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P A I S e V A S C O

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País Vasco or Basque Country is an autonomous region located in north central Spain, that includes the provinces of Álava, Guipúzcoa, and Vizcaya. The País Vasco or Basque Country is bounded by the autonomous regions of Navarra, Cantabria, La Rioja, Castile-León and by the Bay of Biscay and France to the north.

The País Vasco ’s topography consists of a coastal plain and several small mountain chains. These include the Sierra Salvada, the Sierra Urbassa, the Cantabrian Mountains, and the Montes de Vitoria. The Ebro River forms part of the region’s southern boundary, and the Nervión River runs through Vizcaya into the Bay of Biscay.

Like most parts of eastern Spain, the average annual rainfall totals 1,475 mm (58 in), and the average temperature ranges from 5°C (41°F) at higher elevations to 20°C (68°F) on the coastal plain. The weather is often cool and windy.

Grainfields, garden plots, and orchards spread across the valleys, while evergreen forests cover the mountains. Many slopes have been deforested, however, as a result of pollution caused by metal mining and smelting in the region.

The País Vasco's biggest cities are Bilbao and San Sebastian. Bilbao's population is about 420,000 when San Sebastian has a population estimated to be 210,000


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