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Spain (ES)

Continent: Europe Spain Land
Surface: 504.782 km ²
Inhabitants: 44.108.530
Capital: Madrid International banking code (ISO Codes): ES
Official language: Spaniard Code: +34
Currency: Euro Number plate: E
Routes of Spain: 11031 Routes towards Spain: 10757
Preferred airports: Barcelona (BCN), Madrid (MAD), Málaga (AGP), Alicante (ALC), Seville (SVQ), Majorque (SME), Gérone (GRO), Tenerife (TFS), Tenerife (TFN), Mahon (MAH)
Principal cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Málaga, Murcia, Las Palmas, Palma, Bilbao, Valladolid, Córdoba, Alicante, Vigo, Gijón
Airline company based in Spain: IBERIA, Air Europa Lineas Aereas, Spanair, Vueling Airlines, Clickair, Air Makes, Binter Canarias, Islas Airways, Lagun Air, Air Nostrum, Futura International Airlines, Gadair European Airlines, Helicopteros del Sureste, Air Pullmantur

Tourist guide Spain (Europe)

Spain is located at the south-west of Europe and occupies most of the Iberian peninsula, which it divides with Portugal. The country has common borders with France, Andorra and Portugal. Spain has a littoral on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It is not separated from Africa, of Morocco in particular where it has two wedged cities, Ceuta and Melilla, that by the Straits of Gibraltar which is broad only of 13 kilometers. The archipelagoes of the Canaries in the Atlantic Ocean and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean also belong to Spain.

Geography: Spain is a very mountainous country. More half of its territory is located at an altitude ranging between 400 and 1000 meters of altitude. All the central part of the country, is half of the territory, in which Castille and Estrémadure are, is occupied by the high plateau of Meseta whose altitude lies between 600 and 1000 meters. Meseta is bordered in the North-West by the Cantabric cordillera whose culminating point reaches the altitude of 2648 meters. The high-plate is cut in two parts by a central cordillera. In north, the chain of the Pyrenees constitutes a natural border with France and Andorra and is prolonged to the Mediterranean over an overall length of 435 kilometers. They are particularly high in the center of the chain and culminate on the Mount Lost at an altitude of 3355 meters. In the south of the country draws up the chain of Bétiques which shelters the culminating point of Spain, Mulhacen which reaches 3482 meters of altitude. The largest plain extends to the south of the country around the estuary of Guadalquivir and smaller extends to the North-East, the plain of Ebre. The littoral along the Atlantic is generally rock as in Galicie. On the Mediterranean coastline, the rock coasts alternate with long beaches which mainly make the reputation of Spain near the tourists.

Climate and period of voyage advised: because of the great diversity of its relief and influences to which it is subjected, Spain also has a great diversity of climates. One can rather easily divide it into three zones. In the north of the country, it reigns rather a oceanic climate characterized by soft and rainy winters and summers during which the temperatures remain fresh and wet and by important precipitations, while the more one penetrates towards the interior of the grounds and the more continental the climate becomes, with rather cold winters and summers during which the temperatures can be really hot. Along the Mediterranean coast, the Mediterranean climate is characterized by very soft winters and very hot summers fortunately moderated by the marine breezes. The best periods to go to Spain, if one wants to avoid the most extreme temperatures and the important floods of tourists, are during the mid-seasons, between May and June and September and October.

Official languages and spoken languages: the official language of Spain is Spanish, otherwise called Castilian. However the Catalan, the Basque, the Galician and aranais it see themselves granting a statute of Co-officiality.

Health and vaccinations: in Spain, the health system and the sanitary arrangements satisfy the best European standards. To have access to the care and the same rights as the nationals of the host country, it is enough to be provided with the European chart to health insurance which one can obtain in a fifteen or so days from his case of usual health insurance. The children must be provided with an individual chart. It however is recommended to contract a medical insurance repatriation for the most serious cases.

