The child-friendliness is in Spain on a high level, especially because it attracts worldwide the most tourists. Most accommodations, restaurants etc are therefore suitable for children. Also, the Spanish are in general very friendly to children.
The shops in Spain are in general open from 09.00 to 14.00 and from 16.30 to 20.00. In tourist areas the shops close usually later and sometimes you can find on Sunday mornings still a food store that is open. Department stores in major cities are open throughout the day from 10.00 – 20.00/21.00.
Banks are open Monday / Friday from 08.30/09.00 to 14.00/14.30. Some offices are open on Saturdays between about 08.30 and 13.00. You can find ATMs everywhere in Spain, so you have the possibility to withdraw money 24 hours a day.
Post Offices (Oficinas de Correos) are open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm and on Saturdays from 8.30 am to 13.00 pm. In smaller towns the opening hours may vary.
Mailboxes can be found almost everywhere. They have the colors of the Spanish Post (Correos): yellow with blue. A stamp is called in Spanish sello. A postcard is a (tarjeta) postal. A letter is a carta. Official stamps can be bought at the post office but you can also buy in tobacconists.
Spain operates on a GSM network. For Europeans and many other countries, this means that your current phone will probably work in Spain. If you are coming from North America or parts of Asia you will probably have a CDMA phone, which will not work. If you have a GSM phone, you need to check whether your phone is unlocked – some phones are locked in to the network you already have – if it is unlocked you just need a Spanish SIM card.
Prices on new phones differ greatly depending on the retailer and the mobile operator.
Sailing in Spanish waters
In Spain you need to have the degree of skipper to sail a recreational vessel when the vessel has a length of more than 5 meters and for a motor vessel of more than 4 meters in length and with a capacity of more than 10 kilowatts.
In Spain you need a captain’s licence to sail a recreational craft in the case of sailing vessels more than 5 metres in length, and engine-powered boats over 4 metres long and with over 11.03 kilowatts of power. In addition, it is necessary to have a captain’s licence for the handling of any watercraft (except for rented vessels in certain circuits). For citizens of countries outside the European Union, a certified copy of their captain’s licence may be required, which must be requested at the consulate.
If you are sailing your own boat, when entering port you must present documentation corresponding to the country of registration and flag showing proof of ownership, in addition to compulsory insurance. In the event that the authorities find the presence on the vessel of elements which affect maritime safety or the environment, you may be prevented from anchoring, leaving or entering the port.
To rent a boat, if the captain’s licence was not obtained in Spain, you must present an authorisation from the appropriate Harbour Master’s office stating that the powers granted are the same as in the foreign licence. This authorisation may be requested in person or at the boat rental company. The procedure is normally very quick, as the Harbour Master’s offices have a list of equivalencies of the certificates. The boat documentation will be provided by the rental company.
High speed or dynamically supported craft are subject to special control: they must communicate their navigation plans, place their EAV badge in a place visible from the air, and dock in specific locations.
Since conditions may vary, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.
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Building (house) insurance:
When taking out home insurance in Spain, you can opt for buildings cover, contents cover, or both. The more you cover, the more it will cost.
Buildings cover insures the structure of your property, and all fixtures. If you buy with a mortgage, your lender will insist on buildings cover.
The building cover will be based on an insurable value for your property, which is not the same as the market value for your property (or what you paid for it). The building and fixtures are insured, not that land your property is built on, which explains the difference. Your insurance policy will be based on what it costs to rebuild your property, not what it would cost to buy it anew. To calculate this ‘rebuild’ value, insurers use standard tables of building costs per square metre. The higher the building specifications of your property, the higher the insurable value, and hence premiums.
Contents cover insures all personal belongings that are not part of the structure or fixtures, so basically anything that isn’t nailed down or screwed in, like furniture, computers, artwork, and jewellery. The cost of cover will depend upon well secured your property is. The stronger your security features such as doors, shutters, and alarms, the lower your premiums.
Most policies will also include a level of third party liability cover, though you need to check this before signing up to any policy. Third party liability in Spain is usually low relative to other counties such as the UK. This is because awards for damages also tend to be much lower.
If you plan to rent out your holiday home to tourists, be sure you get appropriate insurance cover.
In Spain, it is obligatory for all cars to have at least third party, fire and theft insurance (part comprehensive). This is called: seguro a terceros or responsabilidad civil obligatoria
Fully comprehensive “all risks” insurance (Seguro a todo riesgo) is available and often obligatory when leasing a car or buying on hire purchase
Optional driver and passenger insurance (Seguro de ocupantes) provides compensation for loss of earnings and death. Special insurance may be required for exceptional contents and accessories
The Spanish insurance system operates on a no-claims bonus (bonification/sistema bonus-malus). In order to benefit, evidence of no prior claims will need to be provided. It can significantly reduce the cost of insurance. A premium may be reduced by electing to pay an excess (franquicia or deducible).