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Weather & Climate of spain


The climate varies tremendously in Spain because of its large size. Visitors can generally expect a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
The vast central plateau, or Meseta, has a continental climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters. Rain generally falls in spring and autumn. The mountains surrounding the plateau have a higher rainfall and often experience heavy snowfalls in winter.
North of the Cantabrian mountains, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia have a maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. The weather is often cloudy with frequent rainfall.
On the Mediterranean coast, the climate is moderate with rain in spring and autumn. Murcia has an almost African climate and is characterized by numerous palm trees. Rainfall is low and the calina, or heat haze, is common during summer.
On the Atlantic coast, the summers are cooler and fairly heavy rainfall occurs during winter. Inland, the summers are hot and the rainfall decreases.
The Balearic islands have a maritime climate, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers.
The Canary Islands have an even warmer climate. The coastal areas are fairly mild, but the interior, especially in arid areas of Tenerife, can get very hot during the day with cold nights. Mount Teide is often snowcapped in winter and the vast majority of rain falls in winter.

The southern Costas get the best of the sunshine and the climate is very pleasant but in the winter it can still get very chilly, mainly in the evenings and distances of just half an hour inland from the coast can get snowfall
http://www.spanish-town-guides.com/photo/spain_climate_map.gif
The image of Spain's climate abroad has traditionally been one of blue skies and sun, while in reality it is as varied as the country's geography. At least five different climate zones characterize the Spanish climate due to the Iberian Peninsula's position between tropical (hot) and polar (cold) wind currents.In a very general sense, the Spanish climate can be summarized as a contrast between the coast and the interior. Breezes, humidity and limited temperature ranges are characteristic of the coastal regions, while Spain's interior experiences wider temperature ranges and less humidity. Another contrast exists between the country's South (warm and dry) and North (cooler and more rainy).

Continental Climate
Spain's most predominant climate is continental, as this climate type affects most of the country's surface area (excluding its coasts and mountain ranges). In Spain's continental climate zone, winters are cold enough for snows and most of the rainfall occurs in late Spring. Summers can be hot and - in the North, which is very green - rainy.

Mediterranean Climate
Surprisingly enough, Spain's Mediterranean climate is only active throughout one-fifth of the country, roughly speaking. Spain is traditionally associated with a Mediterranean climate because of the popularity of its southern and south-eastern coasts, which are located in the Mediterranean climactic zone.
Spain's Mediterranean climate is active over nearly the entire southern region of Andalusia as well as most of the eastern coast. Winters are generally mild and summers vary in intensity depending on the region. For the most part, temperatures are moderate and there is not a wide range between the summer highs and winter lows.

Oceanic Climate
This climate zone predominates over Spain's northern coast and the north-western region of Galicia. Unlike the Mediterranean climate in Spain – with its hot, dry summers – this climactic zone is characterized by extensive rainfall (thus the beautiful green landscapes of northern Spain).
Summers in Spain's oceanic climate zones tend to be warm, but not hot. Winters are not as cold as in the continental climate zones. Precipitation is relatively consistent throughout the year.

Mountain Climate
Spain experiences a mountain climate in areas with sizeable mountain ranges, such as in Granada's Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges in the northeast, northwest (Pyrenees), midwest and southeast (Cordillera Betica).
These areas are characterized by cold winters and mild summers, with a predominance of cold temperatures. Snow and strong winds are also common.

Arid Climate
Spain's arid climate zone takes up most of Murcia and a small corner of Andalusia in Spain's southeast in Almeria. This area of Spain is characteristically hot and dry, with very little rainfall. Spain's semi-deserts can be found here.

 

Currency

As on 23 July 2013, 1 Euro = INR 78.75

spain has the euro (EUR, €) as its currency. Therewith, Spain belongs to the 23 European countries that use the common European money. These 23 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (official euro members which are all European Union member states) as well as Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and Vatican which use it without having a say in eurozone affairs and without being European Union members. These countries together have a population of 327 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. While each official euro member (as well as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican) issues its own coins with a unique obverse, the reverse as well as all bills look the same throughout the eurozone. Nonetheless, every coin is legal tender in any of the eurozone countries.

The euro replaced the Spanish peseta in 2002. A few people may still use the old national currency (166,386 pts = 1 €, 1.000 pts = 6 €) and convert into Euros later. This is much due to the huge presence of peseta, and "her" many nicknames in colloquial Spanish.

Cash euro: €500 banknotes are not accepted in many stores--always have alternative banknotes.

Other currencies: Do not expect anybody to accept other types of currency, or to be willing to exchange currency. Exceptions are shops and restaurants at airports. These will generally accept at least US Dollars at a slightly worse exchange rate.

If you wish to exchange money, you can do so at any bank (some may require that you have an account there before they will exchange your money), where you can also cash in your traveller's cheques. Currency exchanges, once a common sight, have all but disappeared since the introduction of the Euro. Again, international airports are an exception to this rule; other exception is tourist districts in the large cities (Barcelona, Madrid).

Credit cards: Credit cards are well accepted: even in a stall at La Boqueria market in Barcelona, on an average highway gas station in the middle of the country, or in small towns like Alquezar. It's more difficult to find a place where credit card is not accepted in Spain.

