What is the distance between Spain and Portugal?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Spain and Portugal are two neighboring countries that share a long and rich history, a common language, and a vibrant culture. Located on the southwestern coast of Europe, these two countries have a lot of similarities, but they are also different when it comes to geography, history, culture, and politics. In this article, we will explore the distance between Spain and Portugal, the different ways to measure it, and the various factors that connect these two countries.

Geographical Location

Spain and Portugal are situated on the Iberian Peninsula, which is the westernmost part of Europe. Spain is the larger country, covering an area of 505,990 square kilometers, while Portugal is smaller, with a land area of 92,212 square kilometers. The two countries share a border that stretches for 1,214 kilometers, from the northwestern coast of Portugal to the eastern region of Spain. The border is mostly mountainous, with the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains in the north, and the Sierra Morena and the Guadiana River in the south.

Measuring Distance

There are different ways to measure the distance between Spain and Portugal, depending on the mode of transportation and the purpose of the journey. The main methods of measuring distance are direct distance, road distance, air distance, and distance by sea.

Direct Distance

The direct distance between Spain and Portugal is approximately 565 kilometers, measured from the western coast of Portugal to the southeastern coast of Spain. This distance can be covered by various means of transportation, including trains, buses, and cars.

Road Distance

The road distance between Spain and Portugal varies depending on the route and the starting and ending points. The shortest road distance between Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and Madrid, the capital of Spain, is approximately 617 kilometers, which can be covered in about 6 hours by car.

Air Distance

The air distance between Spain and Portugal is approximately 386 kilometers, measured from Lisbon to Madrid. This distance can be covered by direct flights that take around 1 hour.

Distance by Sea

The distance by sea between Spain and Portugal varies depending on the ports of departure and arrival. The main ports in Spain are located in the Mediterranean Sea, while the main ports in Portugal are located in the Atlantic Ocean. The distance between the port of Algeciras in Spain and the port of Lisbon in Portugal is approximately 700 kilometers.

Historical Connections

Spain and Portugal share a long and complex history that dates back to the Roman Empire, the Visigoths, and the Moors. During the Middle Ages, the two countries were part of the same kingdom, and they shared borders and cultural influences. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal became a major maritime power, exploring and colonizing new territories in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Spain also played a significant role in the Age of Discovery, with voyages led by Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and others.

Cultural Similarities

Spain and Portugal share a common language, which is Portuguese in Portugal and Spanish in Spain. The two languages have many similarities, but also some differences in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Both countries have a rich and diverse culture, with influences from their history, geography, and traditions. They share a love for music, dance, food, and festivals, and they have produced many famous artists, writers, and thinkers.

Economic Relations

Spain and Portugal are both members of the European Union, and they have a strong economic relationship based on trade, investment, and tourism. Spain is one of the main trading partners of Portugal, and it is also the largest foreign investor in the country. Portugal is an important supplier of goods and services to Spain, especially in the areas of textiles, cork, and wine. Both countries attract millions of tourists every year, who enjoy their beaches, cities, and heritage.

Political Ties

Spain and Portugal are also linked by their political systems, which are based on democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. They are part of the same regional organizations, such as the Iberian Peninsula Summit, the Mediterranean Union, and the Union for the Mediterranean. They also cooperate on common challenges, such as terrorism, migration, and climate change.


Spain and Portugal are two neighboring countries that have a lot in common, but also some differences. They share a long history, a common language, a vibrant culture, a strong economic relationship, and a commitment to democracy and human rights. The distance between them can be measured in different ways, but it is not a barrier to their friendship and cooperation.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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