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 Study in Spain
a ABOUT Spain

STUDY IN  Spain - About Spain

General Information    |    Geography    |    Government Communication

General Information


Area: 504,782 sq km (194,897 sq miles).

Population: 40,077,100 (July 2002 est.)

Population Density: 81.5

Capital: Madrid

Ethnicity / Race:

Language: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%

Currency: euro (EUR).The currency code is EUR.

Religion: There is no official religion, but the majority of the population is Roman Catholic.

Time: Mainland Spain/Balearics: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity: 220 or 225 volts AC, 50Hz. Generally, round two-pin plugs and screw-type lamp fittings are in use.

Health: There is a reciprocal health agreement with the UK. Medical treatment provided by state scheme doctors at state scheme hospitals and health centres (ambulatorios) is free to UK citizens if in possession of form E111. Health insurance is required for private medical care. Prescribed medicines and dental treatment must be paid for by all visitors.





Spain shares the Iberian peninsula with Portugal and is bounded to the north by the Pyrenees, which separate Spain from France. The Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera), 193km (120 miles) southeast of Barcelona, and the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa are part of Spain, as are the tiny enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the north African mainland. With the exception of Switzerland, mainland Spain is the highest and most mountainous country in Europe, with an average height of 610m (2000ft). The Pyrenees stretch roughly 400km (249 miles) from the Basque Country in the west to the Mediterranean Sea; at times the peaks rise to over 1524m (5000ft), the highest point being 3404m (11,169ft). The main physical feature of Spain is the vast central plateau, or Meseta, divided by several chains of sierras. The higher northern area includes Castille and León, the southern section comprises Castile/La Mancha and Extremadura. In the south the plateau drops abruptly at the Sierra Morena, beyond which lies the valley of Guadalquivir. Southeast of Granada is the Sierra Nevada, part of the Betic Cordillera, which runs parallel to the Mediterranean, rising to 3481m (11,420ft) and the highest point on the Spanish peninsula (the Pico del Teide on Tenerife in the Canaries is the highest peak in Spain). The Mediterranean coastal area reaches from the French frontier in the northeast down to the Straits of Gibraltar, the narrow strip of water linking the Mediterranean with the Atlantic and separating Spain from North Africa.

Total Area: 504,782 sq km

Water: 5,240 sq km (there are 19 autonomous communities including Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, and three small Spanish possessions off the coast of Morocco - Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera )

Land: 499,542 sq km

Climate: Spain’s climate varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. The best months are from April to October, although mid-summer (July to August) can be excessively hot throughout the country except the coastal regions. Madrid is best in late spring or autumn. The central plateau can be bitterly cold in winter.

Required clothing: Light- to mediumweights and rainwear, according to the season.


Spain Government


The 1978 constitution created a bicameral parliament (Cortes), divided into the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, which holds legislative power. The 350-strong Congress is elected every four years by proportional representation, while the 202 senators are chosen by direct election. There are also 17 autonomous regions, the governments of which are elected every four years.




Telephones - main lines in use: 17.336 million (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 8.394 million (1999)
Telephone system: general assessment: generally adequate, modern facilities; teledensity is 44 main lines for each 100 persons
domestic: NA
international: 22 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries
Radio broadcast stations: AM 208, FM 715, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 13.1 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 224 (plus 2,105 repeaters)
note: these figures include 11 television broadcast stations and 88 repeaters in the Canary Islands (1995)
Televisions: 16.2 million (1997)
Internet country code: .es
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 56 (2000)
Internet users: 7.89 million (2002)

Telephone: IDD is available. Country code: 34. Outgoing international code: 00. Emergency calls: 112. Area codes are incorporated within a nine digit number. The following are a selection of codes for major centres: Madrid 91, Alicante 96, Balearic Islands 971, Barcelona 93, Benidorm 96, Bilbao 94, Granada 958, Las Palmas 928, Málaga and Torremolinos 95, Santander 942, Seville 95, Tenerife 922 and Valencia 96.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800 networks available. Roaming agreements exist with all major networks. Coverage is good throughout most of the country.

Main network providers include

  • Auna (website:

Fax: Most post offices have services. Facilities are also generally available at 4- and 5-star hotels, especially those catering for the business and conference traveller.

Internet: There is a variety of Internet cafes in most urban areas. Main ISPs include

Telegram: Facilities are available at main post offices. A 24-hour service is available in Madrid at Plaza de Cibeles; in Barcelona at Plaza Antonio Lopez; in Bilbao at 15 Calle Alameda Urquijo.

Post: There are efficient internal and international postal services to all countries. Airmail within Europe usually takes around 5 days. Poste Restante facilities are available at main post offices.

Press: Local newspapers published in English include the Costa Blanca News, Majorca Daily Bulletin and the English-language edition of Sur (weekly). Spanish dailies with large circulations include ABC, La Marca (sports only), El Mundo and El País.

Radio: BBC World Service (website: From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.


Source: Spain-Info
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