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End of September I fly with my wife to Tenerife on a two-week holiday. From what I learned on the internet (here) you have to have a camping permit in order to use publicly available camping sites in the mountains of Tenerife. You can apply for a permit online but in order to do so you have to get some sort of electronic ID (username and password). These are issued on the island by the government of Tenerife.

How to get a camping permit and/or this user name and password before arrival on Tenerife? I read on the internet that it was possible some time ago but not anymore.

Has some fellow backpacker succeeded in obtaining the permit from another country (Germany in my case)?

  • 3
    You could check with your local Spanish consulate if you can obtain a "certificado digital". I believe you have to be a Spanish resident, but it never hurts to ask. – Diego Sánchez Aug 11 '15 at 5:33
  • See also The Great Outdoors. – gerrit Aug 11 '15 at 10:21
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Camping Permit? Yes but which one?

According to the website of the Council of Tenerife, campers who wish to use the public camping facilities scattered across the islad require a permit. Note that various camping permits exist, which can be requested either online or in person:

  1. Using a motorhome/camper van/mobilhome in a camping facility - In person
  2. Camping on a mountain (be it with tent/motorhome/camper van/mobilehome) - In person
  3. Free (tent-only) camping whilst hiking on a mountain trail - In person
  4. Sleeping in a camping facility with or without a tent - Online/In person

Applying In Person

The in-person application procedure is the same regardless on which permit you require. The only difference lies in the authorisation form to be filled in by the applicant. You can find these in the respective linked pages. Unfortunately, to date, the webpages and forms seem to be in Spanish language only. To apply you need to go to any of the Oficinas de Registro y Servicio al Ciudadano, whose geographical positions and opening hourse can be found on the website of the Council of Tenerife.

Applying On Line

You can apply for some camping permits online on the site of the Council of Tenerife here (you can perform a couple more bureaucratical operations online, but that's the matter of another post). To do so you need a form of electronic identification which can be either an authentication certificate, or login credentials in the form of a username-password pair.

The electronic authentication certificate can be obtained by Spanish citizens and/or those in posession of either:

  • Electronic National Identification Document (DNI-e)
  • Electronic certificates issued by the Spanish Royal Mint (FNMT)
  • Certificates issued by Camerfirma
  • Firmaprofesional certificates
  • ANF Certification Authority certificates

The login credentials can be requested by citizens with a National dentification Document of foreigners in posession of a NIE. Quoting from the linked website:

Who may lodge an application?

All citizens in possession of a National Identification Document (DNI) or Identification Number for Foreigners (NIE).

The linked website is in English so you'll find most of the information there. The point is that without any of these documents you won't be able to apply for the required login credentials, and will thus be unable to request a camping permit online. Since these seem to be documents that are available only to Spanish citizens, it would therefore be safe to assume that only Spanish citizens, and foreigners in posession of a NIE Number, can request camping permits online. All others must follow the in-person procedures.

For completenss sake, the NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is an identification number used to tax purposes in Spain. Indeed, any foreigner wishing to carry out financial, professional or social affairs in Spain needs to apply for a NIE, regardless of residency status in Spain. This is all explained in detail on the Angloinfo NIE webpage. The same website has a page explaining how to apply for a NIE. As it turns out, this cannot be done online. Instead the applicant must fill in this form and bring it, along with a few more documents (proof of address in spain, invoice for bureaucratic costs, two passport photographs, original and photocopy of passport/ID card), to their local Oficinas de Extranjeros in Spain, for it to be signed and approved. Therefore this too is a procedure that cannot be completed online.

  • So the question is: can the OP get an NIE number, and if so, how? – Nate Eldredge Aug 13 '15 at 12:24
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    @Nate, no. To obtain a NIE you first need a certificate of residence. – Peter Taylor Aug 13 '15 at 22:42
  • @NateEldredge They can by following the appropriate procedure. Unfortunately this can only be done in person. Thus it would seem that it is not possible for a non Spanish citizen/NIE holder to request camping permits in Tenerife online. – JoErNanO Aug 14 '15 at 11:52

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