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Spain’s N332 is a scenic and essential roadway that stretches along the country’s stunning east coast. It connects popular destinations such as Benidorm, Alicante, Santa Pola, Torrevieja, Orihuela, and Cartagena, among others. This short guide aims to provide valuable insights, tips, and advice for those planning to traverse this magnificent route.
Section 1: Preparing for the Journey
1.1 Understanding the N332
The N332 is a crucial highway in Spain, named after one of its primary roads. It runs along the East Coast, traversing the Costa Blanca. The N332 website was created to provide helpful information on Spanish laws and driving for the numerous foreigners who live, work, visit, and vacation in the area. The site collaborates closely with a group of Guardia Civil traffic police officers to ensure the information provided is accurate and up to date.
1.2 Weather Conditions and Seasonal Considerations
Before embarking your journey along the N332, it’s essential to consider the weather conditions and season. Spain experiences a Mediterranean climate, which means that summers are hot and winters are mild. Be prepared for rain during spring and autumn and take extra care when driving in these conditions.
1.3 Vehicle Maintenance and Safety
Prior to setting off, ensure that your vehicle is well-maintained and safe for a long drive. Check fluid levels, tire pressure, and brakes. It’s also a good idea to have your car serviced if you haven’t done so recently.
Section 2: Driving Safely on the N332
2.1 Adhering to Speed Limits
The N332 has various speed limits depending on the specific stretch of road and surrounding areas. On approximately 7,000 kilometers of secondary roads, the maximum permitted speed is 90 kilometers per hour (km/h). Always be vigilant for signage indicating stricter speed restrictions, particularly in towns and cities.
2.2 Driving Licenses and Documentation
When driving in Spain, it is essential to carry a valid driving license, vehicle registration and vehicle insurance documents. Non-EU foreigners must exchange their existing license for a Spanish one if they plan to drive in Spain for an extended period. The DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico) warns against potential scams to obtain a driving license and emphasizes the importance of passing an exam to legally drive in the country.
Section 3: Staying Healthy on the Road
3.1 Heart-Healthy Habits
Long drives can take a toll on your cardiovascular health. The Cardiology Unit at Quirónsalud Torrevieja recommends implementing heart-healthy habits, such as taking regular breaks, staying hydrated, and engaging in light physical activity during rest stops.
3.2 Hospital Facilities Along the N332
In case of a medical emergency, it’s essential to know the location and quality of nearby hospitals. The Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja is accredited with the golden seal of the Joint Commission International, ensuring excellent healthcare standards.
Some of the hospitals along the N332 route in Spain are:
- Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja: Located in Torrevieja, this hospital is an important healthcare provider for both the local population and tourists. They provide a wide range of services, including emergency care.
- Hospital Universitario de San Juan: This is a public hospital located in San Juan de Alicante, providing a variety of medical services.
- Hospital Marina Salud in Denia: This is another notable hospital catering to various healthcare needs along the N332.
Please remember to use a reliable map service or ask local authorities for the most accurate and current address and contact details. In case of an emergency, the general emergency number in Spain is 112.
Section 4: Enjoying the Scenic Drive
4.1 The Allure of Valencia
The N332 route enables travelers to experience Valencia’s vibrant culture and attractions. The region boasts picturesque landscapes, historic landmarks, and a rich culinary scene.
4.2 Popular Destinations Along the N332
Some must-visit destinations along the N332 include:
- Benidorm: A lively resort town known for its sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and skyscraper skyline.
- Alicante: A port city with a picturesque old town, historic castle, and palm tree-lined promenades.
- Santa Pola: A coastal town with beautiful beaches, a bustling marina, and a nature reserve.
- Torrevieja: A seaside city with stunning salt lakes, pristine beaches, and a vibrant expat community.
- Orihuela: A historic town with impressive architecture, fascinating museums, and a charming old quarter.
- Cartagena: A naval city with ancient ruins, a Roman theater, and a bustling port.
Section 5: Driving Etiquette and Common Courtesies
5.1 Indicators and Signals
Always use your indicators when changing lanes or turning. This helps maintain a safe flow of traffic and prevents accidents.
Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. Be patient and wait for the appropriate opportunity to pass slower vehicles.
Park in designated areas and avoid obstructing driveways or pedestrian pathways. Be mindful of local parking regulations to avoid fines.
Section 6: Staying Informed
6.1 Subscribing to Updates
Stay up to date on the latest driving news and information by subscribing to reliable sources, such as the N332 Facebook page.
6.2 Utilizing Online Resources
Section 7: Handling Emergencies
7.1 Emergency Numbers
In case of an emergency, call 112 for assistance. This number connects you to police, fire, and ambulance services.
7.2 Roadside Assistance
Consider subscribing to a roadside assistance service for added peace of mind during your journey along the N332. Roadside assistance in Spain is similar to that in other countries. It typically involves services for breakdowns and emergencies, such as towing, car repair, fuel delivery, and lockout service. Some car rental companies offer these services as part of their packages.
Three of the main roadside assistance companies in Spain are:
- RACE (Real Automóvil Club de España): This is one of Spain’s major automobile clubs. It offers 24/7 roadside assistance services for its members throughout Spain.
- Automóvil Club de España (ACE): This is another major automobile club in Spain. It provides a variety of services, including roadside assistance, to its members.
- Mapfre: Mapfre is a large insurance company that also provides roadside assistance services.
Section 8: Adapting to Local Driving Habits
8.1 Observing Local Customs
Each region may have unique driving customs. Observe the habits of local drivers and adapt your driving style accordingly to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
8.2 Staying Alert
Stay alert and focused on the road at all times. Avoid distractions, such as taking calls while driving to prevent accidents.
Driving in Spain, like in any foreign country, requires knowledge and understanding of local traffic laws and customs. Here are some important, yet potentially lesser-known driving laws and customs in Spain that tourists should be aware of:
- Right-hand driving: Spain drives on the right-hand side of the road, so tourists from countries with left-hand driving should be particularly cautious.
- Legal driving age: The minimum legal age to drive in Spain is 18.
- Use of seat belts: Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers in the vehicle, both in the front and back seats.
- Children’s seats: Children under 135 cm (around 4.4 ft) in height are required to sit in a child seat and are not allowed to sit in the front seat.
- Blood alcohol limit: The legal blood alcohol limit in Spain is 0.05%. For drivers with less than two years of experience, the limit is lower, at 0.03%.
- Mobile phones: Hand-held mobile phone use is strictly prohibited while driving. Hands-free systems are allowed.
- Roundabouts: When entering roundabouts, cars already in the roundabout have the right of way.
- Headlights: Use of headlights is mandatory in tunnels, even during the daytime.
- Indicating on motorways: If you wish to overtake another vehicle on the motorway, you must indicate your intentions. This applies even if you’re in the passing lane.
- Spare glasses: For those who require prescription glasses, it’s compulsory to have a spare pair in the car at all times.
- Reflective vests and two warning triangles: Spanish law requires all cars to carry two red warning triangles and a reflective vest. In the event of a breakdown or accident, the driver must place the triangles in front and behind the vehicle and wear the vest.
It is important to note that traffic fines in Spain can be heavy, and on-the-spot fines can be issued for various offences. Also, non-resident offenders must pay their fines immediately. So, it’s better to follow the rules and enjoy your journey.
Section 9: Traveling with Children
9.1 Child Safety and Car Seats
Ensure that children are securely fastened in age-appropriate car seats. Follow manufacturer guidelines for proper installation and use.
9.2 Entertainment and Snacks
Keep children entertained with games, music, or movies during long drives. Provide healthy snacks and drinks to keep them satisfied and content.
Section 10: Embracing the Adventure
10.1 Making Memories
The N332 offers a fantastic opportunity to explore Spain’s beautiful east coast. Embrace the adventure and create lasting memories with friends and family along the way.
10.2 Enjoying the Journey
Remember to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. The N332 is a scenic and captivating drive that showcases the best of Spain’s coastal regions. Make the most of your journey by taking the time to soak in the sights, sounds, and experiences along the way.