Official links for British residents and visitors:
With the UK in the Transition Period of its departure from the EU the UK Government regularly updates THIS advice for British nationals travelling and living in Europe.
these are made online and then sent to Belfast:
- see HERE for pre-application guidance and a link to the passport office application;
- see HERE for the direct link to the passport application;
- see HERE for what to do if your passport has been lost or stolen;
- for an emergency travel document, see HERE.
Notarial and documentary services guide for Spain – documents available from the Consulate
There will be times when those with interests in Spain, or resident here, need notarial assistance in the UK. Christopher Atkinson is a Leeds-based specialist Notary Public. His main website is HERE, his blog is HERE. He has helped several readers in UK-Tenerife matters.
Health & Welfare
- NHS basic information on healthcare for those moving abroad
- Domestic Violence info in English HERE, with FCO infoHERE for British nationals affected by rape or sexual assault in Spain.
- Spain has a missing child hotline that is part of an EU-wide network. The number is 116000. See HERE for the Fundación ANAR – Ayuda a Niños y Adolescentes en Riesgo (“help for children and adolescents at risk”).
- Many people feel ill when we have calimas, or dust irruptions, and some suffer badly with respiratory problems. Aemet has THIS site for forecasts.
- Duty chemists – just choose the month from the drop down box and it will do the rest, giving a list of pdf files available. There are five pages with different areas – just click Siguientes to move on a page.
- Homecare Abona – personal and medical home care (see HERE for more info).
- LeRo – disability equipment supplies, including hire of crutches, wheelchairs etc.
- Orange Badge – mobility hire and aids for disabled visitors, especially wheelchairs and scooters.
Property & communities
- Ley de Propiedad Horizontal (Law of Horizontal Division) (courtesy of APAF, association of presidents and administrators)
- Law of Horizontal Division (in English, translation courtesy of Hestria, community administrators)
- Swimming pool legislation
- Government guide to community swimming pool legislation
Roads and driving
- I was one of the translators of a free book on traffic law in Spain written by Spanish traffic police, so I hope people will find it useful. It can be downloaded HERE
- HERE is the Tenerife Cabildo’s up-to-date-in-real-time map of which roads are open and which closed (and why)
- Tráfico Santa Cruz (location, opening times, contact details, and the link for making appointments online)
- Código de circulación (Spanish Highway Code)
- Driving licence medical test centres (Centros de Reconocimiento).
- Speeding fines and points
- Also see the Driving section of the FAQ: Basics page HERE for a range of questions about road usage, driving licences (renewing, exchanging & provisional), cyclists, child seats, drink-driving limits etc.
- Consumer rights info in English HERE
- Defensor del Pueblo – the Spanish ombudsman, who protects rights given by the constitution
- Citizen Security Law, the so called Gag Law (Ley Mordaza) – info in English HERE.
- Spain has a terrorism threat levels system showing the current risk at any time as in the UK where threat levels are defined from low to critical. In Spain, these categories are identified as 1 – 5, and Spain is on number 4 – equivalent to the UK’s level of Serious. Spain’s official threat level page is HERE, the equivalent from MI5 in the UK is HERE).
- Despite sensationalist stories in the UK tabloids, Teide is an active volcano, and so seismic activity and clusters of tremors are natural, and are within the range of normal activity. None the less, the Canarian Government holds regular simulation exercises for earthquake, eruption, evacuation, etc., there is a protocol in place, the Canarian Government’s Plan Especial de Protección Civil y Atención de Emergencias por riesgo volcánico en la Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias (Pevolca), see HERE. Research is constant and ongoing, there are coordination protocols in place, and in the event of an emergency all authorities will use established information streams to disseminate full info in several languages, including English, across the whole spectrum of visual, digital and printed press and social media.
- A Vida Laboral is an official report of a worker’s social security contributions in Spain, a sort of ongoing or permanent P60 which can be requested in various situations here. You can apply online HERE (set to English page).
- Registry Offices in Tenerife
- Information in English on the Dación en pago (handing a property back to a bank)
- Spanish bank Ombudsman (Defensor del Cliente), and HERE is a consumer association page with help and a complaint form to download because the Bank of Spain site seems to fail far too often on the Defensor del Cliente page.
- All tax matters should be answered by experts. I recommend asking Paul Montague, who is Blevins Franks international tax adviser in the Canaries.
Throughout the Canaries, the registration of pets is legally required – see HERE for Zoocan, the Canarian Registry of Animal Identification website. Dogs and cats must be chipped, and then registered at a local Ayuntamiento.
In addition to registering pets, there are further requirements for dogs considered “potentially dangerous” (perros potencialmente peligrosos): owners of such dogs must have a licence, walk them on lead and keep them muzzled at all times in public, and hold public liability insurance of up to €120,000. See THIS page for further information on the types of dogs considered “potentially dangerous”, and the National Government Law on “potentially dangerous” dogs, updated HERE
If you see a matter of animal cruelty, you can call the local police or, more effectively perhaps, Seprona. Seprona is the Servicio de Protección de la Naturaleza, so the official police route for environmental issues of any sort, including animal welfare. Just call 062 and explain it’s an environmental or animal welfare issue, where you are, and they will forward you to the correct local contact. Rumours that Seprona is only concerned with non-domestic animals are incorrect, and the Guardia Civil themselves say that cases of animal mistreatment should be denounced without hesitation to 062.
