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A peninsula is a piece of land almost surrounded by water and connected to the mainland on at least one side. Thus, it is a landform extending from a mainland into a water body such as an ocean or sea.

Europe is one of the world’s largest peninsulas and the only one with a continental status. It is the world’s 5th largest continent by area, covering approximately 9.9 million km2. Europe is made up of several other smaller peninsulas. However, the four largest peninsulas in Europe are Italian, Balkan, Iberian, and Scandinavian Peninsulas. The Iberian Peninsula is the continent’s second-largest peninsula after the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Where Is The Iberian Peninsula?

Iberian Peninsula Map

The Iberian Peninsula is located on Europe’s southwestern tip. It is part of the southern Europe peninsula, which comprises three peninsulas; Iberian, Balkan, and Italian peninsulas. The Iberian is the westernmost peninsula of the three peninsulas. The Iberian Peninsula’s southern tip is separated from the Africa continent by the narrow Strait of Gibraltar. At the narrowest point, the peninsula is only 8 kilometers from Africa, specifically Morocco.

The Iberian Peninsula covers approximately 583,256 km2, accounting for about 5.9% of Europe’s total area. It extends from Punta de Tarifa on the extreme south to Punta de Estaca de Bares on the northern extremity. From the west, the peninsula begins at Cabo da Roca and extends to Cap de Creus in the east. It forms an irregular octagonal shape resembling an ox-hide.

Iberian Peninsula Countries

Country or territory

Capital

Area

Mainland

population

% area of Iberian Peninsula

Andorra

Andorra la Vella

468 km2

(181 sq mi)

84,082

0.1

France (part of the French department of Pyrénées-Orientales)

Paris

539 km2

(208 sq mi)

12,035

0.1

Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory)

7 km2

(2.7 sq mi)

29,431

< 0.1

Portugal

Lisbon

89,015 km2

(34,369 sq mi)

ca. 10,047,083

15.3

Spain
Madrid

492,175 km2

(190,030 sq mi)

ca. 43,731,572

84.5

The Iberian Peninsula is separated from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees mountain range located between France and Spain. The peninsula is mainly occupied by Spain and Portugal. However, it also comprises Andorra, part of Southern France (part of the French department of Pyrénées-Orientales), and Gibraltar (British overseas territory).

Spain’s European continental territory is located entirely on the peninsula. It also occupies much of the landform, including the northwest, east, and central parts. Spain accounts for 84.5% of the peninsula’s total area or 492,175 square kilometers. It is bordered to the northwest and west by Portugal, north by Andorra and Southern France, and south by Gibraltar.

Portugal is the peninsula’s largest country. It occupies 15.3% of the peninsula or 89,015 square kilometers. It is bordered to the east and north by Spain. Andorra is located entirely on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the peninsula’s smallest country, covering 468 square kilometers. France is represented on the peninsula by the Pyrenees-Orientales and accounts for about 0.1% of the total area or 539 square kilometers. Gibraltar, located on the southern tip, occupies only 7 square kilometers on the peninsula

Origin Of Name

The name “Iberian” is often used to refer to Portugal and Spain. This name is linked to the Ebro River, also known as Hiberus in Latin and Iberos in ancient Greek. River Ebro runs on the north and northeastern part of the peninsula, particularly Spain, and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. The Greeks referred to Spain as Hiberia because of River Ebro and those living along the river bank as Iberians.

It is unclear what the word “Hiber” or “Iber” mean. However, according to the Basque speakers, the word “ibar” means “watered meadow” or “valley,” while “ibai” stands for “river.” But, there is no evidence linking the two Basque words to River Ebro. Jean-Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent coined the name “Iberian Peninsula” in 1823. 

Important Geographical Features

Physical map of Spain in the Iberian Peninsula showing the major physical features.

The Iberian Peninsula lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and is separated from France by the Pyrenees mountain range. It features some of Europe’s important geographical features such as rivers, mountains, and coastal plains.

About 75% of the peninsula’s total area is Meseta Central, also known as Inner Plateau. This massive plateau occupies the peninsula’s central part and rises between 610 and 760 meters above sea level. It is crossed by Sistema Central mountain range, leaving Submeseta Sur and Submeseta Norte to the south and north respectively. It is the source of most rivers that flow throughout the peninsula.

