Warning to tourists over £130 fine for breaking strict beach rule in Spain
Holidaymakers face being landed with a hefty fine for breaking a new beach rule in parts of Spain.
Strict beach laws could see visitors fined £130 for simply building a sandcastle, thanks to a bizarre rule introduced following a 2016 Benidorm Town Hall vote to ban sand structures on Levante beach, The Daily Telegraph reports.
It is also not allowed in Arona and Arica in Tenerife, and means eager sandcastle craftsmen will have to apply for a municipal permit before starting construction.
Benidorm is also making beaches off-bounds between midnight and 7am to keep drunks leaving the late night bars and discos from having sex in the sand, while daytime beachgoers will be banned from playing ball games, urinating in the sea, and drinking alcohol.
The measures brought in by the town hall also prevent sunbathers from laying out towels and putting up parasols before they are ready to take their place on the sand.
What other rules do tourists face?
Several strict rules are being enforced in Spain to help crackdown on littering and “drunken tourism”.
Barcelona has banned smoking on all of its beaches in a bid to protect the environment and allow beachgoers to enjoy a clean, unpolluted space, free of smoke and cigarette butts.
The new rules, which took effect on 1 July, mean tourists who light up on any of the beaches in the city will be issued a 30 euro (£25 fine).
The move makes Barcelona the first major city in Spain to ban smoking on beaches, but 115 Spanish beaches have now banned smoking in total. This includes Majorcan beaches Santa Ponsa, La Romana (Paguera) and Carregador (Palmanova), where anyone caught smoking can be charged up to £1,700.
At all Spanish beach showers, it is illegal to wash with soap and shampoo because the products are harmful to marine life. Those caught breaking the rules can be fined up to £620.
Holidaymakers who go nude on a non-nudist beach could also be issued with a £620 fine.
Eleven seaside restaurants on the island of Mallorca have banned tourists from wearing certain clothes associated with “drunken tourism”. In these restaurants, mostly in the Playa de Palma, shirtless, costumed or football-jersey-clad holidaymakers will no longer be allowed entry, according to Juan Miguel Ferrer, the chief executive of Palma Beach.Swimwear, trunks and novelty accessories bought from roadside vendors are also said to be banned.
Many parts of Spain have also clamped down on people being inappropriately dressed on public streets, with authorities dishing out fines for men walking around with no shirts on, or women only wearing bikinis or swimwear on the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets, according to travel advice issued by the UK government.
In Barcelona, people can only wear bikinis on the beach and those caught wearing one in the town centre could face a fine of up to £260. Bikinis are also restricted to beaches in Majorca, with fines of up to £500 for those who flout the rules. The rules also apply to shirtless men in both areas.
City leaders in the city of Vigo, in north-western Spain’s Galicia region, have ruled also that urinating “in the sea or on the beach” is now a punishable offence. The city council has branded public urination a “minor infraction” and “an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations”.
Under the new rules, anyone who is caught relieving themselves could be hit with a fine up to £640 (€750).
To combat the habit, the council said it plans to install public toilets on beaches during the peak season.
Officials are also said to be considering sanctions for other bad habits, including using soap in the sea, leaving rubbish on the sand, or taking barbecues or gas cylinders to the beach.