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Other Mountainous Regions

External to the Meseta Central lie the Pyrenees in the northeast and the Sistema Penibetico in the southeast. The Pyrenees, extending from the eastern edge of the Cordillera Cantabrica to the Mediterranean Sea, form a solid barrier and a natural border between Spain and both France and Andorra that, throughout history, has effectively isolated the countries from each other. Passage is easy in the relatively low terrain at the eastern and western extremes of the mountain range; it is here that international railroads and roadways cross the border. In the central section of the Pyrenees, however, passage is difficult. In several places, peaks rise above 3,000 meters; the highest, Pico de Aneto, surpasses 3,400 meters.

The Sistema Penibetico extends northeast from the southern tip of Spain, running parallel to the coast until it merges with the southern extension of the Sistema Iberico near the Rio Jucar and with the eastern extension of the Sierra Morena. The Sierra Nevada, part of the Sistema Penibetico south of Granada, includes the highest mountain on the peninsula, Mulhacen, which rises to 3,430 meters. Other peaks in the range also surpass 3,000 meters.

Data as of December 1988