Although we do not yet know the exact conditions that will apply when the UK fully leaves the EU, it seems very likely that after December 31st 2020, UK citizens will be expected to follow the same regulations for entry into the Schengen Area (which includes Spain) as everyone else outside the EU.
So, from December 31st 2020, UK citizens who wish to visit Guhyaloka can stay for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without needing a visa (Schengen visa waiver). This means that if you are staying at Guhyaloka for 90 days then you will not be able to visit another country in the Schengen Area within the 90 days before your arrival date at Guhyaloka, nor in the 90 days after your departure date from Guhyaloka. You might find this calculator useful.
When you are checked – either by police spot check or by immigration officials when entering or leaving the country – if you have been in the Schengen Area for more than 90 days in the previous 180 days you will have contravened the conditions under which you entered the Area and are therefore considered as having ‘Overstayed’. Whilst ‘overstaying’ doesn’t sound very serious, depending on country and conditions at the time it can be taken very seriously indeed – particularly if it is for more than just a few days. It can result in a fine of up to €1200 and/or prison and/or a ban from the Schengen Area – which would also be reflected in other country’s visa waiver systems – particularly the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Even if you leave without being checked by a person, your arrival and departure dates are recorded.
So, if you have overstayed it may cause you problems the next time you try to enter the Schengen Area. In the future UK citizens will also have to apply to ETIAS to get security clearance before buying tickets or arriving in the EU, and any previous overstay will be on record causing a delay in gaining entry to EU countries.
Other things you may be asked to show at the border control when you enter the Schengen Area:
a) A return or onward ticket
b) That you have enough money for your stay
c) The address where you are staying
Further information can be found here:
UK Government Information on Resdiency in Spain
General information on Schengen visas
Consequences of ‘overstaying’
(Guhyaloka does not endorse the above websites)
You may need medical treatment while staying at Guhyaloka.
Please do not come to Guhyaloka without some arrangement to cover the cost of a medical emergency or other treatment.
Guhyaloka is not able to pay for medical treatment for you, nor can we give you any kind of loan to do so, so you need to be completely sure that you are covered for this possibility. It is very important that you are covered while you are here, as in the event of an emergency it can cause considerable problems if you are not.
Accident and Emergency treatment is available until the end of 2020 to UK residents who are registered with the NHS and have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Find out more from the UK Government website.
We will update this guidance as more information becomes available.
Other European Residents
If you are a European resident from a country other than the UK, please check any reciprocal arrangements that are in place between Spain and your country of residence. If such arrangements don’t exist then you will need to take out adequate insurance to cover you while you are in Spain. It is possible you can get an EHIC card to cover your treatment, so please find out if you can and get the card before you come. If you can’t get an EHIC card you will need to take out medical insurance to cover you while you are in Spain. Please do not come on a retreat at Guhyaloka without adequate medical insurance if you are not covered by any reciprocal agreements between your country of origin and Spain that pay for your emergency medical costs.
Non-UK or other European Residents
You will need to take out medical insurance to cover you while you are in Spain. Please do not come on a retreat at Guhyaloka without adequate medical insurance if you are not covered by any reciprocal agreements between your country of origin and Spain that pay for your emergency medical costs.
An EHIC card will only cover treatments at the A&E department, which will only treat accidents and emergencies. For other medical matters you will need to see a Doctor. An appointment with tests would be around 100€. The EHIC card does not entitle you to dental treatment. A visit including simple dental treatment would be around 60€. You may want to consider taking out medical insurance.
A very warm welcome and…
– bed linen and blankets
– all food
– essential toiletries (soap, shampoo, razors, toothpaste)
– meditation equipment (cushions, a variety of stools, candles)
– an extensive library
– basic stationery items and postcards are available to purchase
– we can post letters for people on the longer retreats
Please bring all your medication as we may not be able to obtain it for you on the weekly shopping trip. There is a chemist on the arrivals level in Alicante Airport where you can buy mouthwashes, shampoos and other liquids that you may not be able to bring with you.
Guhyaloka is a pavement and tarmac free zone. Sturdy footwear is vital at all times, and exposed footwear, like flip-flops, are not a good idea.
Guhyaloka is also free of street lighting. It is very dark here at night when cloudy or when there is no moon. Head-band torches are very popular and are more or less essential.
The weather at Guhyaloka varies from summer temperatures of 25-30’C (sometimes reaching mid-30’s’C), to very occasional drops below 5’C in the winter. Generally the sun shines in a blue sky but there can be a run of several days of very wet and windy weather. It is important to bring appropriate clothing for the time of year when you will be visiting us. This might include a hat for protection against the sun, or a waterproof coat and boots, shorts and T-shirt or a thick warm jacket etc. A selection of clothing donated by previous retreatants is available on a first-come first-served basis.
– We share our valley with mosquitoes usually between June and October, so you might want to bring repellent.
– Sun cream during the summer months
Wherever possible please print your boarding pass before you come to Guhyaloka. If your airline stops you from doing this before you leave and if you are to be charged then we will print your boarding pass for you. However, please do not ask us to print it just to save time at the airport.
In most spiritual traditions it has historically been considered advantageous for men and women to go on retreat separately. Although there are contemporary views to the contrary, over fifty years of experience has led many of us in the Triratna Community – both men and women – to appreciate a whole range of benefits from having single-sex retreats. These include relief from the obvious types of distractions but also allow for the particular and different needs and approaches of men and women on retreat.
The Triratna Community has very many retreat centres that hold retreats for both men and women, but Guhyaloka is one of a few that specialize in retreats for men only. There are also centres in Spain and the UK that run retreats for women only. The community and solitary retreat facilities at Guhyaloka and Uttaraloka are consequently also for men only.
Anyone staying in Spain for more than 90 days must register as a resident – which means registering with the police and with the local authorities; (For those from non-EU countries, including the UK, this will also involve setting up a bank account in Spain with a minimum balance of 7,000 Euros for the previous three months; proof of annual income; health insurance; and various police clearances.) Each of these involve some initial contact by e-mail and through the relevant website, and then at least two visits in person to the appropriate office. This must be done during the first three months in Spain and would clearly interfere seriously with any retreat. It would also involve the community with what, in our experience, can be very extensive extra work with many journeys to the coast. These processes seldom run smoothly.
So, for non-residents, unless it is possible to register as a resident before starting a retreat we regret that we cannot offer any retreats of longer than 12 weeks; and we are unable to offer any help – other than advice – on immigration issues.