Ceuta is a Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa.

Bordered by Morocco, it lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of nine populated Spanish territories in Africa and, along with Melilla, one of two populated Spanish territories on mainland Africa. It was part of the province of Cádiz until 14 March 1995. On that date, Statutes of Autonomy were passed for both Ceuta and Melilla.

Ceuta, like Melilla and the Canary Islands, was classified as a free port before Spain joined the European Union. Its population consists of ChristiansMuslims, and small minorities of Sephardic Jews and ethnic Sindhis from modern-day Pakistan.

Spanish is the only official language. Darija Arabic is also spoken by 15–20% of the population.


Map of Ceuta (the Perejil Island, part of Ceuta, is just off the coast, in the upper left of this map)

Perspective view of the Strait of Gibraltar facing eastwards; Spain and Gibraltar on the left; Morocco and Ceuta on the right. The vertical dimension is exaggerated by a factor of 3.

Ceuta is separated by 17 km (11 mi) from the province of Cádiz on the Spanish mainland by the Strait of Gibraltar and it shares a 6.4 km (4 mi) land border with M’diq-Fnideq Prefecture in the Kingdom of Morocco. It has an area of 18.5 km2 (7 sq mi; 4,571 acres). It is dominated by Monte Anyera, a hill along its western frontier with Morocco, which is guarded by a Spanish military fort. Monte Hacho on the Peninsula of Almina overlooking the port is one of the possible locations of the southern pillar of the Pillars of Hercules of Greek legend (the other possibility being Jebel Musa).

Important Bird Area

The Ceuta Peninsula has been recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because the site is part of a migratory bottleneck, or choke point, at the western end of the Mediterranean for large numbers of raptorsstorks and other birds flying between Europe and Africa. These include European honey buzzardsblack kitesshort-toed snake eaglesEgyptian vulturesgriffon vulturesblack storkswhite storks and Audouin’s gulls.


Ceuta has a maritime-influenced Subtropical/Mediterranean climate, similar to nearby Spanish and Moroccan cities such as TarifaAlgeciras or Tangiers. The average diurnal temperature variation is relatively low; the average annual temperature is 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) with average yearly highs of 21.4 °C (70.5 °F) and lows of 15.7 °C (60.3 °F) though the Ceuta weather station has only been in operation since 2003. Ceuta has relatively mild winters for the latitude, while summers are warm yet milder than in the interior of Southern Spain, due to the moderating effect of the Straits of Gibraltar. Summers are very dry, but yearly precipitation is still at 849 mm (33.4 in), which could be considered a humid climate if the summers were not so arid.


Ceuta, Spain
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