Conditions of entry on the territory: to penetrate on the Spanish ground and for a one duration stay envisaged lower than three months, the French nationals must simply provide themselves with a national card of identity or a valid passport, Spain belonging to Schengen space.
For further information concerning vaccinations, the conditions of entry and the security instructions, you can, for example, to consult the site of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Travel and transport: to go to the airport of Madrid-Barajas (MAD), the largest terminal of the world, located at 13 kilometers in the North-East of the capital, of Paris (BY), of many airline companies propose direct flights among which one can quote Ibéria (IB), Air France (AF), Vueling Airlines (VY) and Air Makes (A7).
Airport of Lyon-Saint-Exupéry-Satolas (LILY), Air France (AF), Iberia (IB) and Easyjet (U2) propose direct flights.
Airport of Marseilles (MRS), Iberia (IB) proposes direct flights.
To go to the airport of Barcelona (BCN), located at 10 kilometers of the downtown area, of Paris-Orly (ORY), Iberia (IB) proposes direct flights.
Airport of Lyon-Saint-Exupéry-Satolas (LILY), Air France (AF) and Easyjet (U2) propose direct flights.
Airport of Marseilles (MRS), Alitalia (AZ) proposes flights with a stopover in Milan (MXP), Lufthansa (LH) proposes flights with a stopover in Munich (million u.a.) and Brussels Airlines (SN) proposes flights with a stopover in Brussels (DAUGHTER-IN-LAW).

The capital: capital of Spain chosen by Philippe II at the 16th century, in 1561, Madrid rests in a vast plain, practically in the geographical center of the country, and shelters approximately 3.500.000 inhabitants, 7.000.000 if one takes into account all his agglomeration, which places it among the most populated capitals Europe. The city constitutes truly the political and administrative center country and a very gravitational tourist pole. The city indeed conceals innumerable treasures, as well on the architectural level as on the cultural level. One of its other major assets resides in its alive and animated atmosphere, so typically Spanish.
Among the buildings emblématiques of the city, one can start with the visit of the Palais Royal which represents officially the place of residence of the king, although this one resides in fact at the Palate of Zarzuela, located in the surroundings of the city. The Palate was built between 1738 and 1755 in a neo-classic style of any beauty. It covers a surface of 135.000 m ² which classifies it among more the large palaces of Europe, just behind the Parisian Palate of Louvre. It extends on three stages in underground height and three stages and among all the treasures which it contains, one can quote tables of large Masters such as Goya, Vélasquez, El Gréco, Rubens or Caravage.
Just opposite the Palais Royal draws up the Cathedral of Almudena which even if it has already a long story, its construction was undertaken then abandoned on several occasions since the 16th century, in the facts was completed only very recently, in 1993. The cathedral has the effect of being built in neo-classic style outside, not to strip the Palais Royal, but its interior is of style neogothic and present some Romance elements, in particular in its crypt. The church was devoted in 1993 by the pope Jean Paul II.
The Museum of Prado, lodged in a splendid building builds with 18th, constitutes one of the visits impossible to circumvent of Madrid, because it is one of the largest museums of painting of the world. It has a remarkable collection of paintings of the more European universities of the 14th century with 19th. It would be vain to want to quote here all the painters whose works are exposed, but one can all the same mention Vélasquez, Goya, Bosch, El Greco, Rubens, Raphaël and Botticelli.
Plaza Mayor is not without recalling the Place from the Vosges to Paris. It is a splendid square place dating from the 17th century and which was the object in the Sixties of a very successful restoration. One can reach inside the place thanks to nine doors in arches and in its center an equestrian statue of Philippe III is set up. Like its Parisian colleague, it is bordered of coffees which accommodate the many tourists come to admire this beautiful architectural unit. In summer, the place is animated even thanks to the presence of many artists of street who occur there.
The amateurs of opera should not deprive themselves of a visit of the Royal Theater (Teatro Real) because it is one of most prestigious world. Inaugurated in 1850, the theater of 1800 places knew an animated history, because it was in particular damaged during the construction of the subway inhabitant of Madrid. Fortunately, in the Nineties, the opera was the subject of a restoration which enabled him to find all its ostentation of formerly and to find its statute of large international scene, helped in that by the quality of its orchestra, the famous Symphony orchestra of Madrid.
The capital inhabitant of Madrid conceals in his center animated a pleasant haven of peace and a very beautiful green area thanks to the Park of Retiro. The park is very old since its creation goes back at the 17th century, the neighborhoods of 1630 - 1640, and covers a surface of approximately 145 hectares. It shelters several constructions of which most beautiful is without any doubt the crystal Palate, located at the edge of a lake of most romantic, and very beautiful statues.

