Sports and water sports
- What are the hunting regulations in Spain?
To hunt in Spain, you must have a hunting licence (issued by each Autonomous Community or region), a firearms licence (issued by the Ministry of the Interior via the Guard Civil Firearms Control), and mandatory insurance (available from any insurance company in the world whose policy covers hunting liability in Spain).
Autonomous Regions usually have an official website which specifies the requirements and documentation to be submitted to obtain a hunting licence. In many cases, you can find the application and required forms online.
For more information on how to apply for a licence in each Autonomous Region, visit the Citizens Advice website of the Spanish Government. If you are bringing your own firearms for hunting, the procedure varies according to the country of origin:
Citizens of a country outside the European Union:
You may obtain a special temporary authorisation to use firearms for hunting. This will be issued through the embassy or consulate or by the Firearms and Explosives Control at the point of entry into Spain, and is valid for three months.
To obtain this authorisation, you must present your passport and any licences or permits relating to the possession and use of firearms in your country of origin (accompanied by a translation into Spanish, countersigned by the Spanish consular representative), plus a list of the places and times where you wish to use firearms in Spain. When the special permit is issued, the Firearms and Explosives Control of the Guardia Civil will stamp your passport with a stamp stating that you may enter with firearms for hunting.
European Union citizens:
You must have a European Firearms Card (to be granted in your country of origin) which must be authorised by the Firearms and Explosives Control of the Guardia Civil at your point of entry in Spain (port or airport) or by the Firearms and Explosives Control where you are going to hunt.
In addition, depending on the firearm to be used, other permits may be required which must be obtained both in your country of origin and in Spain (and may be granted for one or more trips for a maximum period of one year, renewable) or an invitation or other proof of recreational hunting or shooting in Spain.
The following link to the official website of the Guardia Civil provides all the information necessary on firearms. (http://www.guardiacivil.es/es/servicios/armasyexplosivo/index.html) In Spain there are four types of areas defined for hunting:
Controlled hunting areas. These are regulated by the Autonomous Regions, which each have their own legislation. The permit is obtained by request, as indicated by the Autonomous Region where you wish to hunt. We recommend that you check the information for each Region on the website of its Department of the Environment.
Regional hunting reserves. Each Autonomous Region has its own game reserves. They are distributed by lot, with 50% of the game for local hunters, 40% for hunters from the Autonomous Region, and 10% for national and supranational hunters. Lotteries are typically held once a year and some Regions report the results on the website of the Department in that Region.
Recreational game reserves. These are managed by recreational hunting associations.
Private hunting reserves. These are managed by the owners of the reserves. Persons authorised by the owner can hunt on them, either by paying or free. For more information, we recommend consulting the official website of the Royal Spanish Hunting Federation. (http://www.fecaza.com/) In any case, there are a number of companies that organise specific hunting packages, and they are happy to take care of all of these procedures. You can hire them through your travel agent.
- What are the recreational fishing regulations?
If you wish to go recreational sea fishing in Spain (either on land, from a boat, or underwater) you should remember that there are interior and exterior waters, depending on which body has competency over their regulation.
For recreational maritime fishing in interior waters you will need the corresponding licence issued by each Autonomous Region or region where you wish to go fishing. If you are interested in catching protected species, or in participating in contests in which catches exceed allowable limits, you will also require authorisation from the General Secretariat of the Sea.
There are a number of regulations regarding classes, tackle and equipment, off-season periods and areas, authorised species and catch limits, and there are certain prohibitions regarding the sale of fish. For more information on how to apply for a licence in each Autonomous Region, visit the Citizens Advice website of the Spanish Government.
The following link to the official website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment contains information on licensing (via ordinary means or electronically), species, prohibitions and associations relating to recreational maritime fishing in exterior waters, as well as contact information for the General Secretariat of the Sea.
For fishing in rivers, streams, reservoirs, etc., you need a license issued by each Autonomous Region or area. Each region regulates its own quotas, permits, boundaries, fishing seasons, and minimum sizes for species in its territory. To apply for a fishing license and a fishing permit (the document required to fish in a certain area on a certain date), we recommend you visit the website Citizens Advice Website of the Spanish Government, where you will find useful links according to the Autonomous Region where you are planning to fish.
You'll find more information on the official website of each Autonomous Region, under the Department of the Environment section or on its tourism page. In many cases you'll find the necessary forms to complete online. In addition, there are companies dedicated to organising specific fishing packages and they will be happy to take care of these transactions. You can hire them through your travel agent. Other links of interest: Spanish Confederation of Responsible Recreational Fishing(http://www.pescarecreativaresponsable.es)
Spanish Federation of Fishing and Casting (http://www.fepyc.es)
- What should you know if you're planning to bike in Spain?
Many cities in Spain have special lanes for biking. Additionally, hourly bike rental services are becoming increasingly common, with the option of leaving them in specially regulated parking spaces. If you plan on getting around by bike, be aware of the following:
- It is prohibited to ride on motorways.
- Circulation on motorwaysis only allowed for people over 14 years of age and you must always ride on the shoulder.
- Helmet use is mandatory on intercity motorways. This is mandatory for everyone under the age of 16.
- Cyclists are permitted to ride next to each other, in two lines, but should always keep as far to the right of the road as possible.
- It is mandatory to use approved lighting on the bike at night, in tunnels or in sections marked with the tunnel sign. Also, on intercity roads cyclists must wear some item of reflective clothing that makes them visible from a distance of 150 metres.
- What documentation is required to sail in Spain?
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.