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Spain

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In Spain, hitching isn’t a very common concept and mostly done by foreigners. However, the thumb will be understood. An effective best method can be ask people directly whenever possible, e.g. in service stations, even if your Spanish is very poor. The Spanish phrase ''vas a... ?'' ‘are you going to...?’ is a good starting point. Because Spain is a touristic country, at some large service stations you can find drivers from all over Europe, who are more likely to take you than the local people. However, this strategy is not advised in the far south of Spain (Andalucia), as service stations there tend to be deserted and sometimes off of the main road.
Generally, there are petrol stations every 20-30 km, often in a so-called "via de servicio", along with a hotel or a restaurant. This means that each and every one of those petrol stations has less traffic. Most people who travel certain roads regularly will know (or pretend to know!) the good spots where a lot of traffic passes through (e.g. truck stops, or nice restaurants). Try not to get stuck in places off the main road (in a village, or an industrial zone), but ask your driver if s/he knows a place with lots of people.
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Even if you hitchhike alone or in groups of two, be prepared to make much fewer kilometres per day than in e.g. Germany or France. Waiting times of over an hour are common, and 500–700 km a day may prove a real challenge. The first time you hitchhike in Spain, it might be a good idea to only plan for 300 km a day. If you do master some Spanish, however, and if you carefully stick to service stations asking people, hitching can be easy and fun - even in Spain.
As hitch-hiking is not a very common concept in Spain, many Spanish people travel via blablacar. If you want to get out of big cities (Madrid, Barcelona) you might have to pay 3-5 Euros to get to a hitch-hiking spot. In this case, consider finding a short ride just out of the city to a nearby small town, with blablacar. The driver can drop you directly on a service station on the motorway, and you might not have to walk around in the Spanish summer heat.
<gallery perrow="3" style="float:right; width:200px; margin-left:20px;">File:CommunidadValenciana.JPG|thumb|right|Hilde hitchhiking to [[Valencia]].File:Espana2002_Dec_Hitch_hiking_in_Catalonia_SPAIN.jpg|thumb|leftHitch-hiking in Catalonia. December 2002.File:Granada.jpg|Robino hitching from Valencia to [[UserGranada]].File:AmylinHhPICT1975.jpg|AmylinStop at Valencia, at the trip from [[Germany]] hitching to Spain from [[Portugal]].]][[File:CommunidadValenciana2002-03 Trying to hitchhike in Murcia to Sevilla.jpg|2002 trip from Berlin to Cádiz. It took only one day from Berlin to Barcelona but three days to get from Murcia to Cádiz. South of Spain: Very difficult to hitchhike. But the flowers did help!File:P1000787.JPG|thumb|left|Hilde hitchhiking to Night hithhiking in [[Valencia]].Murcia]]</gallery>
== Border crossing License Plate IDs ==Pro tip: Under the old licensing system, license plates got identifying letters showing the city/region where the car is registered. This is great for quickly identifying (at least on old cars) if the car is heading your way. i.e. lots of old "B" plates out there going to and from Barcelona. Read more: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_Spain#Old_provincial_codes]
When entering the country from == Cities ==* [[Algeciras]]* [[Alicante]]* [[Badajoz]]* [[FranceBarcelona]] you should try to get a lift as close to your destination as possible. On the Mediterranean side, a good place for this is La Jonquera, one of the biggest truck stops in Europe. You’ll find plenty capital of international truck drivers all over the country[[Catalonia|Catalunya]]* [[Bilbao]]* [[Burgos]]* [[Ceuta]]* [[Cordoba]]* [[Donostia-San Sebastián]]* [[Granada]]* [[Madrid]], because Spain is a centre of the fruit industry, exporting their oranges and tomatoes. On the Atlantic side, there is another huge truck stop near Irun called Oyarzun capital* [[Málaga|Malaga]]* [[Oviedo]]* [[Salamanca (accessible in both directionsSpain).|Salamanca]]* [[Santander]]* [[Santiago de Compostela]]* [[Sevilla]]* [[Valencia]]If you arrive by the ferry from * [[AfricaVigo]] you should try to get a ride on the ferry or at the port. There are lots of people from * [[MoroccoZaragoza]], who went to visit their families and now return. You’ll see number plates from many other European states.
== Road network ==
 
The north of Spain has a well developed system of ''Autopistas''. Autopistas are very similar to French ''autoroutes'', and so similar rules can be applied when hitchhiking. ''Autopistas'' have two or more lanes in each direction, accessed after passing through a ''peaje'' (tollgate) and have large rest stops along the way.