Most ATMs will allow you to withdraw money with your credit card, but you'll need to know your card's PIN for that. Most Spanish stores will ask for ID before accepting your credit card. Some stores may not accept a foreign driving license or ID card and you will need to show your passport. This measure is designed to help avoid credit card fraud.

Business hours
Most businesses (including most shops, but not restaurants) close in the afternoons around 13:30/14:00 and reopen for the evening around 16:30/17:00. Exceptions are large malls or major chain stores.

For most Spaniards, lunch is the main meal of the day and you will find bars and restaurants open during this time. On Saturdays, businesses often do not reopen in the evening and almost everywhere is closed on Sundays. The exception is the month of December, where most shops in Madrid and Barcelona will be open as per on weekdays on Sundays to cash in on the festive season.
Also, many public offices and banks do not reopen in the evenings even on weekdays, so if you have any important business to take care of, be sure to check hours of operation.

If you plan to spend whole day shopping in small shops, the following rule of thumb can work: a closed shop should remind it's also time for your own lunch. And when you finish your lunch, some shops will be likely open again.

 

Clothing

When you are in your own city and see a group of foreign tourists, you take a quick look at them and make an instant judgment of them, whether they are educated or not and what socio-economic class they belong to. This is human nature and first impressions are important. When you go to Spain, the Spanish people you come in contact with will also be getting their first impressions of you, depending on your dress. You may not get the best treatment at hotels and restaurants if you are not dressed appropriately.

This is a guide for educated visitors to Spain who want to blend in and not stand out as tourists. Those who dress properly according to Spanish customs will not be ashamed if they meet Spanish people. By not standing out in crowds, they will not be the targets of pickpockets. Dressing according to local customs shows respect for the country that you visit.

Spain is a modern country, but with many traditions of dress. The Spanish take pride in the way they dress, and they dress well compared to people of other western countries. Also Spanish women are much more feminine than their counterparts in other western countries. All of the Spanish take much care and thought when buying their clothes because they want to be well dressed.

The typical visitor to Spain will be using only one medium sized suitcase, so much care has to be used for packing good looking clothes that will fit in one suitcase. Another thing to think about is that Spain does get all of the seasons of the year, meaning spring, summer, fall, and winter. This applies to the south of Spain also, which is Andalusia, although it may be a tad warmer than northern Spain in winter.


You want to pack lightly and leave about a third of your suitcase empty for the souvenirs you will buy. Going to stores and buying things you cannot find in your own country is one of the fun things of travel.
There are hardly any self service laundromats in Spain, because this is not the custom in the country. You may want to bring two wire hangers, in case you have to wash some of your clothes in your hotel bathroom. You can buy liquid detergent at any supermarket in Spain, so you do not have to bring this. If you are staying in an apartment, it may have a laundry machine, but it may not have a clothes dryer.

Jeans are acceptable during the day, but they are not the most practical if you have to wash them. It takes a very long time to dry jeans. It is better to bring wash and wear clothing that does not need ironing, because you may not find an iron in your hotel room.

For non-business visitors, the best clothing to pack are dressy casuals. These can be used almost everywhere, including good restaurants at night.
Before you go to Spain, research the temperature averages for the place you are visiting, so you can plan your wardrobe properly.

B. Business Attire
1. If you are coming for business to Spain and you are a man, you should always wear a dark conservative business suit and tie, even during summer. The only exceptions seem to be programmers, who usually use dressy casuals. The geek look seems to be the standard for programmers in Spain.

2. Men should wear a good watch because most Spanish businessmen wear good watches. If you wore a plastic watch, they may think you cannot afford a good one and they may get a negative impression of you. Go to Calle Serrano in Madrid and look at how the men look at the watches in jewelry stores for long periods of time. The watch is a status symbol in Spain.

3. Men should be sure that the pants they were are the correct length and break a little at the instep. All Spanish men have the correct pant length because when you buy a pair of pants in Spain, the alteration for the pant length is free. If you did not have the correct pant length, it would be very noticeable in Spain.

4. Women should wear dark suits, with skirt or pants. If the suit has a skirt, be sure that the length of the skirt is conservative. A miniskirt for business is not considered good practice in Spain.

5. Women should wear a good watch. Discreet gold jewelry, such as earrings and a small gold necklace are fine. Only young girls wear plastic jewelry in Spain. If you wore big plastic jewelry, it is a dead giveaway that you are American.

6. Men should wear leather shoes with rubber soles. Women should wear leather shoes with low heels and rubber soles. The reason for rubber soles is that many cities and towns have cobblestone streets and if the soles are leather, the person may slip and fall down. A good fall can ruin a vacation. Shoes should be clean.

7. Spain is one of the countries that has a wonderful shoe industry. Some of the best shoes in the world are made in Spain. People are very conscious of wearing good shoes. Be aware of this. Good shoes are a good souvenir buy. If your shoes are not good, people will notice it.

C. Summer Attire at the Beach

1. Men can wear shorts and T shirts at the beach, with flip flops, if they want to. The T shirts should not have any message, such as proclaiming that you are from New York City. There are many people who are anti-American and it is better to be discreet. Also no wild colors. Tank tops are a sign of low class.

