Spain and [legendaries’ country] have long history, though. It’s not that random!
I’m curious if there are any Portugal references in the game besides… Smoliv? I think the auction market town is based on a Portuguese location, right?
Porto Marinada is definitely based on Portugal, it literally shares the same name and geographic location as Porto, which also has a famous big open market, Mercado do Bolhão
And the stripped houses are based on Aveiro, which is a few kilometers south of Porto, so also fits that geographical location
Cascarrafa is likely based on Alentejo, more specifically Porto Côvo
I read Alfornada might be based on Algarve too. So basically the towns in the "Portugal" part of Paldea (except for Cortondo, which is based on Córdoba) are based in Portuguese locations, which is honestly pretty amazing and not something I thought I'd ever see in a Pokémon game.
In terms of Pokémon, many of them (both ones introduced this Gen and old ones that appear in the game) are based on Iberian Peninsula fauna and flora, like the Iberian pig (Lechonk), the Iberian lynx (Sprigatito), olives (Smoliv), storks (Bombirdier), dolphins (Finizen), the Iberian ribbed newt (Clodsire), but also donkeys (Mudbray), otters (Buizel), crows (Murkrow and Corviknight) and plenty of others.
I'd still love to see a city based on Lisbon and/or islands based on Madeira and Azores, and also a Barcelos Rooster Pokémon, so fingers crossed for the DLC dd