Spain is in Southwestern Europe and is nestled between the countries of France and Portugal and large coastal territories that extend to the Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic. There are also a vast number of islands that comprise Spain. Just off to the Southwest corner of the country lies Morocco which is separated only by a narrow body of water called the Strait of Gibraltar. In terms of size, Spain is about twice the size of the US state of Oregon.
The climate in Spain can be very diverse. High summer is hot in most inland areas, including Madrid and the inland cities of Andalusia such as Seville and Cordoba. Big cities, especially Madrid, empty during August, with many shops and restaurants closing, though a visit then does have advantages, such as light traffic. You might want to consider a hotel with a pool if you are staying for more than a few days since trekking in Spain's intense mid-summer heat will eventually wear you down.
Summer weather is milder, although still hot, along the Mediterranean coast, but July and August in popular resorts such as the Costa del Sol and the island are best avoided unless you like major crowds. Summer along the northern coast of Spain, from the Basque Country to Galicia, can be very pleasant and is generally an area not heavily inundated with tourists. You should definitely take these factors into consideration if you are planning to travel to Spain.
Winters along the Mediterranean coast are generally mild, but expect occasional heavy rains—alternating with long spells of glorious sunshine—any time between October and April. In inland areas, winter temperatures can reach below freezing and snow is not infrequent.
Country Map of Spain
Here's a clever trip tip: Buy your street and highway maps for Spain before you depart. With a map, atlas, street guide or excursion guide in hand, you'll be able to know where you're going before you get there! Rather than spending precious vacation time hunting down a store that sells maps and then trying to figure out where things are, we think Trektools can get your Spanish vacation off on the right foot. They've got more maps than you could possibly find at most Spanish bookstores and you won't have to start your trip by being lost.
Speaking of planning ahead, you can't beat the convenience and security of having a cellular phone for Spain with an Spanish phone number. Imagine having the benefits of local cellular service such as low rates and unlimited free incoming calls from anywhere in the world—any time of day or night—just like one of the locals! Cellular Abroad offers prepaid rental phones for Spain as well as our Talk Abroad rental—a prepaid international roaming phone—good for use on multi-country trips. (The Talk Abroad™ offers free incoming calls in over 99 countries!) You can also purchase an Spain phone and SIM card package for better value on long trips (or if you or a friend are frequent overseas travellers). Of course, you can also buy a Talk Abroad™ international roaming phone and SIM card bundles. Finally, if you already own an unlocked GSM world phone, you can pick up an Spain SIM card or Talk Abroad SIM. Either way, you'll be able to give out a European number to friends, family and colleagues back home before you leave. To learn more about GSM phones, prepaid SIM cards and how they can both save you a lot of money and keep you connected while you're abroad, go to our Start Here page or check out our FAQs.
For more Spain trip-planning resources, visit our Spain hotels, Spain car rentals and Spain Cellular Information pages. Here is a Euro to US Dollar converter.
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