2. Women can wear shorts and T shirts also at the beach.

3. If one goes for lunch or dinner at a fancy restaurant, the men should wear shirts or polo shirts and long pants. T shirts are not allowed. The shirt always has to have a collar. Sandals are allowed. Socks are never worn with sandals in Spain.

4. Women can wear fancy casuals.

5. Men and women should not wear swimming clothes at any restaurant, unless it is at a beach and it is a chiringuito. If it is a chiringuito, eat outside in your swimming clothes, not inside the restaurant, which is reserved for better dressed customers.

6. Here is a tip to women who want to go topless on the beach. The law permits topless attire at every beach. However look before you remove your top. Many beaches, such as San Sebastian's La Concha, are conservative and you do not see any women there topless. You do not want to be the only one going topless. Also do not cavort on the beach if you go topless, but be discreet. Many Spanish people are asking the government to put rules because they do not want their children to see topless women at the beach. This is quite controversial, but be aware that the conservative members of this society do not approve of topless women on the beach.

D. Summer Attire in the City

1. What would you wear if you wanted to dress casually and go inside the Hotel Ritz in Madrid and sit in the lobby to await a friend? Picture yourself in that situation. If the outfit you choose is appropriate for that situation, then you can go to any place in Spain and have the confidence that you are well dressed. If not, rethink your outfit.

2. Men should always wear long pants. There is no exception to this rule. It is better to bring dark pants that will hide any stains.

3. Men can wear polo shirts or shirts with a discreet colour or pattern. Do not wear anything that calls attention to yourself.

4. Women can wear pants and a conservative top. Remember that churches are usually included in any tourist place, because the churches are repositories of much of the art produced in the past. Women should not wear anything they would not wear when going to their own churches in their own countries. Would you wear a strapless top if you were going to your church for Sunday Mass? It would be an insult to your congregation. The same holds true for Spain. There are many conservative Catholics who would disapprove of revealing dress in their churches.

5. The perfect bag for both men and women is the messenger bag, a bag that has a long strap that can be worn diagonally across the chest and held in front of you. That leaves your hands free to hold merchandise in stores or to help you keep in place in the bus or metro. The bag for women should have zippers that can be closed, to avoid being pickpocketed.

6. For chilly days or nights, and for going out to restaurants, men can bring a navy blue blazer or a dark jacket. The inside pocket should ideally have a zipper so that you can keep your wallet safe.

7. Women should also bring a light jacket and or sweater. Layering is important to keep warm. Spanish women always bring a light scarf and are experts in wrapping the scarf around their necks. Scarves change the look of a basic outfit and are good in disguising the fact that you are not bringing many clothes with you.

8. A small foldable umbrella should always be taken for travelling. You can never tell when it will rain.

9. Do not wear white jogging or tennis shoes. This is a dead giveaway that you are a foreigner. Use good leather shoes with rubber soles.

E. Spring and Fall Attire in the City
1. Bring similar things as for summer, but bring warmer clothes. Bring a basic sweater with a discreet design that will match with your jacket.

2. Jackets should be warm. Leather jackets are used frequently in Spain for cooler weather. You can buy very good leather jackets in Spain and this could be a good choice for a souvenir. The store will usually fix the cuffs for free, but allow them enough time to do this.

3. Places like El Escorial can be extremely cold, even in spring and fall. Bring scarves and gloves.

F. Winter Attire in the City

1. Be sure that your winter coat is warm if you are going to a place like Madrid in winter. Bring warm scarves and gloves.

2. Many women in Madrid wear fur coats during winter. People walk on the streets very much in Spain and the fur coat is a light weight coat that is perfect for this weather. In the US, people many times shop in enclosed malls where heavy clothing is not needed. Spain is very different in this regard. Also the Spanish do not pay any attention to the small anti-fur lobby that exists here. The attitudes towards fur here are very different from the attitudes in the US. Wearing fur in Spain is politically correct.

3. Bring a light raincoat if you are going to a place where you expect rain

 

Shopping

Remember before you shop -

Opening and Closing Times - One thing that takes some getting used to are Spanish opening and closing times, which do differ, depending on which region of Spain you're currently in, but fall within a certain range of time that's different to other European countries.

Most shops in Spain open between 8:30-10am, relatively normal opening times compared to other countries. Closing times however are later than northern Western European countries, where closing time will usually be 6pm at the latest. In Spain, closing time for many shops is 8pm, with supermarkets as well as hypermarkets like Carrefour, Eroski and Mercadona, usually staying open until 10pm. But, where Spain differs even more than many other countries is in the middle of the afternoon when Spanish siesta rolls around.

Siesta in Spain - Siesta is the time of day in Spain where shops, offices, banks and most other businesses close and their staff has a long lunch or a short sleep. Siesta begins around 1pm (it's different in different areas of Spain and can be as early as midday and as late as 2pm), so smaller shops will close then and reopen between 4-5pm. They then remain open until 8pm.

Supermarkets and hypermarkets nowadays however tend to stay open throughout the day, from 9am to 10pm as it wouldn't be cost-effective to shut down such a large shopping venue for 3-4 hours every day.

