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Portugal Geography

Geography

Mountains and high hills cover the northern third of Portugal, including an extension of the Cantabrian Mountains from Spain.

The mainland's highest point is a peak in the Serra da Estrela, at 6,532 ft. (1,991m). Portugal's lowest point is along the Atlantic Ocean coastline.

Note: Portugal's overall highest point (Pico Volcano ) is located in the Azores (an autonomous region) on the island of Pico. It stands at 7,713 ft. (2,351 m).

Further south and west, the land slopes to rolling hills and lowlands, and a broad coastal plain.

The Algarve region in the far-south features mostly rolling plains, a few scattered mountains and some islands and islets. It's coastline is notable for limestone caves and grottoes.

Major rivers in Portugal include the Douro, Guadiana, Mondego and the Tagus. There are no inland lakes, as water surfaces of size are dam-originated reservoirs.

Geography Portugal
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain

Geographic coordinates:

39 30 N, 8 00 W

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 92,391 sq km
land: 91,951 sq km
water: 440 sq km
note: includes Azores and Madeira Islands

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries:

total: 1,214 km
border countries: Spain 1,214 km

Coastline:

1,793 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:

maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south

Terrain:

mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Ponta do Pico (Pico or Pico Alto) on Ilha do Pico in the Azores 2,351 m

Natural resources:

fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 21.75%
permanent crops: 7.81%
other: 70.44% (2001)

Irrigated land:

6,320 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:

Azores subject to severe earthquakes

Environment - current issues:

soil erosion; air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Environmental Modification

Geography - note:

Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along western sea approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

Note: The information tabled directly above was researched by and provided by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

map of Portugal

Atlantic Ocean azores Madeira Islands

locator map of Portugal

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Douro River region

Douro River region, Portugal

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This page was last modified on August 13, 2015.