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Physical map of Portugal in the Iberian Peninsula showing the major physical features.

The Iberian Peninsula is a largely mountainous region, with several mountain systems. The Pyrenees mountain range is located at the border between Spain and France. Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees, is located in Spain. The Cantabrian Mountains stretch over 300 kilometers along the northern coast, with Torre de Cerrado as the highest peak. On the peninsula’s central part, the mountain systems include the Sistema Central and Sistema Iberico. Other mountain systems are Montes de Toledo, Sierra Morena, and Baetic System.

Several rivers flow through the Peninsula, including Tagus, Douro, Ebro, and Guadiana. At 1,007 kilometers, Tagus is Iberian’s longest river. It originates in Monte Universales and forms the border between Spain and Portugal. Guadiana River also forms the border between the two countries, separating Andalucia and Extremadura (Spain) from Algarve and Alentejo (Portugal). The Iberian Peninsula also has a coastline of about 3,313 kilometers, of which 1,653 kilometers are on the Atlantic Ocean and 1,660 kilometers on the Mediterranean Sea.

Climate

The Iberian Peninsula experiences two main climate types. The oceanic climate, dominant along the Atlantic coastal regions, is characterized by cool summers and relatively even temperatures. The other climate experienced on the peninsula is the Mediterranean climate, characterized by varying temperatures and precipitation. Central Spain experiences a semi-arid climate, while the Sierra Nevada region experiences a desert climate.

Plants And Animals

Forest landscape in Verdes refuge, with the Allons river, Coristanco, Galicia, Spain

The Iberian Peninsula is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. However, the various regions within the peninsula are characterized by distinct flora and fauna. About 27% of Spain’s total area is a protected area. It is home to about 9,000 vascular plants, of which about 25% are endemic. Plains, plateaus, and valleys across the peninsula host the semi-deciduous forests that are dominated by carob, cork oak, holm oak, and wild olive. Laurisilva rainforests are only restricted to the peninsula and contain the endemic Laurisilva species. Higher altitudes are dominated by Pyrenean oak, juniper, and scots pine.

Red deer at Lousã Mountain, Coimbra, Portugal.

Over 70,000 animal species are found on the Iberian Peninsula, with invertebrates accounting for the largest proportion. Some of the native species include Pyrenean desman, shrew, and European hedgehog. Other species include Eurasian beaver, Alpine marmot, the European rabbit, Iberian lynx, Italian wolf, and Eurasian lynx. The peninsula is also a popular stopover for most migratory birds because it is Africa and Northern Europe’s closest stopover.

History Of Human Settlement In the Iberian Peninsula

Humans have been living on the Iberian Peninsula since over 1.2 million years ago. Neanderthals occupied the peninsula around 200,000 BP. However, early modern humans migrated to the peninsula approximately 40,000 years ago from Southern France. The Roman army occupied the peninsula around 213 BC after successfully fighting the Carthaginians. However, it took Rome 200 years to defeat the Iberians and Celtic and annex the peninsula. Thereafter, Hispania Province was established. The Romans occupied the Iberian Peninsula for 600 years. 

The Germanic people, including Vandals, Suebi, and Alans began settling on the peninsula around the 5th century. The Visigoths arrived much later and occupied the whole of the peninsula, expelling other tribes except the Suebi people. However, around 584, they took control of the Suebi Kingdom, including Bracara (Braga).

In the early 8th century, Muslims, led by Tariq Ibn Ziyad conquered and occupied the peninsula except for the northern kingdom. The Muslims named the peninsula “Al-Andalus,” meaning “land of the Vandals.” The Muslim population included Arabs, Muladi, and Berbers. By the end of Muslim dominance on the peninsula (end of 15th century), the Iberian Peninsula had an estimated population of about 6.5 million people.

