Prohibitions on Spanish beaches for which you can be fined
The beaches are an open-air space for public use, but for their enjoyment, the basic rules of coexistence must be followed. Despite the fact that in Spain there is no state regulation applicable to the entire Spanish coastline, each region in the Country, with coastal line in their territory, has its own ordinances to regulate its coasts, executing Coastal Law 22/1988.
Many visitors who decide to spend the day on a Spanish beach are unaware of these basic rules of use and, as said, each region has its own, which may or may not be common with those in other country communities. So the coast is the ideal destination for holidays, but be careful to comply with the rules or you could be sanctioned with up to 3,000 euros. The prohibitions that you probably did not know are the following ones:
Sleeping on the beach. In Spain it is forbidden to camp or spend the night sleeping on the beach, and even, in some Communities such as Valencia, it is considered a serious infraction. The penalty can range from 40 to 1,500 euros.
Eating and drinking. Barbecuing on the sandbanks is prohibited and punishable by 3,000 euros, although it is true that some beaches do allow it as long as you have the corresponding authorization signed by the local police. In the case of drinking, the fine can also range between 1,500 and 3,000 euros.
Smoking. Although it is true that beaches are an open-air space and that smoking is allowed in most of them, there are some regions of our country that prohibit this activity on them, creating a smoke-free space. Galicia is the Autonomous Community with the most beaches where smoking is not allowed. Barcelona has been the last to join this measure that it has already implemented in the 2022 summer season. The main objective is to eliminate the waste caused by leaving cigarette butts lying in the sand, which take around ten years to decompose. The fine if you get caught is usually around 30 euros.
Playing music. The use of sound or instrumental devices on the beaches and in certain Community areas is not allowed. What is allowed is listening to music or sound by any means that does not cause discomfort to people nearby, always recommending the use of headphones. This is the case of Valencia, Murcia, Cantabria or Tarifa, where this practice can reach penalties of 700 euros.
Showering with products. The beaches, at least most of them, have showers so that when bathers leave them they can clean the salt and sand from their bodies, but for ecological reasons and in order to protect the seas and the species that live in them, showering and bathing with soap and shampoo are prohibited on all Spanish beaches. The financial penalty for failing to comply with this rule could be around 750 euros.
Bathing with a red flag. As is popularly known, the flags on the beaches indicate the state of the sea in order to be able to bathe. So, when the red flag is waving, it means that it is forbidden to go into the water for your own safety, since the conditions are not favorable for taking a bath. Contradicting this rule implies the imposition of a penalty of up to 750 euros.
Reserving space in the arena. It is well known that there are those who get up early to go to the beach and get a good spot leaving their umbrella and towels on. However, this tactic is prohibited on some Spanish beaches, such as the Canary Islands, where those who leave their belongings on the sand to reserve space and are absent from the place may be fined between 750 and 3,000 euros.
Playing paddles. In order to avoid causing inconvenience or damage to third parties, some Spanish coasts are prohibited from playing with paddles or with a ball, as is the case in San Javier (Murcia) or in Benidorm if it is done in the water. The fine could vary between 700 and 3,000 euros.
Pets. There are beaches that are enabled for pets to go there to cool off with their owners, although it must be said that, even so, on these beaches there are also rules such as keeping them on a leash, collecting feces and carrying the animal's documentation. However, there are others that are not and whose presence is prohibited. But there is also the case of beaches where the presence of dogs is prohibited and the owners are punished with fines between 100 and 1,500 euros.