Spain is one of the nation’s best-loved holiday spots, but the country has long suffered from a minority of tourists who disrespect local culture. Even if it is unintentional, engaging in anti-social behaviour and ignoring Spanish laws has forced towns and cities across the country to crack down on legislation ahead of the summer season. Here are some of the most unusual offences you could be fined for while visiting Spain.
Getting up early isn’t on everyone’s agenda while on holiday, but it’s often the only way to grab a good spot by the hotel pool.
The excitement of heading down for a long day of sunbathing is often ruined when you’re met with endless rows of towel-covered beds, so you’ll be pleased to know it’s no longer tolerated in Spain.
In fact, early risers who try to reserve prime spots with a towel before disappearing for a few hours could face a £25 fine.
And it’s not the only unusual law tourists will need to know while visiting the European hot spot.
Weeing in the sea
Using the clear blue ocean as a toilet while enjoying a refreshing dip will cost you a fortune if you’re caught in the act.
Lawmakers in Vigo, a city in the Galicia region, said anyone found relieving themselves ‘in the sea or on the beach’ will face a hefty fine of £645.
Public urination has been branded a ‘minor infraction’ and ‘an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations’ by the city council, resulting in an increase in public toilets along the beaches to stop visitors being tempted by the sea.
Being caught breaking this law could result in more than a fine too, with the town council claiming that the repercussions “could go further” than a monetary punishment.
Ignoring beach etiquette
Failure to observe beach etiquette in Spain could land you with a £25 fine if you’re caught breaking two key ‘rules’.
Beachgoers caught playing bat and ball or attempting to reserve a spot on the beach with a towel will be fined under recently established by-laws.
Known as ‘land-grabbing’, people who leave their towels or belongings on loungers to claim the best spots will have their items confiscated until they pay out the fine.
This was introduced in Torrox, Costa Del Sol in 2015, though many more spots now observe the custom.
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While bathing in your swimwear is acceptable around the pool and on the beach, walking around with only swimwear to cover you up could catch you out in some parts of the country.
Shirtless men or women wearing only bikinis risk a huge fine, of up to £250, which reportedly has already been dished out in Barcelona and Mallorca.
UK Foreign Travel Advice said: “In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts/trunks. Being bare-chested has also been banned in some areas of Spain.
“Some local councils will impose fines if you’re caught wearing swimwear on the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets.”
Choosing appropriate cover ups is essential to avoid an unwanted fine – especially in some restaurants along Playa de Palma which operate ‘no entry’ rules for costumes and other inappropriate attire.
Nudity on a non-nudist beach could also leave you with a considerable bill of £650.
Using soap at a beach shower
Showering at the beach could put you at risk of needing an early flight home if you’re caught using soapy products for a deeper clean.
In fact, being caught washing sea water out of your hair using soap or shampoo at any Spanish beach shower you could land you with a fine of up to £620.
This is because the chemicals in these products are harmful to marine life and have therefore been made illegal.
Sleeping on the beach
A daytime nap in the sun won’t get you in trouble while enjoying your trip to Spain, but spending the night on the sand could leave you with a bill of £1,300.
In areas such as Valencia, sleeping or camping on the beach is considered dangerous and has been completely forbidden.
Having a barbecue on the beach
While this is one of Britain’s favourite summer pastimes, enjoying a smoky barbecue on a Spanish beach will land you with an enormous fine.
In fact, in some areas such as Salobrena, you can be handed a £2,500 fine.
A six-drink limit at all-inclusive resorts
Earlier this year, Majorca and Ibiza announced earlier in the year that holidaymakers will be limited to just six alcoholic drinks a day on their all inclusive holidays.
Guests will be forced to adhere to the three drinks at lunch and three at dinner rule, with extras coming at an added cost.
The Costa del Sol announced in May it will take a stand against ‘scandalous’ hen and stag parties too, by adding noise monitors in some tourist apartments.
A nationwide crack-down on binge drinking has also seen the Balearic Government ban the sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30pm and 8am, as well as pub crawls, two-for-one drinks offers and happy hours at certain spots in Magaluf, El Arenal and Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni de Portmany in Ibiza.