Ports in Spain – Fast Facts About 5 Top Spanish Ports
Ports in Spain have been at the forefront of shipping in the Mediterranean basin for several centuries. Spain has 7,000 kilometers of coastline and has historically been a maritime power and a conduit for goods traveling from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe. Here we showcase Spain’s continued maritime prowess with a few interesting facts about 5 of the top modern-day Spanish ports.
Port of Algeciras
- Established in 1894, the Port of Algeciras is the 9th largest port for European trade and also one of the largest in the Mediterranean basin and notably a large transshipment port.
- The port moves around 70 million tonnes of cargo per annum, via approximately 30,000 ship-calls.
- Main industry exports include oil, fishing, tobacco, and agriculture.
- With the unsightly building of a refinery in the beautiful Bay of Gibraltar, the Port of Algeciras may not be the most attractive tourist destination, but it still has its own hidden beauty and a few spots well worth seeing. Click here to read our top 5 sites.
Port of Valencia
- Established in 1483 by then King Ferdinand the Catholic, the Port of Valencia is the 2nd largest port in Spain.
- The port area generates a massive 50% of Spain’s GDP : “Valencia Port’s direct area of influence has a radius of 350km – an area that generates 51% of Spain’s GDP and includes half of Spain’s entire working population”
- It is the first and last port of call along the inter-oceanic shipping lane between the Atlantic and the Western Mediterranean
- The port handled 70.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2018. Download the full 2018 report here
Port of Barcelona
- The Port of Barcelona has over 2000 years of history, being a seaport since the 11th
- It has been a popular tourist destination since the early 1990s and it has facilities to accommodate up to 11 cruise ships
- Annual Vessel arrivals amount to just over 9000
- Almost 63 million tonnes of cargo are shipped through the port annually
The Port of Bilbao
- Located on the Bilbao Abra bay in Biscay, in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Port of Bilbao has more than 700 years of history and is currently the 4th busiest port in Spain
- The Port of Bilbao was Spain’s largest port in 1900 however increasing vessel size meant that the ships could no longer navigate the estuary and the port began to lose its importance
- The ports main facilities began to develop outside of the estuary as a result, and are now located approximately 15 km west of Bilbao, giving it reason to also be called Exterior Port and Superpuerto.
- The port complex itself occupies 3.13 km² of land and 16.94 km² of water along 17 km of waterfront.
The Port of Castellon
- The Port of Castellón, in the city of Castellon de la Plana, has a mere history of 100 years, still an infant in terms of its competitors in Spain
- It occupies an area of 8 square kilometres and has approximately 5 kilometres of dock front, and 16 metres of depth.
- The port had a throughput of 21 million tonnes of cargo in 2018
- It is among the top ten of Spanish ports and holds 5th place of Spanish ports in terms of imports/exports throughput.
- The port moves 95% of the Ceramics industry exports for Spain and contains the only oil refinery in the Valencian region which means it moves large imports and exports of chemicals and oil
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