Spain overview

Spain is a country located in south-western Europe, bordered by France to the north-east, Portugal to the west, and the small British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar towards the southern tip. Its area is just over 505,000 square kilometres, positioning it as the 52nd largest country in the world, and second in the European Union, which Spain forms part of. The country's government system is a Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy, with a democratic approach to leadership. The Spanish capital city is Madrid, located in the exact centre of the country.

Spain is home to hundreds of rivers and notable streams, the longest and largest of which runs over 1,000 kilometres, and are (in order): the Tajus, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana, and the Guadalquivir. All but one of these flow westward from the Spanish highlands into Portugal, and drain into the Atlantic Ocean; the exception is the Ebro, which flows eastwards, draining into the Mediterranean Sea. The most voluminous river is the Ebro, located in north-eastern Spain. The Guadalquivir, located in the southerly community of Andalusia, is the only river navigable by larger cargo ships; this makes Seville the largest city on its banks and fourth in Spain, the country's only inland river port. The western coast of Galicia is peppered with many large and little rias, sea inlets similar to river estuaries or fjords.


Malaga forms part of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia and lies on the Costa del Sol in the extreme west of the Mediterranean Sea and in the south of the Iberian peninsula, about 100 km east of Gibraltar.




Southern Spain's Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. The area is famous for hundreds of golden beaches, a perfect climate with 300 days of sunshine each year, the tranquil Mediterranean Sea, a relaxed atmosphere and excellent food. Boasting the most golf courses in Europe, Costa del Sol is also a great place for golfers.


There are three major resorts on the Sun Coast, namely: Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, and Marbella.

Fuengirola features high-rise hotels, vibrant bars, excellent restaurants, top class tapas bars, trendy boutiques and eight beaches with rows of loungers and plenty of watersports. There are chiringuitos on the beach and the busy Paseo Maritimo which spans the whole stretch.

Benalmadena has a multitude of beaches ranging from secluded coves to the action packed Blue Flag Santa Ana Beach with a bustling promenade. Visit Benalmadena Pueblo's quiet streets and marvel at the old town vibe, shop and dine in the Arroyo de la Miel area, get your adrenaline pumping at Tivoli World theme park or ride the cable car to the top of Calamorro Mountain. The nightlife scene is also popular in Benalmadena as it is filled with pubs, bars and clubs.

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Torremolinos is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Costa del Sol. Most loved for its 9 km of beaches, the popular Playa La Carihuela is packed with beach bars, sun loungers and water sports. The pedestrian shopping street, Calle San Miguel, is lined with trendy boutiques and chic shops with a variety of restaurants and a favorite of international travelers.





One of the reasons why the Costa del Sol has become a world-class travel destination is the Mediterranean Climate: mild all year round with an average temperature of 18º C. In the summer, temperatures rise to 25º C-30º C, whereas in winter the temperatures never go below 14º C during the day. There are hinterland areas, however, where the climate is continental and therefore marked by greater diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature.

On the whole, the climate of Málaga Province enables visitors to come all year round. In particular, the coastal strip, sheltered from the wind by ranges of relatively high mountains, affords over 300 sunny days a year and nice temperatures in all seasons.


The currency in Spain is the euro - the same as in other European Union countries.

The euro is divided into 100 cents.

  • There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros.
  • There are seven different bank notes, for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.


Spanish is spoken all over the Spanish territory. However other languages are also spoken in certain areas of Spain. These are: Catalan, in Catalonia; Galician, in Galicia; Euskera/Basque, in the Basque Country; Valencian, in the Region of Valencia; and a particular variety of Catalan, spoken in the Balearic Islands.