Advice & Tips for Travelling to La Mata, Costa Blanca

What you need to know before and during your trip.

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General Info | Pinomar Directory | Money Matters | Costa Blanca Climate | Weather Forecast | Traveling to Spain | Health & Safety | Opening Hours & Public Holidays | Communication | Cycling | Driving in Spain | Others

 

El Bungalow 108 Quick Facts

    5 walking minutes to Mini-Mart and Restaurants
    10 walking minutes to the sandy Beach
    Few driving minutes to Banks, Clinics, Pharmacy, Shopping and Dining
    Pool, Tennis Court and Mini Golf close by
    5 driving minutes from Torreveja
    Golf Course in Villa Martin and Campoamor
    40km to the Airport of Alicante and Murcia/San Javier
    220km to the Airport of Valencia and Almeria
    A lot of sight seeing close by
    Shopping Malls such as Habaneras and La Zenia Boulevard are easy to reach
    Located in a quiet and safe area of Lomas de Polo-Pinomar
 

Costa Blanca Climate

What is the weather like in Spain?
Spain, one of the warmest countries in Europe. It has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures.

Lomas de Polo-Pinomar, enjoys mild winter temperatures, hot summers and little rain, concentrated in equinoctial periods. Daily variations in temperature are generally small because of the stabilizing influence of the sea, although occasional periods of westerly wind can produce temperature changes of 15 °C (27 °F) or more. Seasonal variations in temperature are also relatively small, meaning that winters are mild and summers are hot.

The average rainfall is 311 mm (12.2 in) per year. The cold drop means that September and October are the wettest months. Only 37 rainy days are observed on average per year, and the annual number of sunshine hours is 2,850.

What type of clothing should I pack?
In Spain, people dress differently according to the season, the place they are going to, and the circumstances. In the coast, because of the mild climate, it is usually not necessary to pack warm clothes; while in the interior, you should dress according to the season. In the interior of Spain, temperatures vary greatly from one season to the next, with very cold winters, and really hot summers. Spanish people don’t dress up too much to go out, although of course, it depends on where you are going.

 

Money Matters

Where can you change foreign currency?
Visitors can change foreign currency at any bank branch or foreign exchange bureau in major cities. This service is also available in most hotels and travel agencies.

What is the currency in Spain?
The currency in Spain is the euro, the same as in other European Union countries.

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.

Pay with Credit Cards?
Payment using recognized 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.

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 much money will you need for expenses during your stay?
The average prices for products and services can vary according to the province and the season. As a general guideline, below is a list of approximate prices for some services and products:

fruits-spain

  • A single bus ticket costs around €1.30.
  • A beer may cost between €2 and €6 in a fashionable venue.
  • A cinema ticket costs between €5 and €9.
  • A full breakfast –coffee, croissant or pastry, and juice– may vary between €2 and €4 depending on the establishment.
  • A daily set menu in a mid-range to inexpensive restaurant will cost around €10. For à-la-carte dining, prices tend to start at around €18, and in the case of mid-range establishments may be up to €36 per person. In restaurants with a 3-fork category you can expect to pay up to €90 or more.

Can you request reimbursement of your Value Added Tax (VAT)?
If the purchaser’s residence is outside the European Union, then you can claim back the tax on any purchases totalling over €90.15. In order to do so, you must ask for the Tax Free check in the shop or business.

There are various companies in Spain authorised to process the reimbursement of I.V.A. (Value Added Tax) for tourists. This is a very simple procedure. You need only follow the steps below to obtain your refund:

  1. Request the tax-free invoice and show accreditation of your place of residence (passport).
  2. Show your purchases and have the tax-free invoices stamped at customs. (Receipts must be stamped within 3 months of purchase.)
  3. Claim the amount due from the company processing the claim. They all 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 to your credit card, by bank transfer or international cheque.

Traveling to Spain

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.

What documentation is required to travel to Spain?
The documentation required to travel to Spain varies according to the country of origin.

If you are a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein: you will need a valid passport or ID card.

If you come from another country:

The maximum stay in Spain is 90 days. There are a number of countries whose citizens are required to have a valid current visa in order to enter Spain.

It is advisable to take out travel insurance for your trip.

Given that conditions may vary, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.

Traveling from Germany to Spain? Find useful information about travelling by car, bus, train or plane to Pinomar here.





Health & Safety

Where can I find the embassy or consulate of my country in Spain?
Foreign embassies and consulates in Spain

Where do I buy my medication?
In Spain, medications are obtained at pharmacies. They are all marked with a green cross. You will get your prescriptions from your doctor. If you come from a country in the European Union, or your country has health agreements with Spain, you will have the same prescription drug benefits as Spanish citizens.

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.

