Spain is member of the European Union located in southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. Its
mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north by the Cantabrian Sea;
to the northeast by France and Andorra; and to the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal.
The Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa (Ceuta and Melilla).
Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a developed country with the twelfth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, European Union, NATO, OECD, and WTO.
Madrid is the capital of Spain. It is located at almost the exact geographical centre of the Iberian Peninsula, at a latitude of 40 degrees 23 minutes north, 3 degrees 42 minutes west.
With an area of 505,992 km2 (195,365 sq mi), it is the fourth largest country in Europe.
Mountains and rivers:
Mainland Spain is a mountainous country, dominated by high plateaus and mountain chains. After the Pyrenees, the main mountain ranges are the Cordillera Cantábrica, Sistema Ibérico, Sistema Central and Sierra Nevada (is the highest elevation in the Iberian peninsula), while the highest point in Spain is the Teide, 3,718 m (12,198 ft), in Tenerife, and it has the third largest volcano in the world. There are several major rivers in Spain such as the Tagus, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir.
Three main climatic zones can be separated, according to geographical situation and orographic conditions:
• The Mediterranean climate, characterized by dry and warm summers. There are other climate more extreme, hot in summer and cold in winter, such as much of central and northern-central of Spain (Ex. Madrid).
• The Semiarid climate, located in the southeastern quarter of the country, especially in the region of Murcia and in the Ebro valley. The dry season extends beyond the summer.
• The Oceanic climate, located in north quarter of the country, especially in the region of Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia. Winter and summer temperatures are influenced by the ocean, and have no seasonal drought.
During the last four decades the Spanish tourism industry has grown to become the second biggest in the world. Spain is the second most visited country in the world. Today, the climate of Spain, historical and cultural monuments and its geographic position make tourism one of Spain's main national industries.