Canary Islands Risk Report

Security travel advice for the Canary Islands

Security information

Threat level: Low
The current safety travel advice for the Canary Islands is to remain cautious throughout your visit, however the risk of trouble or attack is extremely low.

Located just off the southern coast of Morocco, the 7 main islands are considered to be on the outermost parts of Europe. The islands are a popular tourist destination, as such the security is at a relatively high standard and crime rates are low.

Recent Security Risk Events
In 2015, 40 African migrants landed on a beach in Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands. Migrants trying to reach the country have long troubled the Canary Islands, however the Spanish navy have begun patrols around the islands in an attempt to protect them from migrant ships reaching their destination.

Security Risks
Although there is a relatively high alert for Spain, this does not apply to the Canary Islands except for the tightened security on the islands.

Some of the islands are known to be party destinations for tourists such as Tenerife. Partying and excessive alcohol consumption at these destinations can leave tourists vulnerable to crimes including muggings, anti-social behaviour and drink spiking. Whilst these issues are relatively rare, tourists are advised to remain aware at all times and do not drink excessive amounts in order to stay in control.

International Relations
The international relations are mostly associated with Spain’s relations. On behalf of the islands, Spain has developed and broaden its contacts with sub-Saharan Africa and countries such as Mauritius and Mali in order to deal with the issues of illegal immigration to the Canary Islands.

Travel considerations
Roads can be winding but are in excellent condition. Exploring the island by car is considered to be the most effective method, and vehicles can be hired at airports. You should book these in advance for smaller islands.

Every island has sufficient public transport that can take you to main points of interest. If you are looking to visit multiple islands during your visit, there are fast ferries that can transport you between them.

General information

Capital: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Capital: Las Palmas
Official languages: Spanish
Religion: Christianity
Currency: Euro
Time now in Santa Cruz de Tenerife:

Visa requirements
Providing you are staying for less than three months, most nationalities will be able to enter the country without the need for a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months. Check with you local Spanish Embassy for more information.

Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to the Canary Islands are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get a Tetanus vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.

Other health risks
You should be wary of heat exhaustion as the sun can be extreme on the islands. Ensure that you drink sufficient amounts of water throughout the day to avoid this.

The Spanish healthcare system extends to the Canary Islands, as such it has excellent facilities. For EU citizens, an EHIC card will allow visitors to receive medical care at the same cost that a local would pay. It is not a substitute for medical insurance and it is highly advised that you purchase comprehensive insurance too.

Many tourists prefer to drink bottled water as most of the tap water is desalinated sea water and can taste strange to those not used to it.

Consular information

U.S. Embassy Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Edificio ARCA
C/ Los Martínez Escobar, 3, Oficina 7
35007,
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
Spain
Telephone: +34 928 27 1259
Email: laspalmascons@state.gov

British Consulate Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Calle Luis Morote 6-3º,
35007,
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
Spain
Telephone: +34 928 26 2508
Emergency Consular Team: based in London, +44 020 7008 1500
Email: spain.consulate@fco.gov.uk

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    Other useful info

    Police emergency: 112
    Policía Guardia Civil: 062 (responsible for national security)
    Policía Municipal: 091 (responsibility for local traffic control, minor offences)
    Fire emergency: 112
    Medical emergency: 112
    Coast Guard: +34 91 755 91 33

    Notes: