Spain

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Spain is situated in south-west Europe. It is a multi-faced country with a lot of attractions. The Iberian peninsula is among the favourite tourist destinations, not only for its gorgeous coasts on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, but also for its wonderful art cities and the historic and traditional heritage.

 

Capital

Madrid (3.213.271 in 2008)

Surface

504.645 km²

Population

45.989.016 in 2009

Density

91,13 /km²

Currency

Euro

Time zone

+ 1 GMT but -1 hour on the Canaries Islands. Winter time applies.

Language

Spanish and Castilian are the official languages. Regional dialects are widely spoken, like Valentian Catalan, Galician, Basque, Asturian, Leonese, Extremadurian, Aragonese, eonavian, fala, aranese and Portuguese.

Religion

Catholic.

Entry requirements

Neither passport nor visa is required for European citizens of the Member States. A valid identity card is sufficient. Most of the European driving licenses are accepted.

Travelling with pets

Small sized pets like cats, dogs and ferrets must travel with animal passport (in force since 2004) and have an identification microchip or tattoo. Also, they must be vaccinated against rabies.

Health and safety

Both private and public health structures are excellent. No vaccination is required, although it is advisable to vaccinate against the hepatitis A and B. It is also advisable to bring the magnetic card for health assistance.
General safety is good, there are no particular danger zones, even though it is necessary to remind that the terrorist group ETA has revoked on 5th June 2007 the unilateral truce which began in march 2006, therefore the risk of attacks is now higher.

Climate

Spain is characterised by different kinds of climates. On the coast, the climate is Mediterranean (mild winters and very hot summers). The Atlantic regions and Galicia enjoy an oceanic climate, mild but quite rainy. Moving inland and in the region of the Meseta, the climate tends to have sub continental or continental characteristics (not too cold winters and hot summers). In the south-east peninsular area the climate turns dry or even desert, with less than 300 mm rain, whereas along the inner cordillera and on the Pyreneans it is very cold. The Canary Islands are characterised by a subtropical climate with high temperatures and very few rain.

Form of government

Parliamentary monarchy

Economy

Spain joined the European Economic Union in 1986, and since then, the country has undertaken a real economic development, which only relented in the last years. The key industrial sectors are steel industry and mechanics. The agricultural field is diminished by the harsh nature of the territory and the climate. It mainly concentrates on the production of wheat, corn, rice, barley, rye, citrus fruits, vineyards. Fishing is an active sector.
Mining resources are relevant, in particular iron, lead, zinc, pyrites and mercury. Tourism is currently the most developed sector in Spain, and in the la test years the country became one of the world top destinations.

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V – Frequency: 50 Hz

Post offices, banks and telephone

Post offices in Spain are open from 8.30 am to 14 pm (in the biggest cities they sometimes stay open also in the afternoon). Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 14 pm, some stay open also on Saturday from 9 am to 13 pm.
Mobile phone coverage is excellent.
Country code:
0034
Police: 091
Ambulance: 061