Tips for new expat arrivals on what not to do on Spanish beaches

Published:  18 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, Visas
One of the main reasons for choosing Spain as an expat retirement hub is its glorious beaches, even although Spanish laws apply as to what’s permitted and what’s not.

Right now, the Andalusian government is considering introducing a smoking ban on all its beaches, but how many newly-arrived expats are aware of the laws already in place to preserve the beauty and peace of its coastline? The list of prohibitions begins with loud music blasted through speakers, a rule with which the vast majority of expats agree wholeheartedly, but the prohibition of soap and moisturising gels in the beaches’ showers isn’t appreciated by those with dry skin. The showers, according to local laws, are only to be used to wash off sand, but picnickers also use them for washing plates and cutlery in Fairy Liquid even although, if caught, they can be fined up to €3,000.

One obvious no-no is relieving oneself on the beach, although fines for this anti-social activity stop at €300. Fires on the beach, whether used for cooking or any other purpose, are illegal as well, with the law including barbecues as well as fire pits, gas cylinders and flammable liquids. The one exception to this rule is the festival on San Juan, when certain beaches are designated as suitable for fire pits. The most obvious and justifiable law is against littering, as all beaches nowadays get their unfair share of cans, cigarette butts, empty bottles and discarded food. Unfortunately, local authorities rarely punish offenders.

Dogs and other pets are banned on the majority of Andalusian beaches, with the exception of those deliberately designated as allowing them. Torre del Mar, Fuengirola, Casares and Benalmadena are four local authorities which provide pet-friendly beaches, but all others still disallow expat man’s best doggy friend from enjoying a day out by the sea. Fishing from the shore is another activity prohibited in Malaga between 10am and 9pm, although shell fishers are allowed to catch coqui. Lastly, saving a spot on the beach by placing a lounger and umbrella is prohibited by a number of local councils including Benalmena and Torrox.
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