Land and Resources

Spain occupies 85 % of the Iberian peninsula and is surrounded by water on almost 88 % of its perimeter; its Mediterranean coast is about 1,660 km long and the Atlantic about 710 km. The broad and continuous mountain range of the Pyrenees, extending along 435 km from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea, is a natural border with France to the north; in the far south, the Strait of Gibraltar which is 12 km separates the peninsula and North Africa.

The most important topographical feature of Spain is the vast central plateau, some wooded, called the Central Plateau, which has a general downward slope from north to south and from east to west, with an average altitude of about 610 m. Plateau is divided into a northern section (subplateau North) and a southern (South sub-plateau) by a mountain range, the Central System, which includes the Gredos and Guadarrama. The mountains of Toledo South accidentan subplateau.

Other mountain ranges such as the Cantabrian mountain range to the north, the Iberian system, to the east and Sierra Morena, south, are the edges of the plateau and the Cantabrian border separates and Galicia, the Ebro Valley and the east plain and the Guadalquivir valley, respectively. Among many of these mountains narrow valleys drained by rapid rivers such as Lozoya, Sil, Jerte or Jiloca open.

The coastal plain is narrow, except in the east coast and in the Gulf of Cadiz, usually measured not more than 32 km wide, and in many areas is broken by mountains that descend steeply to the sea forming rocky headlands and bays, as in the Costa Brava. The northern and northwestern coastal area has several important ports in the bottom of sheltered estuaries, particularly along the Galician coast. Catalan coastal mountain ranges in the northeast, and the mountains or Béticos systems, south, completes the series of major mountain ranges of the peninsula. In two of these major mountain ranges, the Pyrenees and Béticas saws, there are elevations over 3,000 m. The highest peaks of the peninsula are Aneto peak (3,404 m) in the Pyrenees and Mulhacén (3,477 m) in the Sierra Nevada, in southern Spain. The highest point of the entire Spanish territory is the peak of the Teide (3,718 m), located on the Canary Island of Tenerife.

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