Spain occupies most of Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, stretching south from the Pyrenees Mountains to the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Africa. To the east lies theMediterranean Sea and Spain’s Balearic Islands. Spain also rules two cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
The interior of Spain is a high, dry plateau surrounded and crisscrossed by mountain ranges. Rivers run to the coasts, creating rich soils that are good for farming. Still, the interior of the country gets very cold in winter, and very hot and dry in summer.
The north coast of this amazing country is called ‘Green Spain’. This is because the mild, wet climate of the region allows lush plants and trees, such as beech and oak, to flourish.
The southern and eastern coasts of Spain, from the fertile Andalusian plain up to the Pyrenees, are often swept by warm winds called ‘sirocco’ winds. These winds originate in northern Africa and keep temperatures along the Mediterranean coast warmer than the interior.