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona. In addition to these cultural highlights of the country, some natural heritages were also added to the list. These include Garajonay National Park on the island of Garajonay, Doñana National Park and El Teide National Park on the Canary Islands. The island of Ibiza was placed on the list in its entirety because of its special biodiversity.
There are three different climate types in Spain. First of all, the central part of Spain has a continental climate. However, this climate is strongly influenced by the Mediterranean climate that occurs here in large parts of the east coast and south coast of Spain. Winters can be quite cold here and night frosts are certainly no exception. The summers are warm and sometimes even hot. There are days when the mercury rises above 40 degrees Celsius.
The Mediterranean climate occurs on the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and large parts of the east and south coasts of Spain. This is the climate Spain is known for. In this part of Spain you will find the retirees who come to spend the winter here during the winter months. The climate here is very pleasant all year round. During the winter months, the mercury here during the day seldom drops below fifteen degrees Celsius. In the summer months, the average daytime temperature here is around thirty degrees Celsius.
The north and northwestern part of Spain has a maritime climate that is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The average temperatures here are a lot lower than in the other parts of Spain. For example, in the city of San Sebastian, where the average day temperature in the winter months is around ten degrees Celsius. In the summer months, the daytime temperature is around twenty-four degrees Celsius.
The average rainfall in Spain is moderate. The central part and the east coast of Spain are the driest parts of the country. The west coast and northern part of Spain are the wettest regions in the country. In the Pyrenees and in the Sierra Nevada most precipitation will fall as snow in the winter. This makes these areas suitable as a winter sports destination.
Spain is located in the southwestern part of Europe and occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain has land borders with France, Andorra, the British colony of Gibraltar and Portugal. In addition, Spain has two exclaves in Morocco, which means that the country also has land borders with Morocco. These two exclaves Melilla and Ceuta are both autonomous cities within Spain. These are the only autonomous cities. In addition to the two cities, Spain consists of seventeen autonomous areas, fifteen of which are on the mainland.
The two areas that are not on the mainland are the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands is an archipelago off the west coast of Africa. This archipelago consists of thirteen islands, eight of which are inhabited. The largest and most important islands of the Canary Islands are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The Canary Islands have two capitals, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, these are the main cities of this archipelago.
The Balearic Islands are also an archipelago belonging to Spain. The Balearic Islands are located in the Mediterranean Sea east of Spain. The Balearic Islands consist of six islands. Of these, the islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza the largest and the most important. The city of Palma de Mallorca is located on the island of Mallorca, which is the capital of the autonomous region of the Balearic Islands.
The main rivers of Spain are the Tagus, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir. Of these, the Ebro is the longest flowing in its entirety in Spain and the Tagus the longest in the Iberian Peninsula. The highest mountain in Spain is Pico del Teide at 3718 meters. This volcano can be found on the island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. The highest mountain on the Spanish mainland is Mount Mulhacén at 3482 meters.
The capital Madrid, with more than six million inhabitants, is the largest city in Spain. Other major and well-known cities in Spain are Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga, Bilbao, Cordoba, Alicante, Las Palmas and Palma de Mallorca.
Spain has the status of “be vigilant”. This relates to a number of factors. First, there can be severe wildfires in the summer months, in some cases requiring evacuation of parts of the country. In addition, earthquakes can occur in the Canary Islands.
In the more touristy parts of it, there can be serious crime. This includes burglaries and robberies. You can protect yourself against this by not being too flashy with your valuables and leaving your belongings in a safe. No vaccinations are required to visit the country, but it is wise if you are going to spend a lot of time in nature to take a tick remover with you. There used to be a terrorist threat from ETA in Spain. This organization strives for an independent Basque Country.
Spain has been part of the Schengen countries since 1992 and since 1995 residents of the other Schengen countries can travel freely to and from Spain. However, as in the Netherlands, people are obliged to identify themselves, this also applies to children. There are severe penalties for possessing both soft and/or hard drugs, as well as trading them.
|Phone (country code)||34|
|Language(s) (colloquial)||Spanish(Castillian), Catalan, Basque, Galician, Aranese, Asturian and Aragonese|
|Time difference summer||In Spain time is the same as the Netherlands, in the Canary Islands it is 1 hour earlier|
|Time difference winter||In Spain time is the same as the Netherlands, in the Canary Islands it is 1 hour earlier|
|Daylight Saving Time Control||yes, this is the same as in the Netherlands|