If you're not used to siesta time in Spain and love to shop, it can seem like 'wasted time', with the whole afternoon stretching ahead of you and no idea how to fill it. Read a book, go for a walk, eat a long lunch, or sit in a sidewalk cafe with a cafe con leche. Eventually, you'll get used to it and enjoy the excuse to relax.

Sunday is Closing Time - For most shops and even the supermarkets, except the aforementioned hypermarkets, Sunday is still a day of rest so they'll be closed. That's why, if you need groceries, toiletries or any other necessary item, make sure you buy it on Saturday or you may have to do without on the sabbath.

What to buy in Spain?

Arts & Crafts

  • Leather (piel) - nationwide, particularly Andalusia. The Sol area of Madrid is good too.
  • Lace (encaje) - Catalonia has a strong tradition in lace-making.
  • Textiles (textil) - Catalonia is the best region for this
  • Furniture (muebles) - Valencia.
  • Toys (juegetes) - Alicante has a tradition of fine toy making.
  • Shoes (zapatos) - Alicante and the Balearics are the main sources of Spain's finest shoemakers.
  • Handmade jewelry (joyas artesanas) - Cordoba has a tradition of excellent handmade jewelry.
  • Pottery (alfarería) - Fajalauza in Granada has some beautiful pottery, made with old-fashioned techniques to create blue, green and purple glazes.
  • Antiques Antigüidades - some great galleries in Madrid, near Plaza Santa Ana
  • Rugs and Carpets (alfombras) - Cáceres, Granada and Murcia.
  • Tiles (azulejos) - Triana, Seville, made by the local gyspy community.

Food

  • Ham (jamón) - Alpujarras and Granada (which gets its ham from Alpujarras) has the best ham, though it is available nationwide. Also, other pork products - in particular chorizo (spicy pork sausage)
  • Spices (especias) especially saffron (azafrán) - Valencia and Granada

Drinks

  • Tea () - Tea is not especially popular in Spain, except for in Granada. Pick up all sorts of great teas here - black, green, white or red.
  • Sherry (jerez) - Jerez, the home of sherry.
  • Spanish Brandy (brandy español) - Available nationwide.
  • Wine (vino) - especially from Rioja.
  • Havana Club Rum (Ron de Havana Club) - real Havana Club rum is illegal in the US (Bacardi managed to get the copyright off the Cubans through the Supreme Court) but the genuine article is available throughout Spain.

Shopping in Spain is an experience that gives a personal pleasure out of the money that is spent on Shopping . Spain is famous for ceramics, woodwork, pottery, paintings and embroidery, lace and jewellery, wines, rugs and carpets and musical instruments. So it is recommended that while on shopping in Spain one should go for the above mentioned products. Leather goods of Spain are also world famous and one should also try their hands in buying such products while shopping in Spain. There are all kinds of shops and markets from where a person can buy things as per their choice. The best news for tourists in Spain is that, the Spaniards give some kind of a discount on the purchase.

Shopping in Spain can be done from the indoor markets in Spain which are known as “Mercados” . The El Rastro in Madrid is the open flea market which makes good buy, this is a place where one can get everything at a lower price as bargain can be comfortably done here. The flea markets in Spain are the Mercat de las encants in the Plaza de las Glories Catalanes, The Mercat at Plaza Vila de Madrid and the Mercat de San Antoni. “El Corte Ingles” is the departmental store in Spain which has branches in almost all the cities of Spain.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What documentation is required to travel to Spain from India?

Document Required for VISA

Passport: Passport with a validity of at least three months beyond the date of intended stay.  Indian Passports older than 10 years will not be accepted. Passport should have at least two blank pages.

Application Form: Two VISA application forms dully filled in and signed with a blue ball-point pen by the applicant. (The first application form should be filled in original and the second one can be a photocopy).

Covering Letter: A Covering letter explaining in detail the purpose of the visit that the Applicant intends to take must be addressed to the Consulate of Mumbai.

Photographs: Two passport- photographs should be pasted on each VISA application form. The size of the photographs should be 35 mm x 45 mm with the head centered in the frame and against a white background. The size of the face to be 3 cm.

