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Mainland Spain is dominated by high plateaus and mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees or the Sierra Nevada. Running from these heights are several major rivers such as the Tajo, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir. Alluvial plains are found along the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir in Andalusia, in the east there are alluvial plains with medium rivers like Segura, Jścar and Turia. Spain is bound to the east by Mediterranean Sea (containing the Balearic Islands), to the north by the Bay of Biscay and to its west by the Atlantic Ocean, where the Canary Islands off the African coast are found.
Spain's climate can be divided in four areas:
- The Mediterranean: mostly temperate in the eastern and southern part of the country; rainy seasons are spring and autumn. Mild summers with pleasant temperatures.
- The interior: Very cold winters (frequent snow in the north) and hot summers.
- Northern Atlantic coast: precipitations mostly in winter, with mild summers (slightly cold).
- The Canary Islands: subtropical weather, with mild temperatures (18 °C to 24 °C; 64 °F to 75 °F) throughout the year.
Once the center of a global empire with territories in North, Central and South America, Africa, and the Philippines, contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centered in itself. With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip.
A country of large geographical and cultural diversity, Spain is sometimes a surprise to people who know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows , snowy mountains, huge marsh and salines, and some desert zones in east Andalusia.
Spain is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement, which governs its visa policies. No visa is required for citizens of other EU member states, and those of nations with whom the European Union has special treaties. There are no border controls between Spain and other Schengen Agreement nations, making travel less complicated.
As of May 2004 citizens of the following countries do not need a visa for entry into Spain. Note that citizens of these countries (except EU nationals) must not stay longer than three months in half a year and must not work in Spain: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.
There are a number of ways to get into Spain. From neighboring European countries, a drive with the car or a train ride are feasible; visitors from further away will probably be using air travel.
The busiest airports are Madrid, A Coruńa, Vigo, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Murcia, Barcelona, Jerez de la Frontera, Seville, Valencia, Bilbao and Alicante.
An example North American fare, from Toronto to Madrid round-trip in March 2005, was $748 CAD. ($900 after fees).
RENFE - Timetables and Prices
FEVE - FEVE“s web page
In the southern part of Spain the train connections are very poor. Better use the buses!
Bus travel in Spain is increasingly an attractive option for people travelling on a tight budget. Thanks largely to European Union funding, Spain's road network has vastly improved over the past twenty years, so bus journeys don't take nearly as long as they used to.
There are lots of private bus companies offering routes to all major Spanish cities. If you want to travel around Spain by bus, the best idea is to go to your local bus station (Apart from Madrid and Barcelona, most towns and cities have just one) and see what is available.
Travelling by bus in Spain is usually reliable (except on peak holiday days when roads can be very crowded and you should expect long delays on popular routes), and most coaches are modern and comfortable. You can expect to pay about 8 Euros per 100km.
Information provided by Wikipedia
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