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This image of variety is itself a shared element of Spanish identity.

The populations least likely to feel Spanish are Catalans and Basques, although these large, complex regional populations are by no means unanimous in their views.

Important regions within the modern nation are the Basque Country (País Vasco), the Catalan-Valencian-Balearic area, and Galicia—each of which has its own language and a strong regional identity.

Others are Andalucía and the Canary Islands; Aragón; Asturias; Castile; Extremadura; León; Murcia; and Navarra, whose regional identities are strong but whose language, if in some places dialectic, is mutually intelligible with the official Castilian Spanish.

In what are known as market communities in other parts of the world, villages or towns in a Spanish comarca patronize the same markets and fairs, worship at the same regional shrines in times of shared need (such as drought), wear similar traditional dress, speak the language similarly, intermarry, and celebrate some of the same festivals at places commonly regarded as central or important.

Other entities in Iberia are the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees and Gibraltar, which is under British sovereignty and is located on the south coast. The Atlantic Ocean washes Spain's north coast, the far northwest corner adjacent to Portugal, and the far southwestern zone between the Portuguese border and the Strait of Gibraltar.Spain also holds two cities, Ceuta and Melilla, on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco.Spain's perimeter is mountainous, the mountains generally rising from relatively narrow coastal plains.There has never been an independent Basque state apart from Spain or France.Cataluña has had greater autonomy in the past and had, at different times, as close ties with southwestern France as with Spain.