— Unknown Spain —

A diverse microcontinent

Discovering Spain's natural treasures and their origins feels like exploring an entire continent, which, geologically speaking, is true: the micro-continent Iberia was an island for much of its history. Except for that peculiar time when it lay at the heart of the globe-spanning supercontinent Pangaea, during which much of the granite rocks of central Spain crystallized from large magma chambers deep within the Hercynian mountain chain, and which now lie exposed in typical sierra landscapes of the country's interior. The diversity of Spanish habitats is reflected in volcanoes, mountains, rugged coastlines, steppe-like plains, semi-deserts, rainforests, caves, lakes, lagoons, canyons and waterfalls, through which bears, wolves, genets and lynx roam, watched from the blue skies by eagles, falcons and condors. Despite - or because of - its natural resources, Spain faces many environmental problems such as drought, desertification and soil erosion.