Spain is famous for its bull fights, Flamenco music, beautiful beaches, and an abundance of sunshine. The major part of the country occupies about 80% of the Iberian Peninsula, and the remaining is in the form of islands, including Balearics and Canary Islands.
Spain enjoys a tremendous strategic value due to it protruding out into the Mediterranean Sea and being only 14 kilometres from the African continent. In fact two of Spain’s cities Ceuta and Melilla are located on the coast of Africa. This position places it in the path to America and gives it the mild oceanic climate in the North and continental Mediterranean in the East and South. It also creates the environment for making it wet in the north leading to lush green forests there and a dry Mediterranean side.
As a result of being at the crossroads of a number of civilizations, the country is inundated with historical towns. There are medieval castles in almost every second village. The two largest cities, Barcelona and Madrid are centres of commerce, entertainment, fashion and education. Spain has also produced some of the greatest artists like Picasso, Goya, Velazquez, and El Greco and there are numerous galleries to display their works.
Spanish cuisine is generally based on ingredients grown regionally or available locally. Mountains transverse Spain in many directions making communication and transportation difficult and the different regions of the country were settled by different ethnic groups. This is why the cuisine of different regions has developed differently with food from each region having its own distinct taste. Fish and other sea foods like shrimp, baby eels and octopus are common items on the menu since the country is surrounded by water.
Dialling code: +34
Official language: Spanish Language
Government: Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary system
Area: 504,780 square kilometres.
Currency: Euro, formerly Peseta
Religion: Roman Catholicism