Tourist sites and places of bathe: Barcelona, the second Spanish city from its population, approximately 1600 000 inhabitants, 5.330.000 if one takes into account all the agglomeration, rests on the edges of the Mediterranean, with approximately 180 kilometers in the south of the collar of Perthus which constitutes the natural border with France. Barcelona is an extremely appreciated city of the tourists and that rightly, because it presents an historical heritage, architectural and cultural of a great interest, as well as a nature varied with its Mediterranean coast and its surrounding mountains, without forgetting a very animated atmosphere. To begin the visit of the city, one can walk on Rambla, the principal artery of the city which connects the downtown area to the old port. Along this vibrating street, bordered of many shops and coffees, one will be able inter alia admiring the Large Theater of Liceu, one of the most prestigious operas of the world. This opera of approximately 2300 places was inaugurated in 1847 and like good of other operas, it was unfortunately destroyed by two fires, whose latest to date, in 1994, enabled him to be rebuilt with identical on the plan of decorations, but also to be modernized and adapted to the current techniques. Among the buildings emblematic of the city, one can quote the very beautiful Holy-Eulalie cathedral, splendid building of Gothic style, built between 13th and 15th centuries. The cathedral is in the district of Barri Gotic, the old working of the city where many buildings are still drawn up dating from the medieval time.
The district of Eixample (which means enlarging in Castilian) is a very interesting district of the city. It dates from second half of the 19th century and is resulting from a project of town planning aiming at increasing the town of concerted manner. One finds there remarkable buildings modernistic of which several achievements of the most famous architect of the city, Antonio Gaudi. It is practically impossible besides to visit Barcelona without admiring works of the architect there, so much its works with the incomparable style are omnipresent and influence the image of the city. Sagrada Familia, church monumental, phantasmagoric, still unfinished, from which the construction began in 1882, and to which the architect devoted 42 years of his life before dying in 1926 following an traffic accident is without question its work most internationally recognized. The current estimates envisage the end of work around 2030, but the church is already opened with the visit and should also finally become a place of worship in the current of the year 2008. Since 2005, the church is registered with the world heritage of UNESCO. One of the other most known works of the architect, the Güell Park is him also classified with the world heritage of UNESCO. Its construction was done between 1900 and 1914 and the park remains one of the most attended places today city to which it belongs since 1927. Among other works of Gaudi to Barcelona, one can quote Put it Batlló, impressive organic construction whose columns evoke bones and the balconies of craniums, or Put it Milà, it also classified with the World heritage of UNESCO, just like the Güell Palate.

Located at the south of Spain, Andalusia is one of most beautiful and the richest areas of the Country on the plan of the inheritance. The towns of Seville, Grenade, Cordoue or Malaga conceal historical and architectural treasures of very first importance.