Important Population Centers

Metropolitan region

State

Population (2019)

Madrid

Spain

6,641,649

Barcelona

Spain

5,575,204

Lisbon

Portugal

2,846,332

Valencia

Spain

2,540,588

Seville

Spain

1,949,640

Alicante-Elche

Spain

1,862,780

Porto

Portugal

1,722,374

Málaga-Marbella

Spain

1,660,985

Murcia-Cartagena

Spain

1,487,663

Cádiz

Spain

1,249,739

Bilbao

Spain

1,137,191

A Coruña

Spain

1,122,006

Oviedo-Gijón

Spain

1,022,205

The Iberian Peninsula has an estimated population of 53 million people and is dominated by three main metropolises; Lisbon, Barcelona, and Madrid. Madrid is the largest metropolitan region, with a population of 6.6 million people. Barcelona has a population of about 5.6 million, while Lisbon has 2.8 million people. Portugal’s other populous city is Porto, with 1.7 million people. Valencia and Seville in Spain have a combined population of 4.5 million people.

Economy

Fish traps in red, green and blue and typical fishing boats in the port of Cascais, traditional fishing village in Portugal.

The peninsula’s economy largely depends on the economy of Spain and Portugal. These countries have some of the thriving industries in Europe, including fishing, tourism, and mining. Because of the long coastline, fishing is a popular economic activity, with major catches including tuna and sardines. Processed fish products from Spain and Portugal are exported to the global market through several companies, including Ramirez.

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Portugal is the world’s leading producer of carob and cork. Besides, it also produces barley, corn, and wheat. Spain’s traditional agricultural products include cereal grains, vegetables, citrus fruits, and olive oil.

The Iberian Peninsula is one of the world’s most visited places. In 2017, Spain recorded over 80 million visitors, making it the 2nd most-visited country. Madrid is the home to World Tourism Organization. Portugal receives over 20 million visitors annually, making it one of the world’s most-visited countries.

Significant European minerals come from the peninsula. Portugal is notable for copper Uranium, and tin. It also has vast coal and iron reserves. Spain is one of the top renewable energy producers. Overall, the Iberian Peninsula countries have a combined GDP of over $1.6 trillion. 

[Update] Peninsula Campaign | the peninsula – Sambeauty

The Peninsula (or Peninsular) Campaign was a major Union offensive against the Confederate capital of Richmond led by Major General George B. McClellan in the spring and summer of 1862, during the American Civil War. After moving his Army of the Potomac by boat to Fort Monroe on the Atlantic coast in late April, McClellan planned an advance toward Richmond via the peninsula formed by the York and James Rivers. Due to a habit of consistently overestimating his enemy’s numbers, the Union general refused to act until late May. The first stage of the Peninsula Campaign ended in the inconclusive Battle of Seven Pines, during which Confederate General Joseph Johnston was injured and command passed to Robert E. Lee. Beginning on June 25, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia held off the Army of the Potomac in a series of engagements known as the Seven Days’ Battles, effectively ending McClellan’s campaign toward Richmond.

Peninsula Campaign: General vs. President

In November 1861, President Abraham Lincoln named George B. McClellan to replace the aging Winfield Scott as general in chief of all Union armies. A rising star in the U.S. Army before the war, the West-Point educated McClellan had been summoned to Washington after the Union’s devastating defeat at Bull Run (Manassas) the previous July and had since managed to shape the mass of inexperienced volunteer troops into a disciplined fighting force, known as the Army of the Potomac. Though much loved by his men, McClellan was deliberate and cautious in the extreme, and from early in the conflict he consistently overestimated the strength of Confederate troops facing him. Lincoln soon grew frustrated with McClellan’s reluctance to take the initiative, and in late January 1862 he issued General War Order No. 1, calling for all armies to move forward.

Did you know? A year after the failure of the Peninsula Campaign, George McClellan led the Union to the brink of victory at Antietam, but his failure to pursue Robert E. Lee’s defeated army there led Lincoln to relieve him of command. In 1864, antiwar Democrats backed McClellan in a failed run for president.

Issuing a long list of objections to the president’s plan, McClellan persuaded the skeptical Lincoln to further postpone the offensive against Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederate army, then stationed at Manassas in northern Virginia (scene of July’s defeat). Instead of an overland offensive, McClellan wanted to move his army by boat down the Chesapeake Bay to the mouth of the Rappahannock River and get in between Johnston’s army and the Confederate capital of Richmond. In early March, Lincoln approved this plan (provided enough troops were left behind to safeguard Washington) but removed McClellan as the Union general in chief, leaving him in command only of the Army of the Potomac.

