Some 1339 trees from 48 Pinus pinaster stands were characterized by five chloroplast microsatellites, detecting a total of 103 distinct haplotypes. Frequencies for the 16 most abundant haplotypes (pk > 0.01) were spatially interpolated over a lattice made by 430 grid points. Fitting of spatially interpolated values on raw haplotype frequencies at the same geographical location was tested by regression analysis. A range-wide ‘diversity map’ based on interpolated haplotype frequencies allowed the identification of one ‘hotspot’ of diversity in central and southeastern Spain, and two areas of low haplotypic diversity located in the western Iberian peninsula and Morocco. Principal component analysis (PCA) carried out on haplotypes frequency surfaces allowed the construction of a colour-based ‘synthetic’ map of the first three PC components, enabling the detection of the main range-scale genetic trends and the identification of three main ‘gene pools’ for the species: (i) a ‘southeastern’ gene pool, including southeastern France, Italy, Corsica, Sardinia, Pantelleria and northern Africa; (ii) an ‘Atlantic’ gene pool, including all the western areas of the Iberian peninsula; and (iii) a ‘central’ gene pool, located in southeastern Spain. Multivariate and amova analyses carried out on interpolated grid point frequency values revealed the existence of eight major clusters (‘gene zones’), whose genetic relationships were related with the history of the species. In addition, demographic models showed more ancient expansions in the eastern and southern ranges of maritime pine probably associated to early postglacial recolonization. The delineation of the gene zones provides a baseline for designing conservation areas in this key Mediterranean pine.