Regional Spain

Spain has a population of 45 million and receives more than 58 million visitors a year. It covers an area of 504,780 sq km (194,900 sq miles). Madrid is the largest city, followed by Barcelona and Valencia. The country is dominated by a central plateau drained by the Duero, Tagus (Tajo) and Guadiana rivers. This book divides Spain into 15 areas, but officially it has 17 independent regions called comunidades autónomas.

GETTING AROUND

Spain’s regional capitals and islands are linked by regular flights and there is a shuttle service between Madrid and Barcelona. The TALGO and AVE high-speed trains provide fast rail services and are backed up by regional and local rail networks. Some motorways have expensive tolls, but are fast. The Balearic and Canary islands are served by regular ferries. Be aware that Spain has just changed its road numbering system. Some of the roads featured here may differ from new road signs.

Eyewitness Spain Regions

Each of the chapters in this guide has a colour code. The chapters are grouped into five sections: Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Spain and Spain’s Islands; and two cities: Madrid and Barcelona.

THE CANARY ISLANDS

Spain’s Atlantic Territories

The Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, are an integral part of Spain. They are one hour behind the rest of the country.

KEY

Motorway

Major road

Minor road

KEY TO COLOUR CODING

Northern Spain

Galicia

Asturias and Cantabria

The Basque Country, Navarra

and La Rioja

Eastern Spain

Barcelona

Catalonia

Aragón

Valencia and Murcia

Central Spain

Madrid

Castilla y León

Castilla-La Mancha

Extremadura

Southern Spain

Seville

Andalusia

Spain’s Islands

The Balearic Islands

The Canary Islands

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