In the south of Spain, and parts of the center and the North, the motorways are smaller and the petrol stations are usually further away from the road; this system is called ''autovia''. [http://motorways-exitlists.com/europe/e/spain.htm This website] shows exits and also service areas for some ''autovias'', as well as ''autopistas.'' It is best to be patient at these places. Be careful when people promise you to drop you off at a "very busy" petrol station, as it might turn out to be deserted. It is better in these cases to find direct lifts from one town to another (use a sign when thumbing).
== Border crossing ==
When entering the country from [[France]] you should try to get a lift as close to your destination as possible. On the Mediterranean side, a good place for this is La Jonquera, one of the biggest truck stops in Europe. You’ll find plenty of international truck drivers all over the country, because Spain is a centre of the fruit industry, exporting their oranges and tomatoes. On the Atlantic side, there is another huge truck stop near Irun called Oyarzun (accessible in both directions).
== Crossing Spain If you arrive by the ferry from [[Africa]] you should try to get a ride on the ferry or at the port. There are lots of people from [[Morocco]], who went to Portugal ==visit their families and now return. You’ll see number plates from many other European states.
=== Crossing Spain to get to Portugal ===
If you just want to get to Portugal, you'll want to to keep your hitch journey in Spain as short and quick as possible. This will happen by sticking to the the main road (AP-1, A-62, mostly "autovia") from Bayonne/San Sebastian to Salamanca / Vilar Formoso (the portuguese border near Guarda). Even if you come from, say, Montpellier, it's recommended to hitch up to Bayonne and cross the basque country.
Otherwise, don't let your drivers drop you at just any gas station along the way - try your best to stick to busy ones (on the right side and near the highway, Repsol and Galp).
If your ride is only taking you to somewhere near Vilar Formoso border and you want to go further in Portugal, you can stay at the last Cepsa gas station on the right side of the road, 5kms before the border. Gas is cheaper in Spain.   == License Plate IDs == Pro tip: Under the old licensing system, license plates got identifying letters showing the city/region where the car is registered. This is great for quickly identifying (at least on old cars) if the car is heading your way. i.e. lots of old "B" plates out there going to and from Barcelona. Read more: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_Spain#Old_provincial_codes]
== Myths and truths about hitchhiking in Spain ==
 <ol><li># '''It is illegal to hitchhike in Spain.''' <pbr>''Truth'': This assertion that you will hear from both the locals and the travellers is a result of a wrong understanding of the Spanish law that forbids pedestrians walking on a private motorway. Therefore, '''it is absolutely ''legal'' to hitchhike in Spain'''.</p></li> <li># '''It is ''impossible'' to travel hitchhiking in Spain'''. <pbr>''Truth'': While it is definitely harder to catch a ride in Spain than in Germany, it is not impossible if done smartly. Actually, in many areas in the countryside or the north of Spain where there are very few means of public transportation, hitchhiking is done frequently by locals who need to take rides from town to town (Galicia and its messy bus network is a great example of this). However, many old Spaniards believe that hitchhiking culture died in the 70s, and there is a lot of fear around, because of some cases of theft or rape when hitching. To get a ride in Spain you will need to put more effort and think tactical: '''hide the hippy clothes in your backpack and look clean, smile, know a few Spanish words, be polite, be familiar with the Spanish hours and always try to hitch from a service station.'''</p></li> <li># '''Spanish people will rob you'''. <pbr>''Truth'': Indeed, Barcelona and Madrid score very high in the pickpocketing league, but this is something all locals are very embarrassed about. They will often advise you to keep an eye on your belongings and never put your wallet in the rear pocket. Pick pocketing operations are usually carried out by some North Africans of poor backgrounds who make petty crime a way of living. The best advice is to avoid as much as possible the touristy areas.</p></li></ol>
== Language(s) ==
=== Spanish for the Hitchhiker ===
 
The Spanish phrase ''¡Hola! Vas a... ?'' (Hello, are you going to... ?) with a wide smile is an excellent starting point. Remember most Spaniards actually meet the stereotype of being loud and friendly, but aren't used to see hitchhikers on the road. Therefore, you'd better be extra familiar and polite by saying things like "¡Gracias, buen viaje!" (Thank you, have a nice trip!) after your driver drops you off or when they make excuses to not pick you up (this way they will think twice the next time they bump into a hitchhiker). Check the Spanish section in the [[Western Europe phrasebook|phrasebook]] for more basic words.
There are other tricky sounds like the ''Z'' and ''C'', the double ''RR''... but you can get away with these brief tips pretty well. Spanish is easy!