Requirements according to the purpose of visit

- If the purpose of the visit is a business trip, an original letter from the Spanish company or companies receiving him explaining the nature of the existing relation and the motive of the visit. It is not necessary that the company gets in touch directly with the Consulate.
- If the purpose of the visit is a business trip, all the documents that the applicant may deem appropriate to attach in order to show the economic situation of the company, the ownership of the company and the business activity undertaken.
- If the purpose of the visit is any other than the business trip (for example: conferences, participation in sports events, studies, cultural activities, etc.) all the documents which may justify the motive of the visit.
Application form in case of minors
- One authorization form, signed by the applicant and the parents, will be required.
- The VISA application form  has to be signed by the parents and copies of the parent's passports to be attached. If only one parent is travelling with the child, an affidavit on INR 20. - stamp paper is necessary stating that either parent have no objection to the child travelling. This affidavit has to be signed by both parents.
- However, if either parent is not in India or he is not travelling with the child, for example if the father of the child has a residence or work permit for out of India, an affidavit from the father is also necessary.
Financial Papers
- Bank Statement on original 'Letter Head' of the Bank / Branch in which the applicant has an account.
- This Statement should be signed by the Bank / Branch Manager and should have the address and phone numbers of the Bank / Branch and it should bear a seal / stamp of the Bank / Branch.
- The Statement should show the entries for a period of three months prior to the date of application.
- Income Tax Returns for last three years and Foreign Exchange endorsed on the passport.
- Leave letter from the Applicants Employer.
Air Ticket & Itinerary
- Confirmed return Air Ticket / Confirmed Itineray / Booking reference [If the Applicant only submits a confirmed booking / itinerary, there is also a possibility that on confirmation of the issued visa the applicant may be asked the confirmed E-TICKET as proof of travel.
If an applicant is travelling to another country / Countries before travel to Spain then the itinerary before travel to Spain is needed to be enclosed as well or tentative dates of travel to be mentioned in the cover letter if not included in the itinerary.
- Hotel confirmation from the hotel in Spain.
- If the traveler will stay, not a t a hotel but  at the place of  friends or relatives, living in Spain  the hosts should  submit  an letter of invitation (carta invitation) according to the following procedure:
The host need to submit letter of invitation (carta invitation) along with his passport copy (mandatory for all) and work permit (if he is not Spanish National) at police station to process the invitation. The length of this process could vary in different cities, and the processing time can be from one week to several weeks.
Upon receiving letter of invitation (carta invitation) the host should send it to applicant traveler in India and applicant traveler should submit to VISA officer.

Travel Insurance: Proof of travel insurance, for a minimum of 30,000 Euros, to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and / or emergency hospital treatment.

Which products can be brought into Spain?

There are no limits to what you can buy and take with you when you travel between countries in the European Union, provided what you buy is for your own personal use. However, according to European Commission regulations, travellers may not bring foodstuffs of animal origin into the European Union for their own consumption as part of their baggage (meats, meat products, milk and dairy products). The only exceptions to this are commercially-packaged powdered milk for children, and special foodstuffs required for medical conditions. Other foodstuffs can be brought into Spain up to a maximum weight of one kilogram.
Travellers are permitted to enter Spain with their personal baggage, which may contain items for personal or family use, or to be given as presents. These will not in principle be considered as commercial goods, depending on the quantity or type of goods. This evaluation will be made by the customs services on arrival.
Sums of money in excess of 6.010,12 Euro must be declared. Currently, over 18s are authorised to carry 200 cigarettes, or 100 mini-cigars, or 50 cigars, or 250 grams of rolling tobacco. The quantities of alcohol visitors are permitted to bring into the country are one litre of drink (over 22% alc. by volume), or two litres (under 22% alc. by volume). Perfumes are also limited to 50 grams of perfume and 0.25 litres of eau de toilette.

Do you need vaccinations to travel to Spain?

You do not need any vaccinations against illness to travel to Spain. As in any part of the world, it is advisable to have your anti-tetanus vaccination up to date if you are going to be in contact with nature and the countryside, as well as any other official vaccination programme.
Under exceptional circumstances, the Spanish authorities can ask travellers to undergo a medical examination to ensure that they are not suffering from any of the illnesses requiring quarantine listed in International Health Regulations.

Are you travelling with your pet?

There are three general rules: animals should be accompanied by their owners or representatives, must be duly identified and must have their accompanying animal health certificate, which should include a copy written in Spanish. Please take into account that all pets must be in possession of the correct veterinary certificate or passport, according to the species of animal.

If your pet is a dog, a cat or a ferret
Dogs, cats and ferrets that are less than 3 months old, and are therefore not vaccinated against rabies, are not allowed entry.
Before entering Spain, your pet must fulfil a series of sanitary and identification requirements, which may vary according to the country of origin. You can check them on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment official website. (http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/ganaderia/legislacion/animales-compania-normativa-zoosanitaria.aspx).
In most cases, your pet must be identified with a legible tattoo or microchip, and the valid passport must prove that it was vaccinated against rabies. The animal must not travel within 21 days after its first vaccination.
 
If your pet is a bird
Birds coming from non-European Union member states should comply with a series of control requirements for safety reasons (against bird flu) which are included on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment official website. In all cases the animal must have the veterinary certificate written at least in Spanish, issued within the past 10 days (for European Union member states), and signed and stamped by an official vet, with a declaration from the owner or their representative (for third countries). Poultry are not considered pets.
 
Other species
They must all have the corresponding veterinary certificate, written at least in Spanish, issued within 10 days before the trip.

Also, if you come from a country outside the European Union, on the following link from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, you will find information regarding the entry of your pet into Spain, by type of pet and country of origin.

For the health certificate, please take into account that pets must be examined within 5 days before leaving the country of origin. On the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment website, as well as the regulations, you'll also find the corresponding certificate and passport models, written in Spanish and English.
 
A few useful tips…
Make sure you have a telephone number for emergency veterinary services in the place you are planning to visit with your pet.
In addition to fulfilling all the entry requirements, you should also bear in mind the following:
• Muzzles are obligatory in some Spanish regions. • Not all types of accommodation admit animals. • Most restaurants do not admit pets. • The municipal authorities determine the places, seasons and times when dogs are allowed to enter and stay on beaches.
Before you start your trip, it is advisable to check with your chosen accommodation and transport companies about their conditions for travelling with pets.

What you should know about medical care if you come from an EU member state.

