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Euskalherria Satellite01

Euskalherria from Euskosat

To study the geography of Euskadi is very complex mainly because it is a nation whose territories, some of them islands, are spread across three continents. It is therefore necessary to address the study of geography, starting at major geographic units completely independent.

According with the lurraldea administrative division:

Euskal Herria

Gaztelugatxe01

San Juan Gaztelugatxekoa

The physical geography of Euskal Herria is very diverse despite the small size of the region. The Basque Country spreads from the rough coastal landscape to the semi-desert of Barde.

The main natural limits of Euskal Herria are the Cantabrian Sea (south Bay of Biscay) in the north and in the west side, and in the south side, the Ebro river. The highest place of the Basque Country is the peak of the mountain Hiru Erregeen Mahaia (It is to 2438m from the sea level).

The Coast

The Basque Country has a 225km coastline along the Bay of Biscay, including 104 beaches. Bizkaia is the eskualde which has the largest coast of the Basque country, it has 108km,and 35 beaches. Gipuzkoa has a coast of 84km and 28 beaches and finally Lapurdi has a coast of 33km and 41 beaches.

The coast of the Basque Country has 3 different sides. First, the coast of Bizkaia is really rough but in general there are big beaches. In addition there are two maritime branches, the maritime branch of Nerbioi and the maritime branch of Urdaibai.

Biarritz Grandplage (2)

Biarritz Grandplage

The coast of Gipuzkoa has bigger fluctuations and in general the slopes are bigger too. From the limit of Bizkaia to Zumaia there are smaller beaches and they are more rocky, thereafter, they are bigger and longer. When different rivers join the sea it creates small estuaries (Oria), and in the others, maritime branches (Urumea, Bidasoa).

The coast of Lapurdi is more plain. The beaches are more longer and the height of the slopes is smaller. The rivers Bidasoa and Adour sea in the coast of Lapurdi.

Mountains

Hiru Erregeen Mahaia01

Hiru Erregeen Mahaia

The Basque country is mountainous. Most of the mountains are along an east-west axis, at the west of the Pyrenees. The most important rock there is the limestone, but there are mountains that they are composed with other materials, for example, Aiako Harria is composed with granite. The highest mountain is Hiru Erregeen Mahaia.

The south of Araba and Nafarroa is the middle east limit of Cantabrian Mountains. There are mountains like Kodes and Toloño. Between those importants mountains there are Euskal mendiak: Urbasa, Andia, Aralar, Amboto, Ordunte or Aizkorri.

Rivers

The Ebro is the largest river which cross the Basque Country, it has 910km, and flows along the southern border the south side of Basque Country before it joins the Mediterranean sea. In its way some other rivers join it, for example, Zadorra, Baias, Ega and Aragoi. Aragoi is the river which does the longest route here,it has 192km. It is born in the Esako reservoir and before crossing Nafarroa Garaia it joins to the river of Ebro.

Aturri, which joins the sea in the coast of Basque Country, is the largest river and has the biggest water flow. Its source is in Tourmalet and it joins the sea in Baiona, crosses 335km of land, the last 30km of which are in Basque Country. It has several tributaries from the Pyrenees, including the Biduze, Errobi, and Aran. Like Aturri, other Basque rivers join the sea in the Bay of Biscay, such as Nerbioi, Bidasoa, Oria, Deba, Urola, Urumea. The Nerbioi is the longest such river in the Basque Country, with a length of 75km.

Forests

The biggest forest of Euskal Herria is Iratiko Oihana which covers parts of Lower Navarre, Zuberoa and Nafarroa Garai.

Txindoki mountain from Lazkaomendi

Txindoki Mountain

Otherwise, in the northwest of Nafarroa from Sakana to Aezkoa there are mainly decidious forests. These types of trees exist in the east side of Araba, in the region called Mendialdea in Araialde in the northwest, in Zuberoa and in Nafarroa Behera. Finally, they are also in Gipuzkoa, in the middle of Urola and in Aralar.

In Bizkaia, there are evergreen forests throughout 66% of the entire eskualde. The main exceptions of this are some places of Enkarterri and in Durango (Urkiola Natural Park). In Guipuzkoa, 56% of the trees are conifers, but in Araba they consist of only 28% of the trees.

