Updated: January 23, 2023Published: November 23, 2022
When you ask Google, “what is the longest river in Spain?” the answer you get is the Tagus River.
Some people will tell you that it is the Tagus, and others will tell you that it is the Ebro. Both answers would be valid! This will depend on whether you take into account only the route within the Spanish borders or if you take into account the entire course of the river, even if it is shared with another country (in this case Portugal).
In this post, I will explain the difference between these two rivers and why the answers may differ. I will also show you a table comparing our two longest rivers with the longest rivers in the world!
Ahh! And I have also prepared a map for you!
Are you ready to learn everything about Spain’s two longest rivers? Keep scrolling down, and make sure to catch everything!
Table of Contents▼▶
What is the longest river in Spain?
This question is a bit tricky as it could have two answers: The Tagus river and the Ebro river.
The answer will depend on whether you take into account the entire course of the river even if it is shared with Portugal (in which case it would be the Tagus), or if you only take into account exclusively its course within Spain (in which case it would be the Ebro).
The Tagus River is the longest in the Iberian Peninsula. Still, it is part of Spain (where it is born) and Portugal (where it flows in the Atlantic Ocean). Its length is 1,007 kilometers, of which 816 kilometers are in Spanish territory, 46 kilometers constitute the border between Spain and Portugal, and the remaining 145 kilometers are part of Portugal.
The Tagus basin has a surface area of 83,678 km², of which 67% is in Spanish territory and 33% is in the Portuguese part.
The Ebro River is the longest of Spain’s rivers (since its entire route is within Spain), with a length of 930 km. It has a surface area of about 85,000 km².
If you want to know more about these two rivers, I recommend you to take a look at these two posts:
Does this mean that because they are the longest they are also the most abundant?
What is the largest river in Spain?
Considering its basin is exclusively in Spain, the Ebro River, with 15,040 ft³/s, would be the most abundant river. But if we consider the entire Iberian Peninsula, although a part is in Spain and another in Portugal, then it would be the Tagus River with 17,660 ft³/s.
BUT just because they are the largest doesn’t mean they have to be the widest!
What is the widest river in Spain?
However, when it comes to width, the Ebro River is the widest river in Spain. It crosses seven autonomous communities: Cantabria, Castile and León, La Rioja, Basque Country, Navarra, Aragón and Catalonia.
Will the Ebro, being the widest river in Spain, be the most navigable?
What is the most navigable river in Spain?
The Guadalquivir River would be the most navigable of all the Spanish territory, with 90 km of the route (which would be about 5 hours of navigation).
If you want to know everything about the Guadalquivir river, click on the following article:
Comparing the longest river in Spain with others in the world
When we talk about the longest rivers, we refer to the length of the river, either in km or miles. In this case, to give you a better perspective, we will look at eleven of the largest rivers in the world and compare them with our two longest rivers in Spain, the Tagus, and the Ebro.
Here’s the table:
Ob Irtysh River
Rio de la Plata
Map of Spain with The 2 Longest Rivers
This map has the 2 longest rivers: the Tagus river and the Ebro river. Here you will be able to see the route of each one of them in a clear way. You will see that the Tagus rises in Spain, crosses the entire Peninsula, and flows into Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean, while the Ebro makes its entire route within Spain to flow into the Mediterranean Sea.
Now when someone asks you which is the longest river in Spain, you will surprise them with your answer!
This article completes even more information about our two longest and most important rivers.
I hope it has helped you and that it has clarified the doubts you had!
Inigo Navarro is a seasoned travel writer with a deep understanding of Spain's cities, culture, people and language. Born and raised in Spain, he has spent years exploring the country and is currently one of the most-read Travel Bloggers about Spain. Inigo is also an experienced digital marketer, a father to 4 beautiful children and a huge Real Madrid Fan. ¡Hala Madrid!