Everyone has heard of Spain, otherwise, you would not be here. However, did you know that the country is divided into communities, provinces, pueblos..? If you want to understand Spain’s different locations or if you are an auxiliar who knows nothing about the country, keep reading!
To understand the different areas within a community, we have to understand what a community is as well. The country is divided into -what we call- autonomous communities: there are 17 of them -plus two autonomous cities located in North Africa: Ceuta and Melilla. Some of those communities are also divided into provinces, while some others are just one whole province. The Community of Madrid is a single province, just like the Region of Murcia. The Community of Castilla-La Mancha, though, consists of five different provinces: Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, and Toledo.
In the map, you can see areas that are colored the same, those are the communities. Within those colors, some of them are also divided, that is what we call provinces. As you see, there is only one province in Madrid (blue in the middle) and Murcia (green) while Castilla La Mancha (orange) has five of them.
What to Expect in Each of These Areas
Biggest Areas in Spain: The City
There are all types of cities in Spain: some are coastal cities, others can get a bit hectic and some others hold an important historical background. However, in all of them, you will be able to enjoy the perks of an urban lifestyle and the leisure possibilities it offers. Everything has pros and cons, though, and accommodation and other expenses will be higher than in other areas.
Who does not know Madrid city? However, not everyone knows that Madrid is also a community. The main city, the capital of Spain has the same name as the region, though.
The same thing happens in Murcia. Murcia is the capital of Murcia’s Region. But there are other cities within the community like, for example, Cartagena.
In Castilla-La Mancha, no city shares the name as the community’s official name. However, of course, there are also cities like Toledo, Almansa, or Talavera de la Reina.
Understanding Your Community: What Are The Outskirts?
Living in the outskirts is like almost living in the city but cheaper. You will find the comfort of the city without the frenzy. The outskirts have all types of amenities within easy reach and housing is reasonably priced. There are -usually- good connections and public transportation and commuting is an option.
For example, in Madrid, some of these areas like Getafe, Leganés, or Alcobendas are connected either by metro or Cercanías.
Murcia or the Community of Castilla-La Mancha might not be as well-connected as Madrid, but there is still good public transportation and commuting from the outskirts is still an option. Besides, there are lots of beautiful areas in these Communities that fall under “outskirts” category like Espinardo or Puente Tocinos in the Region of Murcia or Chozas and Calera in the Community of Castilla-La Mancha.
Spain’s Purest Areas: The Pueblos
If what you are looking for is to get immersed in Spanish culture, then a pueblo is the perfect place for you. Here, the cost of living will be cheaper and you will experience the most authentic and charming Spanish way of life. Besides, if you enjoy nature, pueblos usually offer lots of opportunities to be in touch with it.
Almost everyone in Spain is from a pueblo -their grandparents were born there- and loves to spend time outside the city. Within the frantic Community of Madrid, if one wants to get away, there are beautiful towns like Buitrago de Lozoya or Cercedilla.
A pretty similar thing happens in Murcia. However, some of those towns are by the sea like the town of San Javier or Águilas while others are interiores, which means inside the Region. Like, for example, Lorca.
In Castilla-La Mancha, each province has lots of pueblos. Some of them are very famous because of Don Quixote and its windmills like Consuegra. A lot of cultural and fun activities -like the town fairs- are held in these villages like Quintanar de la Orden or Manzanares amongst so many others.
The Most Important Thing: Having an Open Mind
No matter where you end up going to, having an open mind is key. Just as with everything in life, all locations have pros and cons and you can make the most out of each one! Let yourself discover, wonder, and, who knows, you might even get surprised!
Did you know all about these locations? Is there something we missed? Let us know!
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