Where in Spain do all the Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans live?

G'day, kia ora and howzit to all our Australian, Kiwi and South African readers. Want to know how many of you live in Spain and where the most popular regions are for you to live in? Read on to find out.

Where in Spain do all the Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans live?
South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders - Where do your countrymen live in Spain? Photo: David Harrison, Anne-Christine POUJOULAT, Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

There are 2,805 Australians, 801 New Zealanders and 1,632 South Africans who reside in Spain, according to the latest government data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE).

Spain is certainly not the number one destination in Europe for these southern hemisphere English speakers, who tend to prefer to move to the United Kingdom.

But those who do start a life in Spain no doubt find a lot in common with their home nations, from the good weather and outdoor living to the love of food and the sociable people. 

Here are the Spanish regions where Aussies, Kiwis and Saffas are based and other interesting information they may want to know about.

While these figures are based on the padrón (town hall registry), and therefore may exclude Australian, New Zealand and South African citizens who have moved within Spain and not updated their registration in their new town or city, they do enable us to get a pretty good idea of where in Spain most of them live. 

Where are all the Australians in Spain?

There are a total of 2,805 Australians living in Spain. 

The majority of these (787) live in Catalonia, followed by Madrid with 507 and then the Valencia region with 335.

However, there are Australians living in all of Spain’s regions, apart from Ceuta and Melilla.

The regions with the least number of Australians are La Rioja with just 6, and Castilla La-Mancha and Extremadura with 19 each.

The Embassy of Australia in Spain is based in Madrid, although there is also a consulate in Barcelona if you want to find out anything relating to Spanish visas, work, study or other permits. The current Australian Ambassador to Spain and Andorra is Ms Sophia McIntyre.

There is also the Australia Spain Business Association (ASBA) a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting collaboration between Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Australians who are missing their country’s cuisine will find several Aussie brunch places in Barcelona such as Federal and Caravelle. Federal also has restaurants in Madrid and in Girona. 

There is also an Australians in Spain Facebook group with over 2,000 members. 

Where are all the New Zealanders in Spain?

The latest INE statistics show that there were a total of 801 New Zealanders living in Spain in 2021. 

Again the majority of these live in Catalonia with 208 Kiwi inhabitants, followed by Andalusia with 119, then Valencia with 103. Like the Australians, there are no Kiwis living in Ceuta and Melilla, but there are in all other regions.

The regions with the least however are Castilla La-Mancha and Extremadura which are home to just 1 New Zealander each, followed by Navarre with three.

The Embassy of New Zealand is also based in Madrid and there is a consulate in Barcelona. Office hours are by appointment only and the ambassador is Nigel Fyfe.

Kiwis who are after a New Zealand-style brunch in Barcelona, should head to Little Fern

Where are all the South Africans?

According to the latest INE data from 2021, there are a total of 1,632 South Africans living in Spain. 

Catalonia is also the most popular region for South Africans with 420 having chosen to move to the northeastern area. This is followed by 287 in Andalusia, 252 in Madrid and 225 in the Balearic Islands.

The South African Embassy can be found in Madrid, where you can find information on visas and work permits for Spain. The current ambassador to Spain is Ms Thenjiwe Ethel Mtintso. 

If you’re hankering after some of your South African favourites, there are several places you can find South African bites in some of Spain’s more cosmopolitan areas such as Spice in Barcelona or Sarafina South African Kitchen in Algorfa, Alicante. There is even a South African restaurant in Catalonia’s Val’d Aran – Pinotage.  You can also buy South African treats such as biltong, droëwors and chilli bites from some Spain-based sellers, including El Toro Foods in Mallorca

There is a popular South Africans in Spain Facebook page with over 2,000 members if you want to find some of your fellow countrymen. 

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How do I get my boat licence in Spain?

Have you ever dreamed of getting your boat licence in Spain and exploring its spectacular coastlines from the water? Here’s how to go about it, from what type of licence you need to how much it will cost you.

How do I get my boat licence in Spain?

Living in Spain you may have chosen like many foreigners do, to live near the coast in order to make the most of the great weather and the Mediterranean Sea.

You may be content exploring the coastline by swimming, stand-up paddleboard or kayak, but you may also want to explore further and get your boat licence.

Even if you don’t buy your own boat in Spain, you will still need a licence to be able to rent and drive certain boats while you’re on holiday.

How does getting your boat licence in Spain work and what type of boats do you need it for?

If you have a boat that is longer than 5 meters and is more powerful than 10 KW, it is mandatory to have a boat licence in Spain. It won’t be necessary for very small boats, peddle boats, kayaks or canoes.

There are several different types of boat licences in Spain, so in order to know which you’ll need, you’ll first need to know what type of boat you want it for.

The process is somewhat similar to getting a driving licence for a car, you will need to first take a course or some lessons, followed by an exam before you are awarded your boat licence. You can do this at many different sailing schools, located in marinas across the country.

You can visit the site to find your nearest sailing school, where you can take lessons, as well as the necessary exams.

READ ALSO – Brexit: UK nautical qualifications to be recognised in Spain by the summer

Different types of boat licences in Spain

Licencia de Navegación

The simplest type of licence in Spain is the Licencia de Navegación, which allows you to be able to drive small boats of up to six metres in length. You will only be able to sail in the daytime and can only go up to two miles from the coast or port.

In order to get this licence, you will have to take at least a two-hour lesson, where you will learn how to access channels through marked and unmarked beaches, regulations regarding maritime traffic and inland navigation in ports. This will be followed by a four-hour practical exam out on the water, showing the examiner how you can safely navigate and follow all the rules.  

The lesson will cost around €130, while the practical exam to obtain your licence will cost around €80.

Título de Patrón para la Navegación Básica (PNB)

The Basic Navigation Licence will allow you to drive jet skis, motor boats up to 7.5 metres in length and sailing boats up to 8 metres in length. With this licence you are allowed to go a maximum of 5 miles from the coast at any time, including at night-time. In order to get this permit, you will need to take a course, as well as a practical exam, like above. This generally costs between €250 and €350.

El Título de Patrón para las Embarcaciones de Recreo (PER)
The Recreational Boat Skipper licence is one of the most popular as it allows you to drive sailing and motor boats up to 12 metres in length. Your permit allows you to go up to 12 miles away from the coast and sail between the islands of the Canary and Balearic archipelagos too. The cost of this ranges between €500 and €700.

To get this licence, you will have to pass a multiple choice exam, undergo a 16-hour basic safety and navigation practical course and a theoretical radio operator course which will take around 12 hours.

Patrón de Yate

In order to get your Yacht Skipper licence, you will first have to have the Recreational Boat Skipper licence above. This permit allows you to operate sail and motor boats of up to 20 metres in length and up to 60 miles from the coast.

As well as already having a licence, to upgrade it to this one, you will need to do a theoretical exam, as well as 48-hour practical cruise test. This usually costs between €600 and €700.

Remember that as well as having your licence, you will need to take out adequate insurance to be able to drive a boat here.