Peninsula Campaign: Preparing to Advance

Even as McClellan won approval for his planned offensive, Johnston withdrew his army from Manassas to a more easily defensible position at Culpeper, some 40 miles south and on the other side of the Rappahannock. The Union Army’s inspection of the abandoned Confederate works revealed that the enemy’s defenses had been far weaker than McClellan had claimed. In particular, a number of the Confederate cannons were found to be only logs painted black, known as “Quaker guns.” From then on, McClellan’s continued demands for more troops to face a superior enemy force would fall on deaf ears in Washington.Foiled by Johnston’s move, McClellan now sought to move his Army of the Potomac by boat to Fort Monroe, located at the tip of the peninsula formed by the York and James Rivers in Virginia. From there, the army would move up the peninsula towards Richmond, forcing Johnston to move quickly south to defend the Confederate capital. Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton agreed reluctantly. After finding that McClellan had not complied with the president’s order to leave enough troops to defend Washington, they ordered an entire large corps held back from the advance, and a furious McClellan traveled to Fort Monroe with some 100,000 troops instead of the 150,000 he had wanted.

Peninsula Campaign: From Yorktown to Seven Pines

By early April, 60,000 of McClellan’s soldiers were facing Confederate lines near Yorktown, Virginia, defended by some 13,000 rebels. Though the bulk of Johnston’s army was some 80 miles away, McClellan continued to wait, defying Lincoln’s repeated orders to attack. On May 4, Johnston decided to pull his troops from Yorktown and withdraw them toward Richmond, and McClellan finally ordered his army to move up the peninsula. By the third week of that month, the Army of the Potomac was approaching the Confederate capital. Though he was leading more than 100,000 Federals against 60,000 rebel defenders, McClellan continued to call for reinforcements.

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On May 31, Johnston led Confederates in an attack against two Federal corps south of the Chickahominy River, six miles east of Richmond. In the two-day Battle of Seven Pines and Fair Oaks, the rebels were able to drive back one Union corps and inflict heavy casualties before the Federals (with the help of reinforcements) stabilized their line. General Johnston was seriously injured in the battle, and President Jefferson Davis replaced him with Robert E. Lee, a move that would have profound consequences for the rest of the conflict.

Peninsula Campaign: Seven Days’ Battles

Through most of June, as Lee prepared a counteroffensive, McClellan complained to Washington of his need for more supplies and reinforcements. He claimed to be facing some 200,000 enemy troops; in reality, the maximum strength of Lee’s forces was around 92,000. Leaving some divisions to defend Richmond, Lee attacked McClellan’s right flank north of the Chickahominy (around 30,000 Federals) with an army of some 85,000 on July 26. During the seven days that followed, the Confederate general ordered repeated attacks: at Mechanicsville, Gaines’ Mill, Savage’s Station, Frayser’s Farm, Malvern Hill and many smaller skirmishes.


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Inside Look: The Peninsula Tokyo | Peninsula Moments | Tokyo, Japan Luxury Hotel


Experience your own Peninsula Tokyo Moment. Book a luxury hotel room here: http://tokyo.peninsula.com/en/default
It’s a story of tradition coupled with modernity at the Peninsula Tokyo: Practice the art of the tea ceremony, take in the dazzling hightech interior of Peter restaurant, and explore Japan’s rich culture from an ideal location in the Marunouchi business district.
It’s Tokyo. Peninsulastyle.

Inside Look: The Peninsula Tokyo | Peninsula Moments | Tokyo, Japan Luxury Hotel

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula – Official Trailer (2020)


Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in Train to Busan, the zombie thriller that captivated audiences worldwide, acclaimed director Yeon Sangho brings us Peninsula, the next nailbiting chapter in his postapocalyptic world. \r
\r
Jungseok, a soldier who previously escaped the diseased wasteland, relives the horror when assigned to a covert operation with two simple objectives: retrieve and survive. When his team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best—or worst—of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances.\r
\r
The movie is due out summer 2020.
ign

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula - Official Trailer (2020)

SHANGRI-LA PARIS | Best luxury hotel in Paris (full tour in 4K)


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SHANGRI-LA PARIS | Best luxury hotel in Paris (full tour in 4K)

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