Gatwick and Heathrow: Spanish beach rules including one that could land you a €3,000 fine


With the worst of the pandemic hopefully now in the rear view mirror, holidaymakers from Surrey and the rest of the UK are set to travel to Spain in large numbers this summer to seek sun, sea and sand. But while social distancing and mask-wearing may not be as crucial as they were a few months ago, there are several other rules that are important to know before hitting the beach if you want to avoid a bad financial surprise.

Many of these rules vary from place to place, so it’s worth checking what the exact regulations are at your destination, but some of the most widespread will surprise many Britons. They relate to all sorts of behaviors, from what you can wear on the streets around the seafront to the products you can use to wash yourself in public showers.

Low-cost airline easyJet said earlier this year it believed up to 30% of the British public planned to spend time in Spain this year, which is part of why Heathrow and Gatwick have been so busy lately. It also means that there are a lot of people who could get caught by these rules if they are not well informed. The fines you could receive vary but range from €30 for minor offenses up to €3,000 for those deemed more serious.

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With that in mind, here is our list of six of the most important rules to remember on Spanish beaches this summer. Remember that the list is not exhaustive and there may be other things that are important to know in the part of Spain you are planning to visit.

6 Spanish beach rules that could get you fined if you break them

Cover up in the streets

You will need to cover up on most public streets when heading to or from the beach. Men walking around shirtless or women wearing only bikinis or bathing suits can be fined €300. According to reports, these fines have already been imposed on Barcelona and Mallorca.

Keep your kit on

While it’s true that nude sunbathing is popular in many parts of Europe, you can’t do it anywhere you want. If you go naked to a non-nudist beach in Spain, expect to be hit with harsh bailouts and a fine of up to €750.

Do not use soap or shampoo

It is illegal to wash with soap and shampoo at all beach showers because the chemicals in these products are harmful to marine life. You can be fined up to €750 if caught in the act.

No sleep

After a long night of drinking, the beach might seem like quite an attractive place for some people to rest and sleep after the night’s excesses. Unfortunately, this is not only potentially dangerous, but can also be illegal: in areas like Valencia, this can result in a fine of €1,500. Camping on the beach is also illegal and could result in the same charges being paid.

No barbecues

Although this is a gray area in some destinations, you may need to ask permission to barbecue on the beach. In some areas, like Salobrena, this can get you in a lot of trouble: you could be slapped with a colossal €3,000 fine.


After a successful pilot project last year, the Spanish government is expanding a no-smoking policy on popular beaches in Spain. Beaches and smoke-free zones include locations in Galicia, Murcia, Catalonia, Andalusia, Asturias, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. If you are caught smoking on a smoke-free beach, you will be fined €30.


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