AREA: 504,782 km2
TIME ZONE: UTC+1
LANGUAGE: Spanish (official)
TELEPHONE CODE: 0034
INTERNET TLD: .es
Spain's many regions can be grouped as follows:
Northwestern Spain (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria)
Northern Spain (Basque Country, Navarre, La Rioja)
Northeastern Spain (Catalonia, Aragon)
Central Spain (Community of Madrid, Castile-La Mancha, Castile-Leon, Extremadura)
Eastern Spain (Murcia, Valencia)
Autonomous Cities (Ceuta, Melilla)
The climate varies tremendously in Spain, due to its large size. Visitors can generally expect a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
The vast central plateau, or Meseta, has a continental climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters. Rain generally falls in spring and autumn. The mountains surrounding the plateau have a higher rainfall and often experience heavy snowfalls in winter.
North of the Cantabrian mountains, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia have a maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. The weather is often cloudy with frequent rainfall.
On the Mediterranean coast, the climate is moderate with rain in spring and autumn. Murcia has an almost African climate and is characterized by numerous palm trees. Rainfall is low and the calina, or heat haze, is common during summer.
On the Atlantic coast, the summers are cooler and fairly heavy rainfall occurs during winter. Inland, the summers are hot and the rainfall decreases.
The Balearic islands have a maritime climate, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers.
The Canary Islands have an even warmer climate. The coastal areas are fairly mild, but the interior, especially in arid areas of Tenerife, can get very hot during the day with cold nights. Mount Teide is often snowcapped in winter and the vast majority of rain falls in winter.
January 1 - New Year's Day (national holiday)
January 6 - Epiphany
March 19 - St. Joseph's Day
May 1 - Labour Day
June 24 - St. John's Day
August 15 - Assumption
October 12 - Fiesta Nacional de España
November 1 - All Saints Day
December 6 - Constitution Day
December 8 - Immaculate Conception
December 25 - Christmas Day
December 26 - St. Stephen's Day
The following are also public holidays that do not occur on the same date every year:
Feast of the Sacrifice