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Autonomous Communities and Provinces of Spain
|Map is showing the Kingdom of Spain on the Iberian Peninsula with its first-level political and administrative divisions of 17 autonomous communities, two autonomous cities, as well as the locations, boundaries and capitals of the fifty provinces of Spain.
Spain is by constitution (from 1978) a unitary state, a state in which the central government is the ultimate supreme power and the country's administrative divisions exercise only powers that the central government chooses to delegate.
Spain's autonomous communities were created with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy to the regions which comprise the Spanish nation.
Border Countries of Spain: Andorra, France, Gibraltar (U.K.), Portugal, and Morocco
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Administrative Map of Spain (without the Canary Islands)
Autonomous Communities of SpainMore about the 17 Autonomous regions of Spain
Located in the north western corner of Spain is the autonomous community of Galicia with the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra, which constitute Galicia. Largest city is A Coruña, capital of the autonomous community of Galicia is Santiago de Compostela, the city is best known as the destination of the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago), a Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th century.
Galicia is bordered in east by Asturias.
The Principality of Asturias, it is also one of the fifty provinces of Spain. Capital is the city of Oviedo (Uviéu), largest city and is the seaport Gijón (Xixón). Asturias is bordered in east by Cantabria.
Cantabria, a historical community and a province of Spain. Cantabria is a mountainous region with a coastline at the Bay of Biscay, its capital is Santander. About 30 km west of the capital there is the Cave of Altamira, with Paleolithic cave art, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site . Actually there are seventeen decorated caves of the Paleolithic age.
To the east of Cantabria there is the Basque Country.
Basque Country, it includes the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa. Currently the Basque Country has no official capital, the headquarters of the Basque Government is in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Largest city is Bilbao, an industrial port city with roughly 1 million inhabitants. Province capitals are San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa), Bilbao (Biscay) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (Álava).
To the south of the Basque provinces lies La Rioja, an autonomous community and a province of Spain. The region internationally best known for its wines of the same name (Rioja). Capital is Logroño, a city at the Ebro River with about 150,000 inhabitants.
East of the Basque Country and La Rioja lies Navarre.
Navarre, officially the Chartered Community of Navarre, an autonomous community situated between the Pyrenees mountain range that dominates the territory, and the plains of the Ebro river valley. The Ebro river forms a portion of Navarre's border with La Rioja. Largest city and the historical capital of Navarre is Pamplona (Iruña in Basque). The city is famous worldwide for the running of the bulls during the San Fermín festival.
To the east and south of Navarre there is the autonomous community of Aragon, formerly a medieval Kingdom. The region has three provinces: Huesca, just south of the central Pyrenees, Zaragoza in the central Ebro Valley, and Teruel in the Sistema Ibérico mountain ranges. Regional capital of Aragon is Zaragoza (Saragossa), famous also for its Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Between Aragon and the Balearic Sea lies Catalonia, an autonomous community that borders France and Andorra in north. Catalonia has four provinces: the landlocked mountainous Lleida, the provinces of Barcelona, Girona province, with a Spanish exclave within the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales (Llívia), and Tarragona, all with a coastline at the Mediterranean Sea. Capital and largest city is Barcelona, Spain's second city. On 1 October 2017 Catalans voted in a contested referendum for independence from Spain. The Spanish government rejects any independence movement in the country. Spain’s constitution of 1978, which was also approved by more than 90% of Catalan voters, gave wide autonomy to Spain's autonomous communities like exclusive jurisdiction in culture, environment, communications, transportation, commerce, public safety and local government, but affirmed “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation”.
To the south of Catalonia along the Mediterranean coast lies the Valencian Community (or Valencian Country) with its three provinces Alicante, Castellón, and Valencia, de facto capital and largest urban area is the Roman founded city of Valencia, today Spain's third largest city. Valencian Country's landscape offers the Iberian mountain range in west and a somewhat thin fertile coastal strip in east, with some wetlands and marshlands. The province of Alicante is bordered by Murcia.
Murcia, Murcia is the name of the capital, the province, and the autonomous community. The Region has a Mediterranean climate with more than 300 sunny days a year making it very suitable for agriculture. Murcia is called Europe’s orchard, it produces and exports all kind of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Located in the central south of the Iberian peninsula is the the most populated autonomous community in Spain: Andalusia, the region consists of eight provinces, namely Almería, Granada, Jaén, Córdoba, Málaga, Seville, Cádiz, and Huelva, which borders Portugal in west. Andalusia is bordered by both the Mediterranean Sea in south and the Atlantic Ocean in west. Capital and largest city of Andalusia is Seville (span.: Sevilla).
Situated on the Southern Plateau is the landlocked autonomous community of Extremadura, bordering Portugal in west. The region consists of two provinces, Cáceres and Badajoz each with a capital of the same name. The region was home to the most infamous conquerors of the New World: Francisco Pizarro and Hernan Cortes. Capital of Extremadura is Mérida, the city was the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, the Roman colony of
Emerita Augusta (present day Mérida) was founded in 25 BC, today the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Between Extremadura and the Valencian Community lies Castilla-La-Mancha, formerly part of the Kingdom of Castile. The autonomous community comprises five provinces: Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, and Toledo. Capital city is Toledo. It was in this region where a nameless hidalgo set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name of Don Quixote.
Castile and Leon is the the largest autonomous community in Spain. It consists of nine provinces: Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid, and Zamora. The region is known as "the granary of Spain", agriculture and livestock are a primary economic sector. De facto capital is the city of Valladolid.
The Community of Madrid in the heart of Spain on the Castilian Central Plateau is a province and one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the country. Capital of the region is Madrid.
The Balearic Islands is an archipelago in the Balearic Sea, a body of water in the western Mediterranean Sea. Largest islands are Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, all of them well known as a tourist destination. Capital and largest city is Palma de Mallorca.
The Canary Islands (not depicted on the map) is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, off the southern coast of Morocco. The Spanish autonomous community consist of seven main islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Capitals are Santa Cruz (Tenerife) jointly with Las Palmas (Gran Canaria).
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