Portugal–Spain border

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Portugal–Spain border
Puente Internacional 416.jpg
Guadiana International Bridge, connecting Portugal & Spain
Entities  Portugal  Spain
Length1214 km (Claimed by Portugal) / 1232 km (Claimed by Spain)

The victory of king Afonso I of Portugal over his cousin king Alfonso VII of León at the Battle of Valdevez, forced the Kingdom of León to recognise Portugal as a country, thus establishing the northern borders of Portugal.

The Portugal–Spain border is the international boundary between Portugal and Spain. Referred to as "la Raya" in the Spanish language and "A Raia" in the Portuguese language (the stripe), the current demarcation is almost identical to that defined in 1297 by the Treaty of Alcañices. It is one of the oldest borders in the world. The Portugal–Spain border is 1,214 km (754 mi) long, and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union. The border is not defined for 18 km (11 mi) between the Caia river and Ribeira de Cuncos, because of the disputed status of Olivenza, which has been disputed between the two countries for two hundred years.

A microstate existed previously on the border called Couto Misto.

Bordering districts and provinces[edit]

Sign when entering Portugal from Spain.
Sign when entering Spain from Portugal.

Districts on the Portuguese side of the border from North to South:

Provinces on the Spanish side of the border from North to South:

Customs and identity checks[edit]

Portugal and Spain signed the Schengen Agreement in June 1991 which came into effect on 26 March 1995, making Portugal and Spain part of the Schengen area and thus the border then became an Open border.[1]

Portugal has since reintroduced border checks several times along the border with Spain, during the UEFA Euro 2004 championships, during the NATO 2010 Lisbon summit and during Pope Francis's visit to Fátima in May 2017.[2]

Maritime borders[edit]

Portugal's maritime borders, also known as the Exclusive economic zone of Portugal is currently disputed by Spain in the Savage Islands area, between Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Important treaties[edit]

Border crossings[edit]

The main crossing point between Portugal and Spain is Vilar Formoso - Fuentes de Oñoro. Other important crossings are Caminha and Bragança to Galicia, Portalegre and Elvas to Badajoz, and Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António to Ayamonte.

Bridges across the border include the Guadiana International Bridge and the Lower Guadiana International bridge.

A zipline across the border exists between Sanlucar de Guadiana in Spain and Alcoutim in Portugal; it is the first and currently only zip line over an international border.[3]


  1. ^ "The Schengen area - PDF by EU" (PDF). Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Portugal declares Papal holiday". Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Now that's a flying visit! The £12 zipline that whisks you from Spain to Portugal at 50mph (and transports you one hour back in time)". Retrieved 2016-08-19.