You are entitled to free medical and hospital care:
Having shown your European Health Card (EHC), you will be seen by a GP at a local health centre or at your accommodation if you are unable to make the journey. If you need to see a specialist or go into hospital, the GP will give you the relevant medical certificate or referral. Accident and Emergency services are available at hospitals.

You will require your European Health Card (EHC):
With the European Health Card you will receive the same temporary healthcare services as any other Spanish citizen. The expiry date can be found on the European Health Card and it is valid in EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
It is available from the relevant healthcare organisation in your country of origin. Private doctors and hospitals in Spain do not accept the European Health Card. If you require private healthcare you must settle your own bills or take out an insurance policy that covers it.
When will forms be necessary?
If you need haemodialysis or any other type of specific treatment during your stay in Spain, you will need the E-112 form, as well as authorisation from the relevant institution in your country of origin. Remember that the following are not covered in Spain: dental treatment (apart from emergency extractions) and repatriation for medical treatment.
If you forget your European Health Card (EHC):
You will have to pay any hospital, medical or pharmaceutical bills in advance, and then seek reimbursement from the relevant organisation in your country of origin, providing all receipts.

If I am not a citizen of the European Union, what should I know about health care in Spain?

In case of emergency you will be treated, but after that you will need to pay for medical attention, so you have to purchase health insurance. In any case, we recommend that you find out from your health insurance provider, or social care institution, about their requirements and policies about getting medical attention in Spain.

How does the Spanish healthcare system work?

The Spanish National Health Service has an extensive network of health centers and hospitals throughout the country.

The health centers offer primary health care services. They are aimed to be located within 15 minutes of any place of residence. If circumstances require, medical attention can be given at the patient’s residence.
Also, in rural areas and in small villages there are local surgeries open on certain days with visits from healthcare staff from the region.
Hospitals offer specialized attention, with access via referral from primary healthcare services. There are also Accident and Emergency services available at hospitals and some health centers.
You can check hospitals and health centres in Spain at the website of the ministry of health.

Where should I call in the event of an emergency?

Dial 112 free of charge (valid throughout Spain). Service is provided in Spanish, and also in English, French and German in some tourist areas.

Where do I buy my medication?

In Spain, medications are obtained at pharmacies. They are all marked with a green cross. Medicines are sold strictly as per the original prescription given by your doctor. Prescription should be in English or Spanish. Please note that if you do not have the original prescription of the doctor you will not be given medicines.

Is Spain a safe country?

Spain is a very safe country, for both men and women.  A lot of women travel on their own in the country, as there is no harassment to women.
As in any country, there are basic security measures to bear in min: try to carry only the money you need for any one excursion. Take care of your possessions in crowded places such as public transport or department stores. When relaxing in public places, keep valuable objects like mobile phones and cameras out of view.
If you need help you can contact the Police on 112.

What’s the time in Spain?

The time zone on the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 1 hour in winter and + 2 hours in summer i.e. in winters it is behind India by 3 hrs and 30 minutes and in summers it is behind India by 4 hrs and 30 minutes. On the Canary Islands, it is 1 hour less than the time on the mainland and in the Balearics i.e. in winters it is behind India by 4 hours and 30 minutes and in summers it is behind India by 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Spain changes its time between summer and winter for daylight saving. This means that the last weekend in October the clocks go back 1 hour (at 3am it is 2am) and the last weekend in March they go forward 1 hour (at 2am it is 3am).

At what time are meals served in Spain?

Breakfast is usually had from eight to half past ten in the morning. Lunch, at restaurants, is served between 13.00 to 15.30 h. Dinner is served from 20.30 to 23.00 h. Many establishments are open continuously throughout the day, especially bars and cafeterias; there you can have "tapas", appetizers, and combo meals. Theatres usually have a single show, which normally starts around 20.00 h. Flamenco Show generally starts between 2200 h - 2300 h. Night time in Spain has a very special meaning, specially from Thursday to Sunday. Pubs, bars, and nightclubs usually stay open until three or four in the morning. In all major cities you can find places that are open until dawn.

When are the national public holidays in Spain?

Certain dates are public holidays in Spain, and they can be national, regional or local.
The following are the national public holidays for 2013:
• 1 January, New Year's Day.
• 7 January, the Epiphany (throughout Spain, except in the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Region of Valencia, Basque Country and La Rioja).
• 28 March, Maundy Thursday (throughout Spain, except in Catalonia and the Region of Valencia).
• 29 March, Good Friday.
• 1 May, Labour Day.
• 15 August, the Assumption.
• 12 October, National Holiday of Spain
• 1 November, All Saints' Day.
• 6 December, Spanish Constitution Day.
• 25 December, Christmas Day.

At what time do shops and businesses open?

The most common working hours for shops are Monday to Saturday, from 9.30 h to 13.30 h, and from 16.30 to 20.00 h. Big shopping centers and department stores open from 10.00 h to 21.00 or 22.00 h uninterruptedly. These big stores open sometimes on Sunday. In coastal cities, in tourism season, shops are usually open passed 22.00 h.
Business and Offices are usually open from Monday to Friday, from 9.00 h to 14.30 h and from 16.35 h to 19.00 h.
Pharmacies open Monday to Friday from 9.30 to 13.30 h, and from 16.30 to 20.00 h. and Saturday from 9.30 to 13.30 h.
At weekends and in closing times there are rolling late-hour schedule, which is published in the newspapers, and is posted at all pharmacies.
In all major cities you can find pharmacies that open 24 hours.

