SPAIN

Population Population-45 million, Area-195,363 sq mi (505,988 sq km), Currency- Euro (EUR, symbol), Flight times-From London to Barcelona is 2 hours; to Madrid is 2 hours 20 minutes and to Malaga is 2 hours 45 minutes; from New York to Madrid is 8 hours 35 minutes, Cities -Madrid (capital), Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Bilbao, Time Zone-Mainland Spain/Balearics: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October); Canary Islands: GMT (GMT + 1 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October), Weather-Varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south; best months are from April to October, Languages-Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque, Religion-There is no official religion, but the majority of the population is Roman Catholic, Electricity-220 or 225 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin plugs are in use.

The kingdom of Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula to the southwest of Europe and borders Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra and France. It is the 3rd largest country of Europe and the 5th in population with a strength exceeding 40 million. Most Spanish people are brought up as Roman Catholic, and family values are extremely important. It is a land of extremes; miles of endless sunny beaches along the coast and massive snow capped peaks inland. Madrid is the capital of Spain.

The country has clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along the coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast. The land has sunshine all-year-round and the average annual temperature is approximately 20 degrees.

The official language is Spanish, also called Castilian, and is the first language of over 72% of the population apart from Galician, Catalan, Aragonese and Asturian, which are also spoken.

Spain has much more to offer than Flamenco music and dance, bull-fights, fantastic beaches and sunshine. It is, and has been one of the cultural centers of Europe for over a thousand years. It has beautiful cities and towns, offering really old monuments as well as futuristic architecture. Its various regions are all different one to each other, geographically, climatically and even in personality.

There are five big mountain ranges crossing the country, and a greater percentage of it is located at an elevated plain. Landscapes are extremely varied, some almost desert-like, others green and fertile, and of course there are the long coasts, in the east along Mediterranean Sea from Pyrenees to Gibraltar, and in the west along the Atlantic Ocean and Cantabrian Sea.

Over 15 million people live in Spain's major cities. That's over 38% of the country's whole population. Spain's capital (Madrid) and Barcelona are the only two cities with populations of more than one million people. Valencia, Sevilla, Saragoza and Malaga have populations of over 500,000.