Pet cremation – there is a crematorium for pets in north Tenerife. The details are HERE.
Auditorio Infanta Leonor for international-level concerts and cultural programmes of all descriptions in the centre of Los Cristianos.
Loro Parque a superb day out while contributing to an environmental foundation that does perhaps more good than any other in Tenerife.
Tenerife Museums a range of museums to cater for all cultural tastes, whether science, anthropological, historical, human. Click on the British flag for a full translation of each of the museums, which are listed by abbreviations across the header.
Pirámides de Güímar an “ethnographic park” with an eye to the history, nature and geography of Tenerife. It has a lovely atmosphere, different sections, gardens, a museum, as well as those “pyramids”.
Teide astounding geography, incredible views. The link is to the national park website, with daily notices about whether the cable car is open or not due to weather conditions or maintenance, as well as information about the national park itself, activities, star gazing, guided tours, etc., and permits to climb to the very top of Mt Teide, and the Refugio Altavista where one can stay overnight.
- To get to the summit, the timetable is 9am to 4pm, last ascent at 4pm, last descent at 4.50. Permits are granted by the National Park administration, and can only be arranged online at reservasparquesnacionales.es. If using the cable car, it costs €12 for a resident adult, €25 for a non-resident. If staying overnight at the Refugio, see the link just above to book.
- Many people ask about camping around Teide. Since it’s a national park, camping is strictly controlled, and a permit/authorization is necessary every time: see HERE.
- PLEASE NOTE: the peak of Teide is a staggering 3,718m high, making it the highest point in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world. By comparison, the highest point in the United Kingdom is Scotland’s Ben Nevis at 1,344m. The caldera itself, and indeed the national park generally, is higher than that, with an average altitude of over 2,000m. This altitude is not something that most British people will easily relate to or be used to, and so visitors need to be aware that atmospheric changes start at an altitude of around 2,500m, and that is the point at which altitude sickness can begin to be experienced, but also, more importantly, a height at which those suffering heart and lung conditions can experience problems apart from altitude sickness. Such people are advised not to go above the level of the caldera, and so should not go up in the cable car, nor to try to ascend the peak of Teide itself. Those with severe heart or lung conditions would be well advised not actually to go even as high as the caldera itself. There is useful information HERE from Himalayan/Tibetan specialists on how to be safe at altitude.
Observatory at Añaza there are regular free Open Days and frequent guided tour days.
Los Imprescindibles – the essentials: the Tenerife tourism authorities’ list of unmissables.
Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife for classical music fans to find programmes of performances by Tenerife’s world class full symphony orchestra. Although most concerts will be given in the Santa Cruz Auditorium, the OST has a good record of performing in smaller venues throughout Tenerife.
The following are either based in, or operate in, Tenerife or the Canaries generally, and are registered “associations”, which is the equivalent here to a “charity” as we would understand it in the UK (see HERE).
Caritas – the main charity in Spain, and in many European countries, run by the Catholic Church
Afate – Association for families and carers of Alzheimer’s and other dementia sufferers.
Asociación Comedor Social La Buena Estrella – social dining room in El Fraile to feed people daily who are in extreme social/financial distress
AMATE – Asociación de mujeres con cáncer de mama de Tenerife (Association of women with breast cancer in Tenerife).
SEPCAL – Sociedad Española de Cuidados Paliativo (Spanish palliative care society)
En Pié – Mental health Fundación
ATELSAM – Asociación Tinerfeña en Lucha por la Salud Mental (Tenerife Mental Health Association)
Alabente – Asociación para la Liberación de la Anorexia y la Bulimia en Tenerife (Eating Disorders Association)
Acufade – Asociación de mejorar las condiciones de vida de las personas mayores, las personas dependientes, sus cuidadoras/es y familias (Association for improving quality of life for the elderly, vulnerable, and their carers and families).
British Benevolent Fund (BBF) – one of the oldest English speaking charities in Spain which provides financial support and other assistance to British nationals who find themselves in Spain and in severe distress.
Royal British Legion Tenerife – help for British servicemen in distress in Tenerife.
Age in Spain – information and support to English-speakers and their families in Spain
Age Concern España – information, advice and support for common issues that affect the over 50s in Spain.
Prisoners Abroad – assisting British prisoners and their families and friends.
Alcoholics Anonymous: there are several branches in Tenerife, see HERE for Los Cristianos and Callao Salvaje branches.
The Canarian Government has a database of organizations you can search according to municipality, island, and province, and with which you can register to volunteer. There is more information HERE about the whole system of volunteering in the Canaries.