Updated: March 29, 2023Published: November 30, 2022
Did you know that Spain is technically surrounded by four seas? Usually, people only consider the Mediterranean, but there are more, and you will find that out in this article.
You might be wondering, is this important? First of all, general knowledge of geography. I know it is not everyone’s favorite subject, but let’s face it, it is essential. Second, new additions to your bucket list!
Yes, you read right! There is a place that almost no one knows, and is very close to paradise. There are specific times of the year when you can visit, so place close attention to that.
This is everything I need to tell you to not spoil the article, I hope you enjoy it!
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What is the difference between an ocean and a sea?
Many people think that the term “ocean” and “sea” are interchangeable, but there is a significant difference that everyone should know about these two types of bodies of water.
First of all, seas are smaller than oceans. If you open up a map and look for the four main oceans on the planet, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Artic, you will notice that they surround entire continents. On the other hand, seas border a few countries.
We could say that the sea is the medium, the middle man between the land and the ocean. And that is essentially their difference. Seas are partially enclosed by land, while oceans, in exchange, represent a larger body of open water not close to land.
Map of the oceans and seas that border Spain
What are the oceans that border Spain?
Did you know that Spain is a peninsula? Well, Spain and Portugal are the two most prominent countries of the Iberian Peninsula, and what is a peninsula? It is a landform that extends from the mainland; three of its borders are surrounded by water. There are peninsulas on every continent; even Spain had its own landform extension once but lost it to the English. If you don’t know what I am talking about, the extension is Gibraltar, a peninsula of the peninsula. If you are interested or puzzled by all that, check out the articles below!
So, coming back to Spain, the country is the biggest nation in the Iberia peninsula, which is why most of its boundaries are water. Spain is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Bay of Biscay.
Attention! The previous bodies of water are different but also very connected. The Mediterranean Sea goes eastward from the French border down to the Strait of Gibraltar. The Atlantic Ocean is on the northwest and southwest; the Gulf of Cádiz extends in the south, and the Bay of Biscay extends in the North.
So, a direct answer to your question would be that the Atlantic Ocean is the only ocean that borders Spain.
What are the seas that border Spain?
You already know the main borders of water that surround Spain, and you know that the main character here is the Atlantic Ocean. You also understand that a “sea” is a large body of water enclosed by land masses. If you look at the map below, you’ll notice that the Mediterranean is surrounded by Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Here you’ll find all the details on the Mediterrenean Sea:
The Mediterranean is the most important and largest sea to border Spain, but does that mean is the only one? No, it is not.
On the eastern side of Spain, the coasts of the autonomous regions of Catalonia and Valencia are bordered by the Balearic Sea. This body of water is part of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by the Liguria Sea (France and Italy). This is the sea where the Ebro River drains into the Balearic Sea. If you have or will visit Ibiza soon, know that you will be swimming in the Balearic Sea.
Does the Ebro sound familiar? Check out all the crucial details of the second longest of the Iberian Penisula.
Now, on the westernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea is the Alboran Sea. The Alboran Sea is enclosed by Southern Spain and Northern Africa, connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean. Some additional facts about the Alboran Sea are that it has an average depth of 445 meters and a maximum of 1,500 meters and is a busy shipping route.
The Alboran Sea is home to British and American submarines, and other several military and naval bases.
The Cantabrian Sea is the southern part of the Bay of Biscay that borders the coast of Cantabria, Asturias, and the Basque Country. Some characteristics of this sea are that it has a maximum depth of 4.750 meters and a salinity of about thirty-five grams per liter. The Cantabrian Sea is affected by the tides, which could reach 4.5 meters. When it comes to its climate, it is associated with storms, heavy rains, and tall waves.
And finally, the Bay of Biscay is the northern extension of the Atlantic Ocean that connects with Spain, France, and the Celtic Sea. Just like the Cantabrian Sea, the Bay of Biscay is known for its rough seas and violent storms and has an approximate depth of 4,735 meters.
The Coordinates to the best park on the Atlantic Coast
Would you know how to get here with only the coordinates?
If you do know, that is amazing! But I will give you the full information for the others that need normal directions (like me). So, those coordinates belong to the Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park.
This national park is a small archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean formed by four islands: Cíes, Ons, Sálvora, and Cortegada. This park has a unique biodiversity, spectacular beaches, and unique landmarks that you can read more about in the link below!
This is not the only breathtaling national park, we have 15 more that you can discover right here!
Before this post, you knew the basics about oceans and seas in Spain, but now you are an expert. Now you know precisely every body of water surrounding the peninsula and even a new destination for your next trip.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If there is anything, you want to add or ask, we would love to read you!
The sea between Spain and Africa is the Mediterranean sea. The strait of Gibraltar connects the Mediterranean sea with the Atlantic Ocean, lying between southernmost Spain and northwesternmost Africa.
The sea between Spain and France is the Bay of Biscay. It lies along the western coast of France from Point Penmarc'h to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal
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!