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Officially, the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a sovereign state and a state of the European Union. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula in south-western Europe. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by sea, except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and north east it borders France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and north-west it meets Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, three exclaves in North Africa, Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, which border Morocco, and the islands and peñones (rocks) of Alborán, Chafarinas, Alhucemas and Perejil. With an area of 505,992 square kilometres, Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fifth largest country in Europe.
Spain is a country of great geographical and cultural diversity, often a surprise for tourists who are expecting to find a country mostly known for beach tourism. Travel to Spain and you will find everything from lush meadows, green valleys, hills and snowy mountains in the northern regions to almost desert zones in the south. Its beaches are also famous and worth visiting, small and charming creeks in the north and wide white sand beaches on the south and western parts of the country, not forgetting the exotic black sand beaches of the volcanic Canary Islands.