What is the weather like in Spain?

Spain has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures. The weather of Spain is the most diverse in Europe due to its position, coasts, mountains and large land If you travel to the north, to the Cantabrian coast, you will find a mild climate with high rainfall. Winters are mild and in summer temperatures rarely exceed 25ºC.
However, in the higher parts of the country like Pyrenees, the mountains of Sierra Nevada, the Central and Iberian ranges, and the Cantabrian Mountains, the climate is harsher and it is common to see snow from the beginning of winter to the end of spring.
The interiors of Spain have extreme winters and summers.
Canary Islands facing the coast of Africa, has benign climate throughout with mild temperatures (22ºC year-round average on the coasts), with only small temperature differences between day and night.
Balearic Islands temperature in December (winters) ranges between 9.7 and 16.5 degrees celcius on average. In June the summer temperature increase to between 18.4 and 25.9 degrees celcius. By the autumn the climate in Balearic Islands has average temperatures that fall to between 19.8 and 27.1 degrees in the month of September.
In the east of Spain (mediterranean  coast)climate typically means hot dry summers and mild winters. Sunshine is abundant - averaging 6hrs a day in winter and 12 in summer. Rainfall is highest in autumn and winter and very low in summer.

What type of clothing should I pack?

In Spain, people dress differently according to the season, and the place they are going to.  Spanish people don't dress up too much to go out, although of course, it depends on where you are going.
In the Mediterranean coast, because of the mild climate, it is usually not necessary to pack warm clothes.
In the North cost you have to pack rainproof clothes.
While in the interior, you should dress according to the season, as temperatures vary greatly, with cold winters, and hot summers.

What is the currency in Spain?

The currency in Spain is the euro, the same as in other European Union countries.
The euro is divided into 100 cents.
• There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros.
• There are seven different bank notes, for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.

Where can I exchange foreign currency?

Indian Currency cannot be exchanged in Spain, however USD can be readily exchanged. This service is available at all bank offices, open to the public Monday through Saturday, from 8.30 to 14.00 h (except in the months of June through September, when they remain closed on Saturday). It is also available at currency exchange shops at all major cities, as well as selected hotels and travel agencies. 

How much money do I need for my stay?

The average price for products and services varies depending on the province you are visiting, and the season. As a reference, we provide a list of approximate prices for services and products:

  • A single metro (underground) or bus ticket costs around €1.
  • A glass of beer costs between € 2 and € 6, the latter at a fashionable place.
  • A ticket to the cinema costs between € 5 and € 9.
  • A ticket to the theatre costs between € 12 and € 30.
  • A ticket to the opera or a concert could cost between €50 and €100.
  • A breakfast special, including a cup of coffee, a bun or pastry, and a glass of juice costs between € 2 and € 4, depending on where you go.
  • A daily special at an inexpensive restaurant costs between € 7 and € 10. If you are choosing from the regular menu, the price starts at € 18, while at a medium-priced restaurant, it would start at € 36 per person. At a "three-fork" restaurant, the price per person can come to € 90.
  • Accommodations by category (informative prices for a double room):
    • 5 stars: between € 200 and € 300
    • 4 stars: between € 100 and € 200
    • 3 stars: between € 60 and € 100
    • 2 stars or fewer: less than € 60.

How else can I pay?

With credit cards:
Payment using recognised international credit cards is also commonly available in Spanish shops. They usually have signs indicating this option at the entrance to the establishment. When you make a payment you should show your passport or ID card.
With traveller's cheques:
Traveller's cheques, accompanied by a passport, are also accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.

Is tipping mandatory?

No; in every single establishment in Spain, service is included with the price of the meal or drink. However, tipping is a common practice at bars and restaurants, hotels, and taxis, depending on the total price for the service, and on the generosity of the client. It is usually around five to ten percent of the total price.

How to get IVA (VAT) back on shopping.

If a buyer’s residence is outside the European Union, then he/she can claim back the tax on purchases, as long as together they reach a total in excess of 90.15 Euro. In order to do so you should ask for a tax-free receipt at the point of sale, which is a form stamped and signed by authorized signatory in the point of sale.
There are various companies in Spain authorized to process the reimbursement of I.V.A. (Value Added Tax) to tourists. The procedure is very straightforward. You just have to complete the following steps to get your tax back:
1. You can claim IVA refund, if you shop from a sales point which provide tax free declaration form.
2.  Ask for a tax-free declaration form and give photocopy of passport.
3.  Show your purchases and stamp the tax-free declaration at customs before immigration. The custom officer will put a stamp on it. (Declaration must be stamped within 3 months of purchase).
4. After immigration show the stamped tax free receipt to the processing company like American Express. Most of the processing company have I.V.A. reimbursement points at the main Spanish airports and borders, for payment in cash. You can also have the I.V.A. repaid onto your credit card, by bank transfer or international cheque.
5. The Customs for the VAT refund can always ask you to show items purchased. Especially when it comes to high-priced items. You can either go to the stop "outside" of Customs for VAT refund, before checking in and display the items you purchased. Or check before and after the stop-go "inside" of customs. Although you may require to show the items you purchased. It is therefore recommended to carry in hand luggage at least the items over € 1,000 (jewellery, watches, etc.).
6. The tax would be refunded in  the last airport of European Union you touch, for instance:
- If you are flying Malaga-Madrid- Mumbai, then tax would be refunded in Madrid.
- If you are flying Malaga-Frankfurt-Mumbai, then tax would be refunded in Frankfurt.
- If you are flying Malaga-Dubai-Mumbai, since Dubai is not in European Union, tax would be refunded in Malaga.

