France temporarily reintroduced border controls. Will I have trouble if I cross the France-Spain border on foot by a hiking trail?

  • The Camino de Santiago crossed the border by foot. Where do you intend to cross? And what kind of trouble do you expect to have? Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 19:28
  • @Roddy of the Frozen Portbou - Cerbère. Any kind of troubles. For example they can bring me to their post to check my identity or/and my belonging.
    – 8k14
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 19:42
  • 2
    So, if you have a valid passport and don't carry any guns or drugs, what is the worst that can happen? They are looking for illegal immigrants and will probably ignore anyone else.
    – RHA
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 19:55
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    @8k14 cross country hiking is perfectly normal. the worse you can find is rural guard patrols trying to find if you're hunting deer, but nothing to worry aside of that. the france - spain border, and more importantly on the portbou part, is one of the most hiked and touristically visited due to being a highly touristic hotspot. if you have time and can go some KM to the west, don't forget to visit the Bellegarde fort in le Perthus, it's got amazing views. And also if you can go south to l'Escala, and visit the Emporiae greek/iberian archaeological site, the biggest in the area.
    – CptEric
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 7:16
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    The border strengthening after the barcelona attacks is only related right now to the Highway border crossing, with more teams doing random searches and better security cameras doing "security camera stuff", and not to random citiziens hiking around the hills.
    – CptEric
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


France/Spain is an internal border to both the Schengen area and the European Union, therefore you are not required to pass any immigration or customs check. You must present your papers and submit to a search if requested by the authorities. But you are not required to seek them out. It is legal to cross the border without notifying anybody.

If you do get controlled, then in all likelihood all you'll need to do is show your passport. As long as you have a valid visa (or you don't need a visa to be in the Schengen area), this is just a formality.

At the moment, France makes lots of controls on the border with Italy, because it's a major route for migrants, but the border with Spain is looser.

Note that this does not apply to Andorra. Andorra is neither in the Schengen area nor in the European Union, so if you go in or out you must seek a border post, and if you aren't from the EU/EEA then you will get Schengen exit and entry stamps (and if you need a visa in advance, that means you need a multiple-entry visa to exit Andorra).

  • France and Spain don't issue passport stamps at the Andorran border¨
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 0:20
  • @Coke Andorra requires double-entry or multiple entry Schengen visa ( source )
    – Neusser
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 6:56
  • @Neusser There are only spot checks at the border, and the Schengen authorities aren't going to leave you stuck in Andorra. Technically you are correct, but nevertheless, passport stamps aren't issued at that border
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 11:57

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