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___ Topographic Map of the Iberian Peninsula

Major Geographical Features of the Iberian Peninsula

The shaded relief map is showing the Iberian Peninsula, an almost continent like peninsula at the southwestern tip of Europe. The peninsula, also known as Iberia, is home to the mainlands of Spain and Portugal, Andorra and the British overseas territory Gibraltar. Iberia has an area of 583.254 km², its about the size of Madagascar, or slightly larger than twice the size of the U.S. state of Nevada. The peninsula is bordered by the Bay of Biscay (Atlantic) in north, by Andorra and France in north east, by the Mediterranean Sea in east, the Alboran Sea and the Bay of Cádiz in south, and the North Atlantic Ocean in west. The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Atlantic with the Mediterranean Sea.

The Iberian Peninsula is separated from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees, a mountain chain older than the Alps, with several three-thousanders, in former times hard to surmount.

The area along Iberia's northern Atlantic coast, with the regions of Galicia, and the northern parts of Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country is known as Green Spain, because of its wet and temperate oceanic climate that fosters the growth of pastures and forests.
The center of the Iberian Peninsula is dominated by a vast high plateau, the Meseta Central, with elevations from 600 to 760 m, which slopes gently to the west. In the center of the Meseta, running diagonal towers the Sistema Central, a system of mountain ranges, most prominent the Serra de Estrla, the Sierra de Guadarrama and the Sierra de Gredos.
Highest mountain on the peninsula is Mount Mulhacén with 3,478 m, located in the Andalusian Sierra Nevada.
Major rivers are the Guadalquivir, the Tejo/Tagus river, the Douro and the Ebro river.

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Iberian Peninsula shaded relief map
Topographic Map of Spain (without the Canary Islands)

Autonomous Communities of Spain (capital in parentheses):

Galicia (Santiago de Compostela); Principality of Asturias (Oviedo), largest city is Gijón; Cantabria (Santander); Basque Country (no official capital), largest city is Bilbao; La Rioja, (Logroño); Navarre (Pamplona); Aragon (Zaragoza or Saragossa); Catalonia (Barcelona); Valencian Community (Valencia); Murcia (Murcia); Andalusia (Seville); Extremadura (Mérida); Castilla-La-Mancha (Toledo); Castile and Leon (Valladolid); Balearic Islands (Palma de Mallorca); Canary Islands (Santa Cruz de Tenerife jointly with Las Palmas);

Community of Madrid (Madrid). See also Administrative Map of Spain

Regions of Portugal:

Algarve, Alentejo, Lisboa Region, Centro Region, and Norte Region.

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