Is Spain a safe country?
In general terms, Spain is one of the safest countries in Europe for visiting tourists.





Opening Hours & Public Holidays

When are the shops open?
The most usual business hours are from Monday-Saturday, from 9:30am to 1:30pm, and 4:30pm to 8pm. Major shopping centres and department stores are open all day from 10am to 9pm or 10pm. The main department stores and shopping centres also open their doors to the public on some Sundays in the year. Establishments usually stay open until after 10pm in the high season in coastal areas.

Chemists are usually open from 9:30am to 1:30pm and from 4:30-8pm, although in major cities some chemists stay open round the clock. There is a rota of duty chemists for night-time and weekend services which displayed in each establishment and published in the newspapers.

When are the national public holidays in Spain?
Certain dates are designated public holidays in Spain, and these may be national, regional or local.

The following are the national public holidays for 2017:
1 & 2 January, New Year’s Day. / 6 January, Epiphany. / 13 April, Maundy Thursday (throughout Spain, except in Catalonia and the Region of Valencia). / 14 April, Good Friday. / 1 May, Labour Day. / 15 August, the Assumption. / 12 October, Spain’s National Day / 1 November, All Saints Day. / 6 December, Spanish Constitution Day . / 8 December, Festivity of the Immaculate Conception. / 25 December, Christmas Day.

At what time are meals served in Spain?
Breakfast is usually served from eight to ten in the morning.

Lunch, at restaurants, is served between 1pm to 3:30pm.

Dinner is served from 8:30pm to 11pm.

Many establishments are open continuously throughout the day, especially bars and cafeterias; there you can have “tapas”, appetizers, and combo meals.

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.


Communication

spanish-mobile-phone-carriersWhere to get a SIM card?
With four cellular providers (Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo), plus various resellers, Spain has plenty of prepaid SIM options. Movistar has the best coverage throughout the country, although Vodafone and Orange aren’t far behind. There aren’t huge differences in prices and bundles between the main four providers, but there is some variation — it’s worth spending a little time doing some research if you’re so inclined. Orange, in particular, can have good rates for data. No matter which company you choose, though, 10-20 euros per month will get you a useful amount of calls, texts and data.

For more info head over to Dave Dean’s website Too Many Adaptors.

How can you go online and check your e-mails?
If you want to connect to the internet, numerous establishments in Spain offer free WiFi connections: cafes, restaurants, kiosks… You’ll also find it in a number of airports, train and bus stations, and some shopping centres and hotels. You may sometimes need to ask for the password. What’s more, many venues offer free WiFi in public spaces like parks or squares.

You can also connect to the Internet via your mobile device. Another advantage is that in Spain you can enjoy extensive 4G mobile coverage.


Cycling

What should you know if you’re planning to use a Bicycle in Spain?
Many areas 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:

  • 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.

Driving in Spain

How should children travel?
There are certain considerations to be taken into account when travelling with children in a car:

  • It is prohibited to carry children in your arms.
  • No one under 12 years of age can sit in the front, unless they use a car seat approved for this purpose.
  • Children under three years of age must use an approved car seat suitable for their height and weight and must always be placed in the back seat.
  • Any person over three years of age with a height under one and a half meters must use a car seat adapted to their size and weight.

These instructions also apply to taxis, so if you want to travel with a baby in a taxi, you must carry an approved car seat.

What fuels are sold in Spain?
Spain’s gas stations mainly dispense the following fuels:

  • Unleaded gasoline 95
  • Unleaded gasoline 98
  • Diesel A
  • Biodiesel

On the website of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, you can find all the stations in Spain, the type of fuel supplied and the price.

What documentation is required to drive in Spain?
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.

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.





Are you thinking of travelling to Spain in your car?
Tourists travelling in their own vehicles should be aware that the following documentation is required:

  • Driver’s license
  • Temporary registration certificate (this is valid for six months and you can request it at customs.)
  • Motor insurance

Given that conditions may vary, we suggest you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.

Are the motorway in Spain toll roads?
In Spain, the vast majority of roads in the national network are free to use. These include motorways (independent roads in each direction and with no intersections at the same level).

Nevertheless, there are a series of motorway that may require the payment of a toll. The amount to pay varies depending on each case, but there are alternative routes that are generally free to use. Tolls may be paid in cash, by credit card or using electronic toll services (requires installation of a device in the car). Remember that there are S.O.S. posts along the toll roads every two miles or so.


Others

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. Make sure that the electrical appliances you are going to use (computers, mobile phone chargers, shavers…) work at this voltage.

Can you drink the tap water?
Drinking water supply is guaranteed throughout Spain. Spain has stringent control systems that guarantee water quality. Nevertheless, in some Mediterranean coastal areas consumption of bottled water is widespread.