Where can I get a tourist card and what are its advantages?

You can purchase a tourist card in many cities in Spain. Destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Gijón, León, Salamanca, Seville, Granada, Malaga, Cadiz, Cordoba, Tarragona, Toledo, Valencia and Zaragoza are some of the places where it is available.

These types of cards are sold at tourist offices, airports, hotels and travel agencies. They usually include preferential admission to monuments and museums, and discounts on sightseeing, entertainment, transportation, shopping and restaurants.

They are usually valid for one, two or three days (generally consecutive, as the card is activated the first time it is used). The price depends on the destination and the type of card, although it usually ranges between €10 and €60. In addition, there are special cards with a lower price for children.

Many of the cards can be purchased online (we recommend you visit the official web page of your destination for more information). After the purchase, you can have the card sent to your home, or pick it at any of the points provided in the city for this purpose (generally airports, train stations and tourist resorts).

What you should know if you have a complaint about a tourist service.
During your stay in Spain, you have the right to receive tourist services according to the quality and characteristics advertised by the companies which offer them. If you are not satisfied, you are entitled to lodge a complaint or claim. The current legislation requires all establishments to have documents known as “claim forms” available for customers, and to advertise this fact on a notice placed so as to be clearly visible to the clientele. These forms must be submitted in the establishment itself, and in the Municipal Consumer Information Office (OMIC). In the event that the claim is proved to be true, the Administration will impose a fine on the establishment or tourist service company which was the object of the complaint.

Can you drink the tap water?

Drinking water supply is guaranteed throughout Spain. We have stringent control systems that guarantee water quality. Nevertheless, in some Mediterranean coastal areas consumption of bottled water is widespread.

Which system of weights and measures is used in Spain?

Spain uses the Metric (Decimal) System, with seven basic units of measurement, known as the International System of Units (SI), which is valid throughout the European Union. The system governs all units of weight, measurement and distance (metre, kilogram, second, litre, ton…).

How do electrical appliances work in Spain?

Electricity supply in Spain is AC 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system. However, most hotels have adaptors for different plugs.

Do you want to travel to Spain in your car?

Tourists travelling in their own vehicles should be aware that the following documentation is required:
Driver’s license: see section on “What documentation is required to drive in Spain?”
Temporary registration certificate: It is valid for six months and you can request it at customs.
Motor insurance:
If you are a citizen of an EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Croatia, you only need to carry your insurance policy along with a payment receipt showing validity of the policy.
If you come from Albania, Andorra, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Byelorussia, Israel, Iran, Morocco, Moldavia, Macedonian Republic, Rumania, Serbia, Montenegro, Tunisia, Turkey or the Ukraine, you will need to get a Green Card –the International Motor Insurance Certificate.
If you are from a country not mentioned above, you should take out a Frontier Insurance policy (a temporary, obligatory, third party policy for motor vehicles).
Given that conditions may vary, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.

What documentation is required to drive in Spain?

You must be 18 year old:
To drive in Spain you must be aged 18 or over. To rent a vehicle you must be 21 or over. Many companies also require you to have held your driver’s license for a minimum of one or two years. Remember that you will also require a credit card to rent a vehicle.
A valid driver’s license:
If you are the citizen of an EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein: you only require your valid driver’s license. If you are from another country you will require an International Driver’s License.
Given that conditions may vary, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.

What are the safety measures you should know about in Spain?

Road safety regulations: there are a series of road safety regulations you must be aware of when driving in Spain. They are as follows: - Talking on a mobile phone is prohibited while driving, unless you use a hands-free system. - Car radios and mobile phones must be switched off while re-fuelling. - A reflective jacket must be used when getting out of the car on the road or the hard shoulder. - Warning triangles must be deployed if the vehicle has stopped on the road or hard shoulder. - The installation and use of devices designed to elude surveillance by traffic police is strictly prohibited. - Overtaking can only be done on the left side of the car which you wish to pass. - It is advisable to use your lights during the day in order to improve your visibility.

Furthermore: - Established speed limits must be obeyed: 120 km/h on dual carriageways and motorways, 100 km/h on conventional roads, 90 km/h on all other roads and 50 km/h in built-up areas. - Alcohol levels in the bloodstream must not exceed 0.5 g/l (0.25 mg/l in exhaled air). - Seatbelts must be worn by driver and all passengers, in front and back seats. - Helmets must be worn on motorbikes, mopeds and bicycles. - Parking in public thoroughfares is not always permitted or free. In many cities the parking areas are regulated and subject to payment. Normally these can be identified by the presence of parking meters in the vicinity.

 

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