Currently, 51% of Euskal Herria is covered by trees.

Desert

The natural park of Barde is the biggest desert, it is located in the south east of Nafarroa. It has 41.845 hectares, on the one hand it has 45km from the north side to the south side and on the other hand 24km from the west side to the east side.

Extreme points

There are basque municipalities that are in the cardinal extreme points:In the north side Samatze(Nafarroa Behera),in the east side Eskiula (Zuberoa) and in the west side Lanestosa (Bizkaia).

Caribe

Saint Martin

Saint Barthélémy

Saint Barthelemi01

Saint Barthélémy

Located approximately 250 kilometres east of Puerto Rico and the nearer Virgin Islands, St. Barthélémy lies immediately southeast of the islands of Saint Martin and Anguilla. It is separated from Saint Martin by the Saint-Barthélemy Channel. It lies northeast of Saba and St Eustatius, and north of St Kitts. Some small satellite islets belong to St. Barthélémy including Île Chevreau (Île Bonhomme), Île Frégate, Île Toc Vers, Île Tortue and Gros Îlets (Îlots Syndare). A much bigger islet, Île Fourchue, lies on the north of the island, in the Saint-Barthélemy Channel. Other rocky islets which include Coco, the Roques (or little Turtle rocks), the Tortiie, Toevers, Grogatte, the Goat, and the Sugarloaf. As a leeward island of the Caribbean Sea it has an average elevation of 130 m with a shore line of 58.9 kilometres.

St. Barts forms, with St. Martin, Anguilla, and Dog Island, a distinct group that lies upon the western edge of a flat bank of soundings composed chiefly of shells, sand, and coral. From St. Barts, the bank extends east-southeast, ending in a small tongue or spit. It is separated from the main bank by a narrow length of deep water. East of the island, the edge of the bank lies 22 km away.

Grande Saline Bay provides temporary anchorage for small vessels while Colombier Bay, to the northwest, has a 4 fathoms patch near mid entrance. In the bight of St. Jean Bay there is a narrow cut through the reef. The north and east sides of the island are fringed, to a short distance from the shore, by a visible coral reef.
Gustavia San Barth 01

A view of Gustvia

Reefs are mostly in shallow waters and are clearly visible. The coastal areas abound with beaches and many of these have offshore reefs, some of which are part of a marine reserve. The marine reserve, founded in 1999, covers more than 1,000 hectares of protected and vulnerable habitats, bays and islands, and includes a zone that is restricted to scientific observations only. As the sea surrounding the St. Barts is rich in coral reefs and other precious marine life, the area has been declared a protected area since 1996. Environmental awareness is quite pronounced in St. Barts.

There are as many as 22 public beaches of which 15 are considered suitable for swimming. They are categorized and divided into two groups, the leeward side (calm waters protected by the island itself) and windward side (some of which are protected by hills and reefs). The windward beaches are popular for windsurfing.

Marie Galante Satellite

Marie Galante from Euskosat

Morne Vitet, 286 m in height, is the highest peak in the island. There are few sheep pens built with stone walls on the slopes of the mountain. A hill road leads to the Grand Cul-de-Sac from where scenic views of the entire coast line can be witnessed. Hills and valleys of varying topography cover the rest of the island. Two other hills near the island's east end are of nearly the same elevation at 262 and 250 m above sea level.

Marie Galante

With an area of 158.01 km², the island comprises three mnicipalities. The island is more commonly known as "La grande galette" (Big Cookie) due to its round shape and almost flat surface (its highest peak, the hill Morne Constant, rises to 670 ft). Once counting over 106 sugar mills, it is also called the "Island of a hundred windmills", or the "Grande dependence". The island is undulating substrate calcareous, fanned by the trade winds and subject to cyclones and earthquakes.

The northern coast is characterized by a high cliff. A fault called the "Bar" separates the northern quarter from the remainder of the island. To the west beaches and mangroves extend along the Caribbean Sea. The rivers of Saint-Louis and the Vieux-Fort run out there after having crossed the insular plate originating at the center of Marie-Galante. In the east and the south, the plate becomes dull to rock inclined towards a littoral plain. This one skirts the Atlantic from which it is protected by a coral barrier.

Boké

Nyanga

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