A good, detailed map of Spain provides the viewer with a quick image of where Spain lies in relation to the region and the entire world. Spain is part of Europe and is located in the southwestern part of the continent at forty degrees north and four degrees west. It is not a large country totaling 504,782 square kilometers. Comparing it to the United States, it is only a little more than twice the size of Oregon. Spain also includes the two autonomous cities of Melilla and Ceuta as well as a couple of island chains. Located off the coast of Morroco are the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera and Islas Charfarinas.
Spain’s borders include France, Gibraltar, Portugal and two communities of Morroco, but one of its most popular borders is its eastern border along the along the Mediterranean Sea. This beautiful coastline has turned this region of the country into a big tourist destination. Its near 5,000 kilometers of beaches and coastline are a big boost to the country’s tourist economy. The area’s climate also adds to the high tourism in the area. Generally, the weather on the coastline is moderate while the inland areas can get much colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.
The Straight of Gibraltar is at the most southern tip of Spain and is an important passage from the Mediterranean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. The city of Algecrias is nearby and watches over the tourist and merchant trade passing through the area. The Alicante region along the eastern coastline by the Mediterranean Sea is very popular with tourists from all over the world, but particularly from Europe and Spain. Madrid, the capital of Spain, is located in the center of the country near the Tagus River. The city of Seville is located in the southwestern part of Spain and is known for its Spanish culture and art. Seville is also known as being a financial center. Barcelona and Cartegena are also important cities in Spain. Barcelona is located on the Balearic Sea and Cartegena along the Mediterranean Sea. Cities in the northern part of the country in the Bay of Biscay include the coastal cities of Gijon, Santander, Coruna and Vigo.
With so many cities located near or along a coastline, it should be no surprise that fishing and salt production are two of its major industries. However, despite its easy access to the water and history in the salt trade, there is still a fairly high rate of unemployment. For visitors to the area, though, many of these cities can offer a good taste of local life and the Spanish culture.