It’s the holiday habit that boils the blood of even the most mild-mannered tourist.
Heading down to the hotel pool to set up for a day of sunbathing, only to find early risers have reserved all the prime spots by draping their towels over sun loungers.
But in Spain, the early bird in this case will receive a £25 fine – and now unruly tourists could face even more substantial penalties if they are not careful.
Holidaymakers braving airport chaos in Britain to head to Spain this summer will need to pay attention if they don’t want to fall foul of a range of newly imposed ‘offences’.
In a wider bid to crack down on antisocial behaviour among Brit tourists, fines will be imposed for going for a wee in the sea, not wearing a t-shirt in the street and failing to follow guidelines on beach barbecues.
Even smoking a single cigarette by the sea could end up costing you more than the entire pack did.
Here, we take a look at how Britons need to be mindful of Spain’s new rules and regulations in tourist hotspots.
Lawmakers in Vigo, a city in the Galicia region, said anyone found relieving themselves ‘in the sea or on the beach’ will be forced to shell out £640
A no peeing sign is photographed. Britons could face fines worth hundreds of pounds if they are caught urinating in the sea off the Spanish coast – file image
If you wake up early to reserve a sun lounger with your towel in Spain, you may return to find it has been taken and you will have to fork out £25 to get it back
A wee in the sea – £645
Lawmakers in Vigo, a city in the Galicia region, said anyone found relieving themselves ‘in the sea or on the beach’ will be forced to shell out £645.
The city council has branded public urination a ‘minor infraction’ and ‘an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations.’
Town officials are planning to install public toilets on beaches during the high season to accommodate any beachgoers bursting for the loo.
But the town council said it could go further than fining people for urinating in the sea.
Reserving a spot with a towel – £25
Beachgoers caught playing bat and ball or attempting to reserve a spot on the beach with a towel will also be fined under the by-laws that came into force on July 18th.
In 2015 Torrox, Costa Del Sol, introduced £25 fines for ‘land-grabbing’ people who leave their towels on loungers to claim best spots. Officials will confiscate belongings left behind until they are paid for.
No shirt on – £250
Walking around the street with only swimwear on to soak up the sun could catch you a £250 fine in some parts of Spain.
Men walking around with their shirts off, or women wearing only bikinis risk a huge fine, which reportedly already been dished out in Barcelona and Mallorca.
As UK Foreign Travel Advice states: ‘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.’
Although you will need to be careful with what you cover yourself up with, in restaurants along Playa de Palma, costumed or football-jersey-clad punters won’t be allowed in.
Going shirtless while not on the beach in Spain could put you £250 out of pocket. But if you put on a football shirt it may be difficult for you to find somewhere to eat
A soapy shower – £620
Even showering at the beach could put you at risk of needing an early flight home.
If you are caught washing the sea water out of your hair using soap or shampoo at any Spanish beach shower you could be fined up to £620.
This is because the chemicals in these products are harmful to marine life and has been made illegal.
Falling asleep on the beach – £1,300
Though it may be tempting to try and sleep a long night of drinking off on the beach, you may be woken by someone handing you a fine for £1,300.
Areas like Valencia sleeping or camping on the beach to be dangerous and have completely forbidden people from doing so.
Some may believe that because you are in Europe you are allowed to go nude on the beach.
However this is not the case, if you go nude on a non-nudist beach you expect to be hit with a fine of up to £650.
Some beaches in Spain will allow you to have a BBQ, while others may slap you with a £2,500 fine, it’s best to ask first
If you are caught smoking a cigarette on certain Spanish beaches, you could be fined £25
Smoking has been prohibited on a number of Spanish beaches for some time, but from next month you could be fined for doing so
A Beach BBQ – £2,500
A BBQ on the beach is a popular pastime on many Brits, but the practice could land you an enormous fine.
In some areas such as Salobrena, you can be handed a £2,500 fine.
While in other areas you may just need to seek permission to have a barbecue on the beach.
Smoking by the sea – £25
The Spanish government is expanding a no-smoking policy they have been trialling across popular beaches.
From next month the smoke-free beaches and zones include locations in Galicia, Murcia, Catalonia, Andalusia, Asturias, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
If you are found smoking at a smoke-less beach, you will be fined £25.
Barcelona’s city council says the pilot program last year significantly reduced the number of smokers on the beach and cigarette butts in the sand.
All inclusive holidays with just six drinks a day
Majorca and Ibiza announced earlier in the year that holidaymakers will be limited to just six drinks a day on their all inclusive holidays.
The number of drinks on his all-inclusive holiday was limited to six – three at lunch, and three at dinner.
The Balearic Government in January banned 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.
Local authorities in Spain introduced the booze ban in January this year, which affects certain resort areas of the Balearic Islands, including Palma, Ibiza and Magaluf (tourists enjoy the sunset at Escondida beach)
The new law, which affects some hotels in the Balearic Islands, means that holidaymakers are forced to pay extra if they want more than three free alcoholic drinks per meal.
Spain’s tourist industry is trying to shed its reputation as the party capital of Europe, attracting a disproportionate amount of Brits.
The Costa del Sol announced in May it will crackdown on ‘scandalous’ hen and stag parties and said it was considering installing noise monitors in tourist apartments.
Malaga is leading the way after hoteliers and local residents said they were fed-up with ‘Magaluf-style drunken tourism’ in the historic city.
They were particularly incensed about the large groups of men and women who dress up in ‘outrageous costumes’ carrying phallic symbols and taking over high-class restaurants for their celebrations.
The number of hen and stag parties has soared over the last few months following the easing of coronavirus restrictions and the resurgence of tourism.
Spain’s Balearic binge-drinking crackdown explained
WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES?
The Balearic Islands have brought in new laws which limit the number of free drinks on all-inclusive meal options, and various restrictions on the purchase of alcohol.
The legislation says people on all-inclusive meal options can only have six drinks per day – three at lunch, and three at dinner.
It also bans:
- Happy hours;
- Pub crawls;
- Two-for-one-drink offers;
- Sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30pm and 8am;
- Advertising party boats in designated areas.
WHERE DO THE NEW RULES APPLY?
The new restrictions apply to Magaluf, El Arenal and Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni de Portmany in Ibiza, after initial fears that it would cover the whole of the islands.
WHY WERE THE NEW RULES BROUGHT IN AT ALL?
The laws were touted as the first in Europe to restrict the promotion and sale of alcohol in tourist areas.
They also aim to halt the ‘cheapening’ of the Balearic Islands and attract new investors that were being put off by its rowdy image.
Council leaders have been mounting a fightback to try to clean up the image of resorts like Magaluf since it was rocked by scandal in 2014 when a British holidaymaker was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men.
The incident led Majorca’s top politician at the time – Jose Ramon Bauza – to dub Magaluf’s notorious party strip Punta Ballena as ‘500 metres of shame’.
In 2018 council chiefs upped the ante against badly-behaving tourists in Magaluf by putting up street signs warning them of heavy fines for street drinking, nakedness and fighting.
The brightly-coloured signs, which carried the banner line ‘Have fun with respect’ were mounted on lamp-posts and other visible spots in the party resort.
Thousands of British tourists flock to the islands every year, including large groups of revellers who have earned them an infamous reputation.
Most of the new restrictions came into place in 2020 but Covid means many Brits are only now becoming aware of them.