Seville first of all is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia from which it represents truly the economic center, political and cultural. At the present time, the city shelters approximately 700.000 inhabitants. The city knew various periods of colonization which fell under its inheritance. First of all, Roman, the city then became wisigothic, then Moslem, during more than 500 years, then Christian. The city has such an architectural richness which it would be tiresome to want to quote all the monuments whose city can be enorgueillir, among which are a number impressing of religious buildings. One of emblématiques is the Cathedral of Seville, from which the construction began in 1402 and whose dimensions were to symbolize the return to Christendom and the opulence of the Andalusian capital. The cathedral has dimensions which do of it one of the largest Gothic buildings of the world and its interior is sumptuously decorated and contains the tomb of Christophe Colomb. Not far from the cathedral, splendid general Archives of the Indies, built in 1785 are in order to centralize the documents concerning the Spanish colonial history. Famous Palais of Alcazar is a strengthened palate set up at the 9th century, during the colonization Moor, and which today still is used as residence with the royal family. The palate was the object during its history of installations and successive enlargings which conferred an impressive ostentation to him. All these monuments were registered with the world heritage of UNESCO.

The town of Cordoue, located in the south of the country in Andalusia shelters approximately 320.000 inhabitants. The city mainly owes its current magnificence with its animated history, similar to that of its Andalusian neighbor, Seville. Capital of the emirate of Cordoue enters 8th and 13th century, the city keeps this time its most famous monument, its large mosque, the largest mosque of the world after that of Mecque, splendid example of the Islamic architecture, decorated with an unimaginable ostentation. After the reconquest of the city by the Christians, the mosque was transformed into church, then in cathedral.

The town of Grenade, located at the south-east of Andalusia, shelters approximately 238.000 inhabitants and just like represents Seville and Cordoue a very important tourist pole of the south of Spain, in particular thanks to Alhambra, one of the more good examples of Islamic architecture with the large mosque of Cordoue. Alhambra is in fact a splendid architectural unit including/understanding several palates of which Moorish palates and the Palate of Charles Quint, built in Renaissance style, added on the request of the sovereign to symbolize his victory.

Religion: the very great majority of the Spanish population is catholic, even if small Muslim communities are found, Jewish and Protestant.

Big cities and possibilities of lodging: Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Grenade, Cordoue, Bilbao and San Sebastian.

Flights expensive not preferred towards and of Spain/ES

·  Flight Paris Barcelona (BY BCN) with easyJet, Vueling Airlines
·  Flight Basle Barcelona (BSL BCN) with International Swiss Air Lines, Easyjet Switzerland, Spanair
·  Flight Paris Madrid (BY MAD) with Ryanair, easyJet, Aerolineas Argentinas
·  Flight Paris Barcelona (ORY BCN) with easyJet, IBERIA
·  Flight Paris Málaga (CDG AGP) with Air France, Air Europa Lineas Aereas, Vueling Airlines
·  Flight Casablanca Barcelona (CMN BCN) with Royal Air Maroc, IBERIA, Clickair
·  Flight Paris Seville (BY SVQ) with Vueling Airlines
·  Flight Cusco Astete Madrid (CUZ MAD)
·  Flight Paris Seville (ORY SVQ) with Air France, IBERIA, Clickair, Air Europa Lineas Aereas
·  Flight Geneva Madrid (GVA MAD) with Easyjet Switzerland, Finnair, IBERIA
·  Flight Barcelona Casablanca (BCN CMN) with Royal Air Maroc, IBERIA, Clickair
·  Flight Alicante Paris (ALC BY) with Ryanair
·  Flight Barcelona Paris (BCN BY) with easyJet, Vueling Airlines
·  Flight Málaga Brussels (AGP DAUGHTER-IN-LAW) with Brussels Airlines, Vueling Airlines
·  Flight Barcelona Paris (BCN ORY) with easyJet, IBERIA
·  Flight Barcelona Algiers (BCN ALG) with Spanair, Air Algérie
·  Flight Alicante Paris (ALC ORY) with Air France, Air Europa Lineas Aereas
·  Flight Las Palmas Hamburg (LPA HAM) with airberlin, Condor, TUIfly
·  Flight Barcelona Annaba (BCN AAE)
·  Flight Valence Casablanca (VLC CMN) with Royal Air Maroc, IBERIA
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