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 Morocco coast) and Ceuta and Melilla (located in Northern Africa) belong to Spanish territory.

Spanish is the main language spoken throughout the whole of Spain. But there are some regions with an additional language/dialect. For example in Cataluña people also speak Catalan, in Galicia – Galician, Basque in the Basque Couuntry and finally Valencian in the Valencia region.

Flora and fauna in Spain have a typical Mediterranean character. Most common trees are the oak, chestnut, birch and the beech tree. On higher areas there are also coniferous woods.

The fauna has some African elements (chameleon, mongoose and others), which slowly penetrate into the north. Big mammals are: the brown bear, wolf, lynx, feral cat, wild boar, red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, Spainsh ibex and chamois, although some of these species have become quite rare.

There is a great variety in birdlife: the stork and several sorts of large birds of prey are still common in a lot of areas. One of the most striking species is the blue magpie, which can be found in central and south Spain and except Portugal, only exists in China.

The image of Spain’s climate abroad has traditionally been one of blue skies and sun, while in reality it is as varied as the country’s geography. At least five different climate zones characterize the Spanish climate due to the Iberian Peninsula’s position between tropical (hot) and polar (cold) wind currents.

Spain’s most predominant climate is continental, as this climate type affects most of the country’s surface area (excluding its coasts and mountain ranges). In Spain’s continental climate zone, winters are cold enough for snows and most of the rainfall occurs in late Spring.

The areas with sizeable mountain ranges, such as in Granada, Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges in the northeast, northwest (Pyrenees), midwest and southeast (Cordillera Betica) are characterized by cold winters and mild summers, with a predominance of cold temperatures. Snow and strong winds are also common.

The areas with sizeable mountain ranges, such as in Granada, Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges in the northeast, northwest (Pyrenees), midwest and southeast (Cordillera Betica) are characterized by cold winters and mild summers, with a predominance of cold temperatures. Snow and strong winds are also common.

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish from Valencia. It is a rice dish that can have meat, fish, seafood, and vegetables and is characterized by its use of saffron to give it a yellow color and unique flavor

Jamón serrano and jamón ibérico are dry-cured Spanish hams that are served in thin slices and are a typical Spanish food.Jamón serrano is named after the custom of drying the salted and cured ham in a shed high on the mountain (sierra in Spanish, or serrano when used to classify the ham). While jamón serrano is typically made from the Landrace white pig, jamón ibérico, which is much more expensive, is made from black Iberian pigs, and often called jamón de pata negra (black hoof).

Another traditional Spanish food, queso manchego is typically eaten together with jamón serrano or ibéricoQueso manchegois a sheep’s milk cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain. It is firm and buttery and a wonderful complement to many Spanish dishes.

Tapas is a great Spanish food tradition composed of small dishes of different types of food, like appetizers or snacks. The dishes may be cold (jamón serranoqueso manchego, olives, etc.) or warm (tortilla española, meatballs, etc.) and can be served as bar food or as complete meals. It’s a great opportunity to taste a whole variety of flavors and dishes, so if you are ever in Spain make sure to order tapas and experience what the country has to offer!


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