Mountains of Spain’s Meseta Central40.3N 3.7W
The Meseta Central (“Inner Plateau”) is a vast plateau in the heart of peninsular Spain that has elevations that range from 610 to 760 m. Rimmed by mountains, the Meseta Central slopes gently to the west and to the series of rivers that form some of the border with Portugal.
The Sistema Central, described as the “dorsal spine” of the Meseta Central, divides the Meseta into northern and southern subregions, the former higher in elevation and smaller in area than the latter. The Sistema Central rims the capital city of Madrid with peaks that rise to 2,400 m north of the city and to lower elevations south of it. West of Madrid, the Sistema Central shows its highest peak, Pico Almanzor, of 2,592 m.
The southern portion of the Meseta (Spanish: Submeseta Sur) is further divided by twin mountain ranges, the Montes de Toledo running to the east with the Sierra de Guadalupe, to the west. Their peaks do not rise much higher than 1,500 m. With many easy passes, including those that connect the Meseta with the Andalusian Plain, the Montes de Toledo do not present an obstacle to transportation and communication. This chain of lower mountain ranges is separated from the Sistema Central to the north by the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula: the Tagus River.