Castile and Leon

Castile and Leon (Castilla y León in Spanish) is located directly southwards from the northern coastal regions of Asturias and Cantabria. It is also bordered by the Basque Country, La Rioja and Aragon in the east, Castile-La Mancha and Madrid in the southeast and Extremadura in the south. Westwards, Castile-Leon borders Portugal and Galicia.

With a surface area of around 94,000 km², Castile-Leon accounts for approximately 18.6% of Spain’s total: consequently it is the largest region in Spain. The region itself was formed by the union of the ancient Kingdoms of Castile and León.

There are nine provinces in Castile-Leon: Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora. Its capital city is Valladolid, which is located in the province of Valladolid.

Like many other regions in Spain, the climate of Castile-Leon is affected by mountains: indeed, the whole region is surrounded by them. There are significant foothills rising up from the Cantabrian mountains in the north. Also in the North are the Leon mountains (las montañas de León), which lie in the shadow of the Cantabrian mountain range (la Corillera Cantábrica). The Iberian mountain range (el Sistema Ibérico) ascends from the northeast with the Sistema Central appearing in the south. In the middle of all these mountains is a high flat plateau.

The flat central area sees rainfall between 400-600mm per year. Rainfall is greater in the mountain areas, converting to snow during winter. In the areas above 2,000m, snow will be a permanent feature. In general, because of its high altitude, Castile-Leon experiences long cold winters and short hot summers.

The official language of Castile-Leon is Castilian Spanish, spoken by the population of approximately 2.5 million people.