Spain is located on the Iberian peninsula, of which it occupies 80% (the remaining 20% being Portugal), in the southwest of Europe. To the north are France and Andorra with the Pyrenees as a natural border. Also the Balearean islands (Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza) in the Mediterranean, the Canary islands in the Atlantic (near the Maroccan coast), and Ceuta and Melilla (located in Northern Africa) belong to the Spanish territory.
Spain is the third country in Europa as for it’s size and fifth as for population numbers. It has a surface of about 505.955 square kilometers. This includes all the islands above mentioned. Spain counts more than 40 million people, most of them living in the cities or along the Costa’s. Spain is divided into 19 autonomous areas, including the areas outside the Iberian peninsula. The most prosperous areas are Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country. Extremadura is the poorest area of Spain, adjacent to Portugal, Andalucia, Castilla La Mancha and Castillia y Léon.
There are 5 large mountain ranges which cross the country and about 50% of the land lies considerably higher than sea level.
The sceneries vary from almost desert-like to a fertile and green land and of course there are the long coastal strips, in the east along the Mediterranean (from the Pyrenees to Gibraltar), next in the south and west to Portugal along the Atlantic Ocean.