Population         47.190.000 h.

Area                     505.935 km²

Capital                 Madrid

Currency              Euro

Government        Parliamentary Monarchy

Official Language      Spanish

Electricity           220 volt

Location:          Spain is in the in extreme southwestern Europe. It occupies about 85 percent of the Iberian Peninsula.

Spain is a storied country of stone castles, snow-capped mountains, vast monuments, and sophisticated cities, all of which have made it a privileged travel destination.

 The weather and vegetation

In Spain you can enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. It is no surprise, then, that this is one of the warmest parts of Europe.

Spain has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures. Because Spain has a varied landscape and mainly consists of mountain areas, many different climates can be found in this country: Mediterranean climate, continental climate, maritime climate, desert climate, high mountain climate and even a subtropical climate.

In summer the weather is indeed sunny and warm and even extremely warm in the interior.  However, this does not apply everywhere for winter months.  In some parts of Spain winter months can be cold.

Spain however is still a popular winter destination and that is also not surprising with the wonderful climate at the coast.

Nearly half of Spain is covered by spontaneous vegetation of some sort, but only a small proportion is classified as thick woodland. Northern Spain has heath and deciduous woodland like oak and beech.  The mountains of the northern Meseta and the Iberian and Baetic cordilleras carry deciduous oaks; those of the central Pyrenees, the Iberian ranges, and the Central Sierras have diverse pine species. The rest, more than half of Spain, has Mediterranean vegetation characterized by evergreen oak (Quercus ilex) and other drought-resistant plants commonly reduced to scrub status (matorral).

Currency and cost of living

The currency in Spain is the euro, the same as in other European Union countries. You can change currencies in some banks and exchange bureaux. In the following page, you can find information about types of exchanges:
The euro is divided into 100 cents. There are bank notes for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. There are coins for 1 and 2 euros, and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50.
Payment using international credit cards is also commonly available in Spanish shops. Traveller’s cheques are also accepted in some shopping centers, restaurants and shops. They generally have signs indicating this option at the entrance to the establishment. When you make a payment, you should show your passport or identity card.
The average price for services and products change depending on the city and region. The following list show approximate prices for some services:

A single metro (underground) or bus ticket costs around 1,40 – 2 EUR.
A ticket to the cinema costs between 5 and 9 EUR.
A ticket to a concert could cost between 50 and 100 EUR
A glass of beer in a fashionable bar costs between 2 and 6 EUR.
A continental breakfast costs between 2 and 4 EUR.
A daily menu at an economical restaurant costs between 10 and 14 EUR and between 5 and 8 EUR at a university restaurant. The regular price if you are choosing from the regular menu starts at around 18 EUR

Tipping is a common practice in taxis, bars and restaurants. It is never mandatory. The amount depends on the total price for the service, abut is usually around five percent of the total price.

Health Service

The Spanish National Health Service is very well valued. It has an extensive network of health centers and hospitals throughout the country.

Health centers provide primary healthcare services (family medicine, pediatrician and nursing services, and there may be midwives, physiotherapists and social workers). Further, in rural areas and in small villages, there are local surgeries open on certain days with visits from healthcare staff from the region.

If circumstances require, medical attention can be provided in the patient’s home.

Hospitals offer specialized attention. Access to medical attention is via set appointments from primary healthcare services. There are also Emergency services available at hospitals and some health centers.

In an emergency, people can go straight to a hospital there are public and private hospitals. As some hospitals offer both private and state healthcare services, the presentation of a social security card or proof of private insurance is advisable.

In Spain, medications and health products are purchased at pharmacies. They are all marked with a green cross. You will get your prescriptions from your doctor. If you come from a country in the European Union, or your country has health agreements with Spain, you will have the same prescription drug benefits as Spanish citizens.

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