== Sleeping Resources == ===Wild camping and Bivouacking === It is legal to wild camp for free in Spain as long as you camp when the sun sets and leave early in the morning. This is called pernoctation and the forest guards will not bother you if you explain that you know what you are doing. Remember that lighting a fire is forbid in most of the Spanish regions.  If you go to Spain during the summer months (June-August) it will be warm enough in the night to bivouac (sleep outdoors without a tent). However, it is recommended to take a thick sleeping bag because temperatures can drop to 10 celsius degrees in the north, the ''meseta'', and hilly areas. Although it might seem very bohemian and romantic, avoid sleeping in a beach. Especially if it is populated by drunk people and ''guiris'' (Spanish despective word for stereotypical north-European tourists that come to Spain for cheap alcohol and street sex). Chances are you will get stolen by pickpockets who go to those beaches to take advantage of the wealthy, drunk ''guiris''.  ===Squatting === Despite the fact that many houses have been shut down lately, Spain has a very active squatting scene. It’s quite easy to find a place to crash by asking around for a ''casa okupada''. ===Hostels and Pensions === There are plenty of backpacker's hostels in big and not-so-big cities in Spain that you will find online through sites like www.hostelworld.com . A cheap hostel you can find online might cost between 10 and 20 euros depending on the season and the region (Basque Country, Catalonia and Madrid are usually more expensive than the rest of the country).  Now, here is the little secret that Spaniards know and you don't, A vast majority of cheap ''pensiones'' do not appear on the internet and you will hardly find any information on google or tourism offices. This is probably because the owner of the "pension" or hostel might be an old lady that rents a room in some kind of not very legal way. ''Pensiones'' can vary in cost and luxury, depending on the number of stars you find under the "P" sign. The best thing to do is to go to the city hall and ask for the yellow pages book ''Páginas amarillas'', call the pensions and ask for the price. You will need to speak Spanish here, or find someone that can speak Spanish for you because most old ladies do not speak English. It is a good idea to ask the locals if they know a cheap place to stay, or even ask so to other pension owners.  ===Pilgrim hostels (Camino de Santiago) === Camino de Santiago is a legendary long hiking pilgrimage trail that can be started from almost anywhere in Europe. It ends in Santiago de Compostela, a beautiful city in the heart of Galicia. Obviously, this trail reaches its highest fame rate in Spain, where it is known by everyone and is even part of folklore. Nowadays, pilgrims that go to Santiago are backpackers from all around the world with varied reasons for walking (some religious, some for fun etc). There is a broad net of ''albergues de peregrinos'' (pilgrim hostels) all around Spain for the pilgrims to spend the night after a day of walking. Those are undoubtedly the cheapest accommodation in the country. The price can vary from 5 to 10 euros and even some religious centres offer it for free or the will. In most cases, to use the pilgrim albergues you will need to prove that you are a pilgrim with a ''credencial'', a passport with the stamps of the towns that the pilgrim has passed by in his journey. You can get your credencial in any church/city hall through which the Camino passes. Lately, people do the Camino in many different ways and directions, Some even by car. So do not be shy about asking the ''albergue'' owners for a bed or help. If you are friendly, they will be too. == Maps ==From any tourist-info around country, you can find good roadmap of the region and/or the autonomous area for free of charge.   ==Links=={{nomadwiki}}
* [https://www.facebook.com/groups/174166089591892/ Facebook group for hitchhiking in Spain]
* [https://warmroads.de/hitchhiking-in-2-spain/ Short anlyses of hitchhiking in Spain - warmroads.]
 == Cities ==* [[Algeciras]]* [[Alicante]]* [[Badajoz]]* [[Barcelona]], the capital of [[Catalonia|Catalunya]]* [[Bilbao]]* [[Burgos]]* [[Ceuta]]* [[Cordoba]]* [[Donostia{{wikipedia-San Sebastián]]* [[Granada]]* [[Madrid]], the capital* [[Málagalink|Malaga]]* [[Oviedo]]* [[Salamanca (Spain)|Salamanca]]* [[Santander]]* [[Santiago de Compostela]]* [[Sevilla]]* [[Valencia]]* [[Vigo]]* [[Zaragoza]]}}== More Pictures = Maps ==<gallery perrow="3">File:2002_Dec_Hitch_hiking_in_Catalonia_SPAIN.jpg|HitchFrom any tourist-hiking in Catalonia. December 2002.File:Granada.jpg|Robino hitching from Valencia to [[Granada]].File:HhPICT1975.jpg|Stop at Valenciainfo around country, at you can find good roadmap of the trip from [[Germany]] to [[Portugal]].File:2002-03 Trying to hitchhike in Murcia to Sevilla.jpg|2002 trip from Berlin to Cádiz. It took only one day from Berlin to Barcelona but three days to get from Murcia to Cádiz. South region and/or the autonomous area for free of Spain: Very difficult to hitchhike. But the flowers did help!File:P1000787charge.JPG| Night hithhiking in [[Murcia]]</gallery>
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[[wikipedia:Spain]]
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