Is it safe to travel in Spain?
Spain is generally one of the safest countries in Europe.
Can I walk or bike a camino alone? How do I arrive in Santiago de Compostela undamaged? Is it safe to travel by car in northern Spain? These questions are often asked by pilgrims or tourists to Spain is More. The answer: overall, Spain is one of the safest countries in Europe! But what are the facts and figures? We list it for you.
A 26th place for Spain
Spain was in 2018 on the Global Law and Order Report list (compiled by the American Gallup) in 26th place out of 142 countries surveyed. Just like any country, something unpleasant can of course happen. But in general, Spain is known as a safe country, something that many pilgrims and tourists experience.
Drastic fall in crime
Every year, murder kills around 300 people, 30% less than 30 years ago. The number of street robbers has also fallen by 40% in the last 10 years in Spain. Sometimes criminals are still active on the motorways. They pretend to be the police who stop cars. Be aware of cars trying to stop you and drive if you don't trust it. You can make a telephone report to the Guardia Civil (062) and Policia (112). Show the other driver clearly that you are calling and, if possible, pass on the registration number of the suspicious car.
You can simply drink water from the tap
The risk of traveler diseases is relatively low in Spain. Just like at any warm destination, you have to be careful with food. Eating raw or poorly cooked meat can entail risks. This also applies to poorly cooled ice cream and soft ice cream on the street and at beach vendors. In general, the hygienic conditions of food are good. No vaccinations are required for Spain. The medical facilities in Spain are also particularly good. Please note that medical care often has to be paid directly in cash on the spot, and you can claim this later with your health insurance or travel insurance. Drinking tap water in Spain is not a health risk. The tap water does have a stronger chlorine taste.
In 2017 1,830 people died on Spanish roads, including 408 motorcyclists, 351 pedestrians and 78 cyclists. This is still way too many people, but it is much better than decades ago. A lot of time and money has been invested in recent years to improve the safety of cycle paths and footpaths. And that shows!
It is also important to keep a close eye on the weather conditions in some areas. The summers can be very dry, also in northern Spain, which means that there is a chance of forest fires. In December 2015, more than 120 forest fires broke out in northern Spain, although part of it was caused by arson. One of the reasons why it is no longer possible to burn your clothes as a pilgrim in Finisterre.
What can you do yourself?
As a pilgrim or holiday maker you can of course also take some safety precautions yourself:
- Avoid abandoned or poorly lit places, as well as games of chance on the street.
- Do not take more money with you than is strictly necessary.
- Be careful in places where many people are together, such as public transportation or large stores.
- Do not leave objects such as mobile phones or cameras unattended in places of relaxation and recreation.
- Keep an eye on the weather and the news during the summer because of forest fires.
We wish you a safe stay in the north of Spain!